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...
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Changing culture isn’t a number game… we need change agents, not numbers

FASCINATING article recently by Os Hillman on what it takes to change culture. Here’s an excerpt: For centuries, Christians thought culture would change if we just had a majority of Christians in the culture. That has proven to be a false assumption. Culture is defined by a relatively small number of change agents who operate at the top of cultural spheres or societal mountains. It takes less than 3-5 percent of those operating at the top of a cultural mountain to actually shift the values represented on that mountain. For example, this is exactly what advocates in the gay rights movement has...
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Why you should be the dumbest person in the room

I like this quote from Noah Callahan-Bever, editor in chief of Complex Magazine: If you surround yourself with the smartest people you can find, people will think you’re a lot smarter than you are. Only insecure people think this works the other way.” I learn much more when I surround myself with smart people. And I’ve very privileged to be the dumbest person in the room most of the time. Seriously. Now if I can just work on getting people to think I’m smarter than I am, I’d have it made. But seriously… do you surround yourself in your ministry with people that are smarter...
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Can a practicing homosexual be a Christian?

I’ve said for a long time that this debate on homosexuality is not going away anytime soon. But this article headline caught my eye. It asks a very pointed question… well… actually it doesn’t ask the question.  It just gives an answer:  Practicing homosexuals CAN NOT be Christians. Here are the six points.  You can read more detail here… 1.  To call oneself an authentic Christian and remain a practicing homosexual is a direct contradiction of biblical teaching and contrary to the “abundant life” promised by Jesus. 2. Practicing homosexuality is most...
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Church: We had nothing to do with this rape

“While we are deeply saddened over the crimes committed and asking God to bring healing to the victim and her family, we are convinced that Delaware Grace had no connection to Brian’s criminal activity.” That’s the statement from the Grace Brethren Church in Sunbury, OH. Their former Senior Pastor, Brian Williams, has been convicted of raping a 15-year-old girl. But the church had no part in it… according to the church.  At least that’s what they’re saying after they’re being sued for negligence. The prosecution’s case? Brian Williams, as a pastor, had two...
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Why your church might not have a CLEAR strategy for life change

My friend Tony Morgan has a GREAT post this week at his blog.  It talks about a new study that found many business executives do not believes their company’s strategy will lead to success. Tony draws from that study why churches might not have a clear strategy for life change. I think these are spot on: Churches are afraid to define success. They realize that if they establish a clear vision for their future, there’s a new level of accountability from leadership, staff and the congregation. Or, if they do define a vision, it’s so broad that it doesn’t establish any focused direction for...
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So… you got some hate mail. Now what?

You haven’t been a pastor long if you haven’t received a nasty email… or better yet… an anonymous note telling you how Satan must have sent you there (sent, 99% of the time) in the offering plate. David Murray gives some ideas as to how to handle three different kinds of hate mail: First, a definition: Hate mail is motivated by hate, a desire to harm and hurt. It is usually insensitive in tone and content, and intends to discourage, damage, dishearten, and demoralize.Appropriate criticism is motivated by love, by a desire to help and grow a person. It is expressed with...
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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...
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Punching conflict in the throat…

Here are some great quotes on how to deal with conflict: Tension is a powerful platform to clarify what is important. Out of tension many times comes change—change for good. Generational tension is essential in passing the mantle of leadership. For the Church to move forward in culture, older leaders must pass on their wisdom and legacy to younger leaders. Leaders lead in the fray. Leading in the safety zone is easy, but true leadership happens in the fray where change is happening and there is a unique tug-of-war happening in that area. Tension among and within a team is healthy. Unity doesn’t...
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What Mark Driscoll thinks you should fear as a pastor

Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle talks about what pastors should fear. He covers the difference between merely knowing what to fear and how to act upon that fear in a healthy way. SOURCE:  I4J
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