Currently Browsing: Trends

Multisite Church Trends for 2014 from Jim Tomberlin

Multisite Church TrendsMultisite church trends have changed from year to year… but the momentum and sustainability of the multisite revolution will continue well into 2014.  Jim Tomberlin knows as well as anyone what is happening in multisite these days.

Here’s what he thinks we’ll see more of in 2014 in Multisite Church Trends:

Megachurches becoming giga-churches. Megachurches are getting bigger because they are no longer limited to one location.

Owning multisite locations. Up to now the overwhelming majority of multisite campuses are in rented facilities. Because the multisite model has now moved beyond an experiment to a proven strategy more churches are beginning to buy land to construct new buildings or purchase existing buildings for permanent multisite campuses.

New rules for church construction. In an increasingly hostile culture towards new church construction the rules have changed for constructing new church buildings. The new church buildings going up today are smaller, multi-purpose, multi-venue, local community-centric and environmentally-friendly buildings.

The majority of multisite churches are not maximizing the model. Most of the 5,000+multisite churches are stuck at two or three campuses because they don’t know how or aren’t willing to make the organizational changes necessary to fully benefit from the multisite model. The majority of multisite churches are still functioning like a mono-site church with campuses instead of a church of campuses.   If this describes your church take the Multisite Diagnostic Test to determine how well your church is managing this paradigm shift.

Multisite churches with four or more campuses. Even though the majority of multisite churches are not fully maximizing the multisite model as previously mentioned, more are growing beyond three campuses. The fourth campus is the “game-changer” that typically forces churches to change their structure which positions them to take full advantage of the model and grow even beyond four campuses.

Confusing multisiting with church planting. Though the outcome of church planting and multisiting is the same—new congregations, church plants and multisite campuses are not the same thing.  There are geographic, gifting and governance differences. A lack of clarity and understanding around these differences  causes a lot of unnecessary problems in multisite churches.

Se habla español (Spanish spoken here). Multisite megachurches are leading the way in producing local congregations that are more economically, racially and ethnically diverse especially within Hispanic communities.

Multisite Teaching Teams. Whether they utilize video sermons or not, there is a growing desire to develop preaching-teaching teams to strengthen the teaching bench of the church, develop teachers and potential successors while increasing the overall depth and breadth of biblical instruction.

Requests for Multisite Coaching.  There is a rising chorus for on-going multisite coaching in the month-to-month oversight of a growing multisite church. A coach who can help churches go from two to five, then ten campuses. Someone who can help them avoid the potholes and get better at multisiting. They need a mentor and we got’em at MultiSite Solutions. Find the right one for you by visiting Jim at Considering a Multisite Mentor?

Read more from Jim here.

What do you think?  Is your church multisite?  Are you seeing these trends in your neck of the woods?


New Series: Church Rescue

A new show offers to help church ‘reestablish themselves in the marketplace, not so they can turn themselves into profitable enterprises, but so they can continue spreading the good word to their followers.’

Yes… that’s a new show on the National Geographic channel.

Here’s the press release.  Question:  will you be watching?

Religious institutions are the foundation of many communities across America. The United States is home to more than 300,000 religious congregations, and nearly four out of five Americans identify themselves with some type of religious belief. In order to practice these beliefs, people from all walks of life descend upon urban, rural and city houses of worship that come in a wide array of shapes and sizes.

But running a church takes more than faith, and even the holiest of institutions can fall victim to harsh realities. In fact, in 2012, Reuters reported that banks were foreclosing on churches in record numbers leading to tough consequences for communities across the country. Thankfully, struggling congregations and the families who flock to them have a place to turn when times get tough.

Enter the “Church Hoppers” (@churchhoppers) three business-savvy ministers and best friends who travel the country helping faith-based organizations reestablish themselves in the marketplace, not so they can turn themselves into profitable enterprises, but so they can continue spreading the good word to their followers and helping those who are struggling in their faith to find a foothold. They use the wisdom of Scripture and a little Southern ingenuity to pull off inspiring interventions featured in the new series Church Rescue, premiering Monday, November 11, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.

Based in North Carolina, the Church Hoppers trio includes Kevin “Rev Kev” Annas (@churchhopperkev), the resident business guru with years of experience as an entrepreneur. Rev Kev helps pastors understand that the more success they have, the more lives they can touch through their ministry. Anthony “Gladamere” Lockhart (@churchhoppergla), a sales and marketing specialist with 15 years of experience, is more interested in how the church conveys a sense of belonging to the congregation. And Jerry “Doc” Bentley (@churchhopperdoc) is a pastoral counselor who focuses on the human relations aspect of each organization.

The Church Hoppers have just seven days to assist the struggling faith-based institutions, and must identify strengths and weaknesses quickly so they can work hand-in-hand with the church leaders to improve their prospects for survival. Every job they take starts with a reconnaissance mission. They visit the churches and blend in as best they can at first, to get the real experience from the churchgoer’s unique perspective. In North Carolina, they visit a motorcycle biker church decked out in biker gear and sport cowboy hats when meeting with the congregation at a cowboy church. They travel to California, meeting with a pastor in Compton whose church is struggling after the economic collapse, and venture to a synagogue in Venice Beach to help a rabbi attract much-needed younger people to his congregation.

When it comes time to prescribe solutions, the Church Hoppers start with a healthy dose of Tough Love for the pastors and reverends, most of whom are resistant to change even though their ministries are on the verge of collapse. One minister refuses to spend any money to repair his sanctuary because he wants a brand new church instead. Another is unwilling to admit he needs training on how to give an engaging sermon, even though he puts many in his congregation to sleep every week. And a third preaches messages so devoid of the hope of his religion that anyone walking in off the street is bound to turn tail and leave immediately.

Once the church leaders put a little faith in the Church Hoppers and let them do what they do best, the guys make quick but effective changes to draw in more worshipers to help turn the churches around. Something as simple as a new sign out front that clearly lists the times worship services take place goes a long way. Instead of a three-hour marathon sermon, two sermons split into two services draw twice the crowd. Putting in a play area for children gives parents added incentive to attend a service. And installing a cross on the side of the building lets passersby know it’s a church they’re passing. By playing to the strengths of the church, the congregation will follow.

The Church Hoppers use common sense and the guidance of biblical Scriptures to make a miraculous amount of difference in a short time and help put these potentially doomed churches on a righteous path.

The way they see it, the souls of the faithful are ultimately at stake, so failure is not an option.

Read more about National Geographic Channel to Premiere New Series CHURCH RESCUE, 11/11 – BWWTVWorld by

What every church leader should know about sexting

Yes… it’s important.

Because it’s happening in your church.

And probably not just with teenagers.

First, a definition:  Sexting is using mobile technology to send a suggestive, nude or semi-nude text, picture or video of oneself to someone else.

Why do you need to know about this?

Well… because according to a recent study, about 48% of teens have received a sexually suggestive message.  And about 39% have sent one.

I’m not sure what the stats are for adults, but I bet they’re probably not that much different in your community, at least in some circles.

Here are some helpful hints. (Found at


The five least sinful cities in America

5.  Chula Vista, CA

4.  Glendale, CA

3. Fremont, CA

2. Gilbert, AZ

1. New York City

Wait. What?

This article is worth the read. This was a study done by, a property listing website.  They did a study to try and gauge the behavior of cities in contrast to the Catholic Church’s Seven Deadly Sins.  They measured the virtues of charity, chastity, diligence, generosity, humility, kindness, and temperance.

The seven most sinful cities?  Milwaukee, Pittsburg, Minneapolis, Orlando, and St. Louis.

Read more here

Americans don’t like the word ‘religious’ anymore

We’re no longer “religious.” We’re “holy.” We’re “faithful.” We’re “spiritual.” We talk about what “the gospel compels us to do” or “gospel living.” Or “sabbatical living” and “God-oriented behavior.”  That’s according to a new story in the Washington Post today:

On one side of the spectrum are people such as prominent liberal scholar Diana Butler Bass, author of last year’s “Christianity After Religion,” who says the word “religion” is laden withnegative, hurtful and political baggage. The 20 percent of Americans who now call themselves unaffiliated with any religious group see religion as much too focused on rules.

On the other side are people such as super-popular shock pastor and writer Mark Driscoll, an evangelical conservative whose sermons have such titles as “Why I hate religion.” He preaches that the institutional church has wrongly let people feel good about themselves for their actions (such as going to worship services) instead of what they believe (which should be the Bible’s literal truth, in his view).

A member of Driscoll’s church produced one of early 2012’s most shared videos, “Why I love Jesus but hate religion,” which has been watched more than 25 million times. Set to cool music, it opens with a young man asking, “What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?” Later, it characterizes most churchgoers as hypocrites and religion as a Band-Aid and “like spraying perfume on a casket.”

Last month, the president of the country’s largest “ex-gay” ministry blamed “religion” for the failure of his organization, Exodus International, which had claimed that its programs could make gay Christians straight.

“I believe the major failure of Exodus is that it promised to be completely different from the religious system that caused so many of us so much pain and yet became a religious institution of rules and regulations focused on behavior, sin management and short on grace,” Alan Chambers said in announcing Exodus’s end.

Jon Acuff, a popular evangelical motivational speaker, wrote in his blog a couple of years ago about a quest for new language, and he remarked on what he does if someone he doesn’t know describes him as “into religion.”

“Like any good Christian, I immediately said what we’re supposed to: ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m not into religion, I’m into Jesus. I’m a Christian,’” Acuff wrote in the popular blog Stuff Christians Like.

Hundreds of Christians responded on his blog with words they use when asked their religious preference on Facebook. “Jesus is in charge of Everything.” “Jesus is my saving grace.” One person cited John 3:16, which says God gave his “one and only son.”

What’s going on? Is this about semantics or something more important?

Click here to find out and read more.  :)

QUESTION:  How does the word ‘religious’ strike you these days?

How much time should you spend on social media?

So… how much time SHOULD you devote to social media?  Maybe this will give you some insight…

HT: ChurchMag





Pastor’s wives… can this be true?

Lisa Takeuchi Cullen writes a piece over the weekend at the Washington Post where she describes six things that she says she didn’t know about pastor’s wives.

Some are pretty true… while others are a little more isolated, I think.  See what you think:

1.  Pastor’s wives don’t exactly love their husband’s work.

I’ve seen this quite a bit.  She sites that long hours, horrible pay, and the stress.  I think this is spot on for many pastor’s wives.  They support the calling, but hate what the job does to their husbands.

2.  They are highly criticized.  She calls it ‘life in the fishbowl’, and in some regards, it is true.  There is an unspoken expectation for the pastor’s wife in many churches.  In fact, in many churches, there is no way one woman could meet the varied expectations of all the congregants.  The bottom line:  many pastor’s wives get abused rather than respected.

3.  Sex is on their minds.  She talks about a pastor’s wives retreat that she attended where the women talked about sex.  I don’t have any idea whether pastor’s wives think about sex any more than the local accountant’s wife.

4.  Pastor’s wives work.  She was surprised by this… but yep… some pastor’s wives work outside the home.  Probably looking back at #1 will tell you a bit why.

5.  Pastor’s wives love Twitter.  Some do, most don’t.

6.  Blogs are their secret outlet.  True for some… but I think that most pastor’s wives don’t blog at all.


What trends do you see with pastor’s wives that didn’t make the list?

Read more here.


Culture Watch: Teen birth rates, Homosexuality, and Views on the Bible

As a church leader, it’s vitally important to keep up on what’s happening in our ever-changing culture.  Each month in Ministry Briefing, we highlight the cultural news items that you really need to know as a church leader.  Here is just a sampling from this month’s Briefing in the area of culture.  You can download and read the whole issue here.

Teen Birth Rates Decline Dramatically

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that between 2007 and 2011, teen birth rates dropped dramatically in America, with Hispanic girls falling an impressive 34%. Nearly every state in America has seen decline with all but two states dropping by at least 15%. Seven states saw their overall rates drop 30%.
Source: The Christian Post

Majority of Americans Accept Homosexuality

In a continuing shift toward acceptance of homosexuality in America, 59% of U.S. adults say that gay and lesbian relationships are morally acceptable, a major reversal after only 42% believed such relationships were morally acceptable in 2004. Part of this shift in thinking may be due to 47% of respondents saying that people are born as gay or lesbian, while only 33% attribute it to environmental factors.
Source: Baptist Press

Majority of Americans Are Actually Pro Life

The latest Gallup poll has found that Americans think the majority of the nation is pro-choice: “51% of U.S. adults say the public is mostly ‘pro-choice,’ while 35% say ‘pro-life.” However, this perception does not match reality. The same poll discovered that 48% of Americans are pro-life, while 45% are pro-choice.
Source: Christian Post

Transgender Lawsuit Hits California Baptist University

When nursing student Domaine Javier, a male who identifies as a female, registered for classes at California Baptist University, the transgender student registered as a female. The school later learned that Javier is biologically male, and expelled Javier. Javier has filed a lawsuit against the university, and the university counters that it is a private, religious institution that is not bound by the state’s laws governing gender identity discrimination.
Source: Baptist Press

Negative View of the Bible Increases

Although the History Channel miniseries “The Bible” drew 13.1 million viewers for the first episode in March, a recent survey from the Barna Group and American Bible Society shows that 17% Americans have an increasingly negative view of the Bible that views it as a series of stories that are not worth reading. In fact, this number is a significant increase from two years ago when it was 10%. Clint Jenkin, vice president of research for the Barna Group, suggests that the Bible has also become attached to unpopular, hot button topics.
Source: Press Telegram

You can download and read the whole issue here.

35 church trends from the past month you need to know about as a church leader

Each month, Ministry Briefing finds that top trends that are happening in the church and ministry world.  In June’s edition, we tackle the top 35 trends we’re seeing.  We think these are trends that you need to know about… some of them will… either directly or indirectly… affect your ministry in the next months and years.

I would encourage you to invest in keeping up with the trends.  Matt Steen and I have done the research and groundwork to help you do that with Ministry Briefing.  Here are the trends we’re watching this month:

  • -Research Into Religion and Depression Called Into Question
  • -Harlem Churches Struggle as Population Dwindles
  • -Religion Proved Vitally Important for WWII Veterans
  • -Christians Are Comfortable Being Identified with Their Faith
  • -Global Faith Forum Builds Bridges with Muslims
  • -Catholic Population Grows in Asia and Africa
  • -Pastors’ Views on Creation Tied to Region
  • -Sociologist Doubts Barna Findings about Millenials Leaving the Church
  • -Christianity Grows in America Through Immigration
  • -Latinos Leave Catholic Church for Protestant Congregations
  • -What Do Protestant Pastors Believe About the Age of the Earth? Barna Group Asks
  • -Online Giving Is Key to Financial Stability
  • -Experts Divide Over Pastors Knowing Giving Records in Church
  • -Prayer Makes Objective Impact on Relationships
  • -Inerrancy Debate at Center of Campbellsville University Faculty Dismissal
  • -Medi-Share Approved as Christian Healthcare Option in Kentucky
  • -Tax Issues for Church-Run Community Centers
  • -How to Present Financial Facts at Church
  • -Stabilize Your Church Through Online Giving
  • -What Is Volunteer’s Time Worth?
  • -Pet Adoption Weekend at Ed Young’s Fellowship Church
  • -Church Confidentiality Agreements Protect Organizations
  • -Barna Study Suggests Evangelicals Are Most Christ-Like
  • -The Importance of an Allergy Plan at Church
  • -Charitable Giving Makes Small Gains in 2012
  • -Couples Married 50-Plus Years Share Their Wisdom
  • -State of the Plate Digs In to Tithing Trends
  • -Nonprofits Must Innovate for the Future
  • -Awareness Doesn’t Help a Nonprofit Succeed
  • -Know Your Audience When Fundraising
  • -Asking Is Part of a Pastor’s Role
  • -LifeWay Study Suggests Gap in Church Relationships
  • -Seminary Costs Are Out of Control
  • -Barna Study Finds That Over Half of Evangelicals Think Islam is Violent Religion
  • -Congregations Face Multicultural Challenges

When you purchase Ministry Briefing’s June edition, you’ll get a one-paragraph synopsis on each of these stories (just the facts); along with a link that will give you the full story (in case you’re interested in digging deeper).

And we have about 10 other categories that we synthesize for you as well.  Take a look at this month’s full table of contents.

We think it will save you a ton of time and energy.

Here’s why Perry Noble thinks you should be reading Ministry Briefing:

endorsements_noblePERRY NOBLE
Senior Pastor – NewSpring Church – Anderson, SC 

I’ve known, loved and respected Todd Rhoades for over seven years now, and his heart to help people has always shown through in everything that he does. Recently he has began something called Ministry Briefing and it is awesome. Each month, Todd and Matt Steen go through thousands of resources to find the top things church leaders need to know and pack it all into a quick read that saves me tons of time but helps keep me focused on what I need to know. It’s going to be a HUGE help to you in your ministry. You need to check it out!

Thanks… I really appreciate your support in this new Ministry Briefing project!


Will “MISSIONAL” be around in 20 years?

This quote stood out to me this morning:

Many of us have grown up believing we must keep trying to “do church” better. It’s difficult for us to realize that our programs or performances, no matter how attractive, won’t interest a large part of our population. It’s easy for us to forget that the first church flourished and grew simply through intentional relationships, clear presentation of the facts about Jesus, and the witness of transformed lives. Today’s missional leaders are calling for all of us to employ that same strategy to reach unchurched people around us.

I don’t know how many conferences I’ve been to that try to teach everyone how to do church ‘better’.

But the truth is… programs very seldom make churches better… primarily because, as this quote says, the people in our churches aren’t NEARLY as passionate about our ideas as we are.

Go figure.

But I like where Mark Taylor (the writer of the quote) goes:  It’s easy for us to forget that the first church flourished and grew simply through intentional relationships, clear presentation of the facts about Jesus, and the witness of transformed lives.


Today we’re calling that ‘missional’.  Who knows what we’ll call it 20 years from now.

My guess is that in 20 years there will still be pastors and leaders trying to reinvent the wheel, and that’s ok.  But we have to remember that there is something contagious about seeing transformation in others… it spurs transformation in our own lives.

That will never change.



Read more here…

1 of 18 pages12345678910Oldest

TWO WEEKS FREE: This week's top 50 stories for pastors & church leaders... Subscribe today and get your first two weeks FREE!

Switch to our mobile site