A few of my favorites from the NINES…

We had a great couple of days at the NINES!  It is such a privilege to serve with so many great leaders across the country and around the world. Our theme this year was “What’s Working (and what’s not)” in our churches.  It was a great time together; and some great ideas were shared.  I am so encouraged at how God is working through his church.  Sure, there is a lot of doom and gloom out there; but we had the opportunity to hear first-hand from some great leaders about exactly how God is blessing and where he’s working.  How cool is that? Here are just 3 of my...
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How NOT to get too full of yourself as a pastor

Oh, pastor… what a great sermon. The church grows year after year. Watch out. Ever met a haughty pastor? Or an entitled one? We all have. But how do you make sure you don’t become entitled or haughty? Carlos Whitaker has five suggestions: 1. Don’t have a reserved parking space until you are old enough that you can’t walk. 2. Stay out of your little green room/private dressing room as much as possible. 3. Have coffee/breakfast/lunch once a week with a pastor of a church WAY smaller than yours. 4. If you receive double honor, make sure you give out quadruple honor. 5. Treat applause like...
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Are you ‘interruptible’?

Face-to-face communication does things that digital communications (texting, email, etc.) cannot. From Fastcompany: Think about the total sum of information that gets transferred if you’re texting with your friend about where to get lunch versus speaking over the phone: on the phone you hear the tone of their voice, if they’re pausing for emphasis, and if they say “like” way too much. Over text you get the words themselves, but fewer of these less-linguistic signals, which can get misleading (or offensive). Let’s review the logic: If we want to understand each other, we...
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Bob Franquiz: Making Your Church More Magnetic

Over the last few months it seems as though I have had more conversations about creating an environment that welcomes the spiritually unresolved than anything else. Between you and me, I love helping churches think through how to create a more welcoming culture. This is why I am so excited about today’s Ministry Briefing Conversation. I don’t know of a church on the face of the planet that doesn’t want to be a place where the unchurched feel welcome. We go to conferences where they talk about it, we buy tons of books addressing the subject, and we have countless conversations with our teams...
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Why Your Church Hasn’t Grown to Over 200 People (Yet)

Carey Nieuwhof (one of our NINES speakers this year) has a very simple idea as to why many churches never grow to be over 200 people. Carey starts off by saying there is nothing wrong with being a church of 200.  Nothing at all. But most leaders of churches under 200 actually WANT their church to grow. (I don’t know of any pastor I’ve ever met that would say they didn’t). In fact, most small churches (and their leaders) have the desire, love, facility, and prayer to grow. Yet they don’t. Why? Carey suggests a simple answer: They organize, behave, lead and manage like...
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“Pastors Shouldn’t Make Disciples, Much Less Care for People”

Some quotes today from Bill Easum: “Christ-centered pastors don’t make disciples, much less take care of people.”  “Pastors of growing, effective churches would rather equip ten people to make disciples than to make disciples themselves.” “Disciple-making and caring for people are too important, the task too great, and the personal rewards too bountiful for either to be reserved primarily for just one person in a congregation.”  Thoughts? Todd HT:...
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Vision 101: How to cast (or re-cast) your vision

Ronnie Floyd has some great tips on communicating and casting vision. Every once in a while, leaders need to step back and take a look at how they’re doing communicating vision. I think you’ll find this useful as you re-evaluate how you’re doing: When you are casting vision, I think you need to filter it by ensuring the vision is: Clear Clarity around a vision is imperative. As the communicator, you have to be clear about your understanding of it. This is why writing the vision is also imperative. This written documentation is what you will return to again and again. Through a...
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Selfish Cynics in the Church

Cynics in the church?  Shut up? But should you have cynical people on your leadership team? Seth Godin writes: Cynics are hard to disappoint. Because they imagine the worst in people and situations, reality rarely lets them down. Cynicism is a way to rehearse the let-downs the world has in store–before they arrive. And the cynic chooses this attitude at the expense of the group. Because he can’t bear to be disappointed, he shares his rehearsed disappointment with the rest of us, slowing down projects, betting on lousy outcomes and dampening enthusiasm. Do you have a cynic on your team?...
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What Should Your Church Be Measuring?

Will Mancini offers this list of 20 things you could be measuring in your church: Percent of new attenders in prior two years Guest percentage Profile of new attenders and guest including reason for attending Age of the church vs. age of the community Age of church vs. the age of new attenders in the prior two years Spiritual growth satisfaction Sense of connection to the church Giving patterns Adult conversion percentage Influence of ministries Group assimilation percentage Serving assimilation percentage Serving assimilation obstacles Invitation activity Invitation obstacles   Read more from...
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8 Ways You May Be Vulnerable to Spiritual Attack

Chuck Lawless offers up this list of ways that leaders often find themselves vulnerable to spiritual attack.  Here are the first four: 1. We focus on others, often to the neglect of ourselves. We are caregivers, rightly recognizing our responsibility to watch over the souls of others (Heb. 13:17). As pastors or lay leaders, we want to love people who re hurting, guide young believers, challenge older believers, and influence our community. Ministry, after all, is about others. When we neglect our own spiritual and physical well being in the process, though, we make ourselves susceptible to the...
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