Perhaps you’ve heard the often-told adage that 80 percent of all new church plants fail. Not true. While there’s no comprehensive research on the total number of new churches started annually, the most recent research on literally thousands of new church starts show that 99 percent of all new churches survive the first year, and 68 percent survive to year four. Moreover, of the churches that survive, more than 70 percent are self-sufficient financially by the fifth year.
There are many very important aspects to making a good hire. They include a good job posting, posting to the right places, reference calls, résumé review, the interview process, crafting the right job description, prayer, more prayer, and many more. However, one key stands out above the others. What is it? It’s your gut.
In my ministry in visiting, encouraging and partnering with literally hundreds of churches, there are five essential aspects of church leadership that I am committed to never forget. Here they are in a condensed form. To make it interesting, the most important is actually the last one on the list.
It seems we’ve all grown too accustomed to settling for being told ‘half-truths’ obviously designed to deceive. Politicians are likely at the top of the list of half-truth-tellers — but half-truths are also featured regularly on our nightlight news, radio ads, commercials, the Internet, and even many companies’ sales reports.
The problem with any half-truth is it’s actually a whole lie.
Calm is the “unicorn” of virtues in a world gone mad.
all-is-calmSomewhere along the line, it became cool to be loud and bitter.
It became an expectation that, for us to change the world (our job, apparently), we had to become social activists. Not the good kind — the Rosa Parks type of social activist. I mean the other kind. The abrasive, snarky, shaming, Jesus-juking, share-button-hitting, constantly outraged kind of social activists.
I want to take a moment to encourage you, as a leader, to embrace it, cherish it, and make the most of it. We can get so busy with the hustle and bustle that we can find ourselves looking forward to it being over. I get that — but truly, what a mistake that is.
Let me encourage you to do a few things to make the most of your holidays together at a family and spiritual level this year.
What is your favorite type of hat?
Mine is, by far, baseball caps. I have a whole wall and more in my garage of probably 60 to 70 baseball caps. Right now, I’m wearing my Chicago Cubs hat with a Santa cap on the historic Cubs “C” — love it!
Whether or not we love to wear hats on our head, we all wear them in life. I submit to you that all of us should have no more than two hats of commitment at any one time in the major areas of our lives.
Good leaders are both analysts and catalysts. Leaders must accurately describe reality. Leaders must create for a better future. An analyst has a proper understanding of present reality. A catalyst knows what to create for a better future. The analyst helps followers understand the present. The catalyst inspires followers to move towards the future.
I’m in the process right now of setting up the annual learning trip for our church’s leadership team. We plop down in a city for a few days and discuss the best practices of several churches.
This year, I had two churches that I had relationships with and lined them up right away. However, as I’ve been looking for a third church to meet with, I have run into three churches in a row that have had a senior leader resign in recent years due to a moral failure — again, all in one city!
Leaders blow it sometimes, don’t we?
The “established” side of the established church is often viewed with some derision. I certainly understand why.The establishment can be stodgy, stuck and stuffy. Being established, however, is what you make it.