Why your church needs more (often) announcements in worship

Most of us have entered the twilight zone of worship announcements at some point. A person approaches the pulpit with the same gait as one walking the plank. A piece of paper unfolds, multiple times. The throat clears … loudly. What follows is usually awkward, many times painful, and sometimes memorable in all the wrong […]

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Signals for a maturing church

Is your church healthy or not? It’s a difficult question to answer. When people ask, I often reply, “What’s your definition of ‘healthy?’” There are many metrics that point to — or signal — the health of a congregation. If attendance has declined for 50 years and the church has not baptized anyone in 10 […]

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5 levels of church disasters

She was adamant about going through with the baptism. I tried to convince her to put it off a week. The heating element in the baptistery had gone out. It was January. The morning’s temperature was somewhere below zero. It wasn’t a crisis, but it felt like it. We spent the Bible study hour boiling […]

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The biggest leadership distraction

Followers can bring distractions to leaders. A few years ago, I received a phone call I’ll never forget. It was someone telling me a prominent and faithful church member had died suddenly. He was a doctor and well-respected in the community. The town was already talking about his passing. We huddled together as a staff. […]

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How leaders go numb

I’ve had a few dramatic stumbles when I stand quickly, only to realize one of my legs has mysteriously fallen asleep. The numbness makes it feel like the leg has suddenly gone missing, only to give sharp tingling reminders that it indeed is still there. A foot, arm or leg falls asleep because of too […]

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Why pastors neglect managing

We’ve made the distinction between leadership and management too stark.

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The tension of ideology and progress

Healthy churches have many points of tension. For example, churches grow by adding new believers. New believers are immature (and typically passionate), which means church programming must balance between immature congregants and mature congregants. Most every pastor has experienced the volley: Yes, deeper! No, too deep! This tension is like a taut tightrope; it tugs […]

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A Critical (Often Overlooked) Trait of an Excellent Worship Pastor

In my previous post, I revealed a critical — yet overlooked — trait of executive pastors. I will do the same for worship pastors in this post.

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A Critical (Often Overlooked) Trait of an Excellent Executive Pastor

In many churches, the senior pastor leans on the executive pastor more than any other person.

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When the Status Quo is Just Fine

References to the status quo often evoke images of staleness, like weeks-old bread on your counter that is still technically edible but far from its original freshness. No one gets excited about crustiness, especially in the church. There is a lot out there on changing, challenging and deconstructing the status quo in churches. Rightly so […]

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