Tag Archive - teaching

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10 Articles that will Help your Church Make Vision Real

Each month I curate the top 10 most popular blog posts I’ve shared. These are the articles that got had the greatest engagement in the past month. They were the most visited, shared, helpful or disagreed with. At any rate, thanks for staying in contact with me through engaging in the content on this site, I hope it’s been helpful to you! In case you missed any of them here they are all in one nice tidy place for you!

The Difference between Preparation and Planning

Do great organizations prepare for the future or do they plan for it? The answer is, “yes.” To be clear preparation and planning are not the same thing, and great organizations become great by doing both.

How Many People should your Church have on Staff?

Before you buy into the idea that you need another staff person at your church, think again. That just may be the worst decision you make at your church this year.

4 Ways Churches Misspend Money

Churches get funny when it comes to money. Generally, churches have a hard time talking about money publicly and few have a clear generosity strategy. When it comes to financial planning and actually spending money in a way that gets them to the vision God’s called them to, the majority of churches I’ve interacted with are all thumbs.

4 Indicators your Church is Moving in the Wrong Direction

There are a lot of reasons why churches begin to decline and eventually die. Most don’t ever recognize it until they’re really stuck or worse it’s too late to even turn around. But there are some lead indicators that can be early warning signs that things are moving in the wrong direction.

Why Video Teaching Will Work in Your Town Too

When I consult with churches that are considering going multisite one of the key exercises I facilitate with their team centers around how they are going to approach preaching in their weekend worship services. It’s a big conversation and a decision that has significant implications to the model and approach that churches take when it comes to multisite.

8 Reasons Why People Don’t Volunteer at your Church 

I’ve never worked with a church that has said they don’t need more volunteers. But I’ve worked with a bunch of churches that have trouble getting people to volunteer and stay engaged volunteering.

Why People Don’t Invite their Friends to your Church

If your church is serious about growing and reaching new people you’ve got to figure out what is keeping people from inviting their friends. While many church leaders blame their people for not inviting their friends because they’re not “spiritually mature enough” or don’t have a “deep burden” for the lost I’d suggest it may be less complicated than that. It may be your fault.

How to Say No to Ministry Opportunities and Why You Should

One of the more difficult things you’ll ever do as a leader of a growing church or organization is to learn to say no to good opportunities.

When to Add Another Worship Service at your Church

Many churches are stuck in attendance simply because they haven’t maximized their current facilities and campus. Thinking about adding another worship service at your church? Here are five strategic concepts to consider before you do.

Video Teaching Versus Live Teaching in a Multisite Church

Since those early days the multisite movement has begun to grow up a bit and today about 50% of the 8,000 (ballpark) multisite churches are delivering teaching via video while the other 50% are using live teaching in their locations. But what are the pros and cons? Which model is best for your church?

 


Posted in Leadership

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Why Video Teaching Will Work in Your Town Too

When I consult with churches that are considering going multisite one of the key exercises I facilitate with their team centers around how they are going to approach preaching in their weekend worship services. It’s a big conversation and a decision that has significant implications to the model and approach that churches take when it comes to multisite.

Inevitably somewhere in the conversation someone challenges the idea of video teaching and says something like, “You don’t know our people, video teaching will never work with our people or in this community.” While I’d be the first to say that video teaching isn’t the right approach for every church to take it works better than you think, more often than you think, and in more locations than you think.

In fact the picture below is a video venue for a large multisite church that I recently took. This venue is their one traditional service that they do. The service has a choir and a more traditional physical space. It’s a very different vibe than the modern worship services they do in their auditoriums, but the video teaching is the same. The average age in this service is over 70. Video works. Even with an older demographic. Even in a traditional setting.

The World is not Engaging with Technology Less

People around the country and around the world are not engaging with technology less, they’re engaging with technology more. Content and information is increasingly being delivered to people over a screen. In fact on a recent trip to the Philippines, even in a poorer area, people had their smart phones. It’s time for churches to stop debating it and watching the world pass them by and start leveraging it.

I Never Saw Jesus Preach the Sermon on the Mount

Whenever this conversation comes up I routinely remind people that I never saw Jesus preach the best sermon in history (commonly referred to as the sermon on the mount) but it’s changed my life. It was written down for us to read because video technology didn’t exist yet. My hunch is if Steve Jobs was a contemporary to Jesus then someone would have pulled out their iPhone and stuck that sermon on YouTube so we could all see and hear it for ourselves.

Video Teaching Creates Greater Cultural Consistency between Campuses

I firmly believe that nothing else in your church has the power to build the unique culture of your church than preaching does. Video teaching provides churches the opportunity to allow teaching to be consistent across campuses and venues, and as a result keep culture more consistent. This is why the church pictured above has video teaching even in their “traditional service.” They wanted the people who attend the traditional service to feel like they were a part of the church not going to another church.

Most People are Against Video Teaching in Principle…until they try it

I’ve found that most “church-people” are against the idea of video teaching until they personally experience it. I say “church-people” on purpose because people who are new to your church have no idea what to expect because they’ve never been to church before. Everything is new to them so I’ve discovered that people who are new to church and Jesus don’t have the same hangups that “church-people” do.  Even in the traditional service pictured above I observed firsthand how people quickly forget that they’re watching video preaching and begin to interact with video by laughing, nodding their heads, raising their hands when asked to by the pastor, and even stand up and walk to a volunteer to say yes to following Jesus. All through video teaching.


Posted in Leadership

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Why a Teaching Team is a Better Approach to Teaching at your Church

Although the idea of a teaching team is not a new idea, I’m surprised at the amount of churches across the country that have not embraced this approach to preaching in their weekend worship services.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying:

  • I’m not advocating that you use the “main stage” to develop communicators. Don’t experiment on your church. Instead develop communicators in other ministry venues than the weekend worship services. There can’t be a big “drop off” in gifting from the primary preacher to others on the teaching team. Otherwise internally people are going to be saying, “oh no, not this guy again.”
  • I’m not advocating that you water down or muddy your unique culture. It’s not helpful to have preachers on the teaching team that have completely different styles or theological perspectives. Preaching is the primary way culture is built in a church so keep the same approach and same “voice.”
  • I’m not advocating that your main preacher speaks less than 35 weekends a year (+/-).
  • I’m not advocating that you have too many voices on stage, more than 3 can get confusing.

In today’s world communicators aren’t just compared to other preachers they’re compared to other communicators including comedians, late night show hosts, TED talks, and every other great preacher in the world that anyone can listen to on the internet. Developing a teaching team is simply a better approach to teaching.

It keeps Communicators Fresh

Preaching week in and week out, 52 weeks a year is a grind. Very, very, very few preachers on the planet can be great 52 weeks a year, year after year. A teaching team helps great preachers preach great sermons. Not only do they get time to work on their sermons and prepare better content, but they can work together on the content and delivery preparation.

It keeps Engagement Up

No matter how good of a communicator your pastor is, they only have so many stories. More voices on the stage keeps engagement up because your church body hears things different ways from different people. Also, if you do this well, you can engage a younger audience by having communicators on the team who are younger than the primary preacher.

It Teaches the Church it’s not all about One Person

Building a great teaching team teaches the church body that ministry isn’t just about or built around one superstar with a great teaching gift. Rather, the body, when it works together as a body and you lean into everyone’s unique gifting actually takes more ground and functions better. Remember, the team always outperforms the individual, this is also true in teaching teams.

It sets you up for Succession

Every pastor is an interim pastor. One day they will no longer be the leader or the preacher. Someday, somebody else will step in and pick up where you left off. A teaching team helps make this transition easier for the church to embrace.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

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Top Posts of 2016 #10 “If it’s Not on a Screen it’s Not Multisite”

For the next couple of days I’m going to be counting down the top 10 posts from 2016 here on Helping Churches Make Vision Real. These are the posts that generated the most traffic, comments, and were the most shared on social media. The most popular topics this year had to do with developing young leaders, multisite, volunteers, church growth, and church leadership. We start off with a post about the multisite church movement, one of the most popular topics on my blog this year.

Being a part of leading a large multisite church, I’m frequently asked by church leaders about my thoughts on various multisite models and how we do it at the church I’m a part of. In this post I’m going to answer that question (to an extent) for everyone reading this article and here’s a little warning, I’m going to say it in a bit of a straight forward matter of fact manner. Here’s the way I look at it, and I reserve the right to be wrong…

“If it’s not on a screen, it’s not a multisite.”

It may be multi-congregational or even a family of churches, but it’s not a multisite church. The simple reason why is teaching. Nothing else in your church has the power the build the unique culture of your church in so much as teaching does. This is why people say the organization always takes on the characteristics and personality (culture) of the leader. When you have different people preaching at different locations, no matter how similar they are, no matter how good of friends they are, no matter how hard they work to be on the same page with the presentation, you’re going to get a different culture. You’re going to get a different church. And like it or not, people who attend churches look to the primary communicator of that location as the leader. Here’s a really quick overview (obviously there are slight variations).

Multi-Site

Big Idea: “One Church Multiple Locations”
Preaching: Preaching is delivered via video. No matter if it’s one primary communicator or a teaching team approach, whoever is preaching is preaching the same message at every location via video.
Governance: There is one Board of Elders that provides oversight to the entire church; all campuses no matter the location. The Board is not put in place for the representation of the campuses (it’s not congress).
Ministry Practices: These churches have a tendency to be more identical in their ministry practices and staffing structures (based on scale). Ministry practices are typically overseen by a Central Ministry Team that coaches and influences each campus towards best practices and objectives

Multi-Congregational

Big Idea: “One Church Multiple Congregations”
Preaching: Preaching is delivered live at each location. Often times the main communicators on each campus collaborate to ensure that they are generally covering the same content.
Governance: There is still some kind of directional team making high-level decisions that have some affect on each congregation, but each congregation has their own Board of Elders making local decisions.
Ministry Practices: Often these churches will share branding and some communication (print & visual media) resources and a centralized Business Department may support all congregations. However each congregation has much more freedom and independence as to what ministries they build and start.

Family of Churches

Big Idea: “Multiple Churches with One Cause”
Preaching: Preaching is live at each location, each church may even have it’s own teaching team. They may share their best teaching series with each other, and speak at each other’s churches from time to time, but that’s about it.
Governance: Early on often these churches will have a Board of outside Pastors from the Family of Churches govern the new church until it is mature enough to have it’s own Board. Similarly often another stronger church in the Family of Churches may manage the business function of the newer church until it has the capacity to do so on their own.
Ministry Practices: Families of churches typically organize around a theological ideal or a common cause such as church planting. While these churches certainly learn from one another and even pick up best practices from one another they are autonomous in their approach.


Posted in Leadership

12

If it’s Not on a Screen it’s Not Multisite

Being a part of leading a large multisite church, I’m frequently asked by church leaders about my thoughts on various multisite models and how we do it at the church I’m a part of. In this post I’m going to answer that question (to an extent) for everyone reading this article and here’s a little warning, I’m going to say it in a bit of a straight forward matter of fact manner. Here’s the way I look at it, and I reserve the right to be wrong…

“If it’s not on a screen, it’s not a multisite.”

It may be multi-congregational or even a family of churches, but it’s not a multisite church. The simple reason why is teaching. Nothing else in your church has the power the build the unique culture of your church in so much as teaching does. This is why people say the organization always takes on the characteristics and personality (culture) of the leader. When you have different people preaching at different locations, no matter how similar they are, no matter how good of friends they are, no matter how hard they work to be on the same page with the presentation, you’re going to get a different culture. You’re going to get a different church. And like it or not, people who attend churches look to the primary communicator of that location as the leader. Here’s a really quick overview (obviously there are slight variations).

Multi-Site

Big Idea: “One Church Multiple Locations”
Preaching: Preaching is delivered via video. No matter if it’s one primary communicator or a teaching team approach, whoever is preaching is preaching the same message at every location via video.
Governance: There is one Board of Elders that provides oversight to the entire church; all campuses no matter the location. The Board is not put in place for the representation of the campuses (it’s not congress).
Ministry Practices: These churches have a tendency to be more identical in their ministry practices and staffing structures (based on scale). Ministry practices are typically overseen by a Central Ministry Team that coaches and influences each campus towards best practices and objectives

Multi-Congregational

Big Idea: “One Church Multiple Congregations”
Preaching: Preaching is delivered live at each location. Often times the main communicators on each campus collaborate to ensure that they are generally covering the same content.
Governance: There is still some kind of directional team making high-level decisions that have some affect on each congregation, but each congregation has their own Board of Elders making local decisions.
Ministry Practices: Often these churches will share branding and some communication (print & visual media) resources and a centralized Business Department may support all congregations. However each congregation has much more freedom and independence as to what ministries they build and start.

Family of Churches

Big Idea: “Multiple Churches with One Cause”
Preaching: Preaching is live at each location, each church may even have it’s own teaching team. They may share their best teaching series with each other, and speak at each other’s churches from time to time, but that’s about it.
Governance: Early on often these churches will have a Board of outside Pastors from the Family of Churches govern the new church until it is mature enough to have it’s own Board. Similarly often another stronger church in the Family of Churches may manage the business function of the newer church until it has the capacity to do so on their own.
Ministry Practices: Families of churches typically organize around a theological ideal or a common cause such as church planting. While these churches certainly learn from one another and even pick up best practices from one another they are autonomous in their approach.


Posted in Leadership
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