Life

Page 66 of 79

Thom-Rainer-headshot

5 Reasons Why Pastors Have Guest Blindness

In my blog, I have referred many times to my days of church consultation, particularly those experiences where we sent one of our consultants to be a first-time guest in a church. He or she would return with a report of those experiences, and the report would eventually be consolidated with other information for the church.

I have nearly 300 of these “mystery guest” reports. Both Chuck Lawless and I have posted about them on my blog.

In the past, the mystery guests would grade the visit based on several criteria. Less than 20 percent of these reports were graded “B” (good visit) or higher. read more

team-conflict-progress

How to Defuse a Youth Ministry Bomb

For most youth workers, few things in ministry are as dreaded as navigating conflict—especially when it comes in the form of an angry parent or frustrated volunteer and when it comes suddenly and unexpectedly.

You know the scenario: You’re hanging out in the youth room doing your youth pastor thing, and before you see it coming, he’s in your face. He’s on a mission. He’s got a few concerns, and he’s gonna share them with you right now. He has no desire to think about the timing. His agenda is the only one that matters. He’s a ticking time bomb, and time is running out. read more

Bible-study-group

5 Commitments That Propel and Sustain a Thriving Small Group Ministry

Ever wonder why some small group ministries seem to steadily move to new levels of success and health while others start with a bang and go out with a whimper?

Here are five commitments that make the difference:

1. Connecting everyone to a small group is a top objective every year. By “everyone,” I mean everyone. And it’s not just 50 percent or 80 percent of the weekend adult attendance. I’m talking about 150 percent of the weekend adult attendance number! In addition, the commitment is to a small group (i.e., not a class or a Bible study that meets in rows). And it’s not about off-campus versus on-campus. It’s all about connecting to a group that includes the essential ingredients of life change. (See also "Essential Ingredients of Life Change" and "Design Your Group for Life Change.") read more

Ron-Edmondson

5 Reasons People Aren’t Volunteering at Your Church

Do you need more preschool workers to serve children? Do you need more greeters to greet? Do you need more ushers to … ush?

If so, you’re in familiar territory.

I’ve never met a church that said, “You know, when it comes to volunteers, we’re good. We’ve got plenty. In fact, there’s a waiting list for the nursery.”

Churches everywhere need to mobilize more volunteers to get ministry done. But before you start signing people up and filling slots, it might be helpful to take a look at why people are not volunteering.

Here are five reasons people might not be volunteering at your church: read more

Gina-McClain

Youth Ministry: Making Wise Choices

It was another average weekday. Shortly after arriving home from work, I’m routinely rifling through the pile of papers pulled from my second-grader’s backpack. Amid the assortment of math worksheets, writing assignments and doodles, I see one yellow slip of paper.

One glance, and dread envelopes me.

Another ticket; another note from the teacher; another reminder of my son’s innate gravitational pull toward horsing around. (Sigh.) read more

Iranian-Christians-small

Inside Iran: An Interview With an Iranian Pastor

Iran is all over the news. President Obama and President Hasan Rouhani talked just over a week ago—the first time the presidents of the two nations have spoken since 1979. This is being hailed as good news, and I tend to think that starting conversations is a good first step.

Yet even in that conversation, religious liberty became an issue. I am thankful President Obama brought up pastor Saeed Abedini to the Iranian president.

Iran is a complex place when it comes to the gospel, religious liberty and sharing Christ. Recently, I had a conversation while in Central Asia with some workers in that nation. It was a powerful and moving conversation, shared here with their permission. read more

Joe-McKeever-small

Pastors’ Wives Deserve Empathy, Respect Too

The letters and comments are pouring in from our recent article on the pastor’s wife.

I suppose it should not surprise me—weirdness is everywhere—but some people were angry that we called the pastor’s wife “the most vulnerable person in church.” One guy gave a long list of people, mostly the hurting seekers who arrive at church hoping to find a word of encouragement or a helping hand, who come before her.

There is no question that churches are filled with seeking, hurting, vulnerable people. Ranking them in order of desperation and need is pointless, since we are to be ministering to them all. read more

Money-tithing

10 Things People Want Before They Will Give to Your Church

It’s common sense: Church leaders can’t expect people to grow in generosity if it’s not talked about.

While some leaders try to avoid the topic at all costs, the truth is most churchgoers aren’t as resistant to talking about money as we think. In fact, many already give to a variety of organizations and causes.

This shows there is a gap to fill between what we know the Bible says about money and our willingness to act on what we know.

Talking about money in church can be tough for the person on the platform and the person in the crowd. But it’s not impossible to do—and do well. You just need to better understand what to say and when to say it. read more

Social-media

The One Key to Achieving Social Media Success

If you’re operating social media for yourself or for your church and you’re trying to grow your platform, I’m sure you’ve heard the one key to social media success is this: “Content is king.”

But have you ever wondered: What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that "if I build it, they will come”? Does it mean all I have to do is have a well-written article and hundreds of people will line up to read it?

If you’ve tried this, I’m guessing you know it doesn’t necessarily work.

If you haven’t tried it, let me save you some grief and wasted hours—there’s more to it than that. read more

Dr. Joe McKeever

What to Say to a Church Bully

(This is the type of article some church people will find objectionable. I’m fully aware of that and am willing to run the risk of the flack from writing it. If it results in one congregation standing up to a member who has held the church in a stranglehold and run off preacher after preacher, if it puts just one bully out of business, it’ll be worth the flack. This is a far bigger problem than most people realize.)

No church bully thinks he’s one. He’s just (ahem) looking out for the interests of the church, since a) no one else seems to be willing to do it and b) even though it’s a difficult task, he has the courage to step up and do this difficult thing. read more

Joe-McKeever-small

50 Things I Tell Young Pastors

1. In all the world there are only three Christians who love change; none of them are in your church.

2. When you speak before an unfamiliar group, be careful what you say because you never know who is listening to you. You’ll start to tell a story about some guy in your former church, and his mama is sitting right in front of you.

3. There will never be a time in your life when you know all the Bible and have your questions all answered; if you cannot serve Him with some gaps in your knowledge and preach without knowing everything, you’re going to have a hard time. read more

F-Nones

How Will We Reach the ‘Nones’?

Emma grew up in a small town her whole life. She dated and had a steady boyfriend for two years, until he succumbed to the ribbing of his football teammates and tried drugs for the first time. After learning of his new found habit, Emma’s parents forbid her to see him. But after spending most of her time with him and his friends for the previous two years, she never really found a place to belong again. The local churches’ youth groups were nonexistent; her sister had her own friends, and failed attempts to make the school’s sports teams left her feeling rejected. At home, she often saw and heard her parents fighting about money and didn’t get the attention she wanted from a distracted mom consumed with trying to keep her marriage together.  read more

Ron-and-Cheryl

A Word to the Pastor’s Wife From a Pastor’s Wife

I love being a pastor’s wife. It truly is who God has called me to be in this season of life. Everyday is not easy, but when I’m serving as God intended for me to serve, I’m never more fulfilled in life.

That’s why I decided to share this advice to pastor’s wives. (I understand my husband has lots of pastors who read his blog. I hope they will share this with their spouse.)

Here is my advice:

Don’t try to be something you are not … and … Don’t be afraid to be yourself. read more

Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders