On May 18, 2014, Powhatan Community Church (Powhattan, VA) enjoyed its largest single giving day in the church’s 13-year history. And, founder and Senior Pastor Brian C. Hughes reported that the church was on budget to make the most aggressive budget increase in 10 years. All this exceeded the giving increase for which Hughes and his staff’s planned and prayed.
Whether toddlers or 20-year employees, the reality is that conflict is inevitable. It’s not if, but how, you deal with it that defines you. There are four kinds of conflict-resolving people: The Wimp, The Driver, The Accommodator and The Winner.
I use the term “statesman” not in a truly political sense, though I do believe pastors should be the most active “ambassadors” for Christ in their churches. Pastors are statesmen in that they must realize they always represent their churches. That hat never comes off.
For many of us, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are a time when we give ourselves permission to overindulge in rich dishes and irresistible desserts. January brings the time to take stock of all that feasting and make a resolution to lose weight and get in shape.
Churches can also benefit from the opportunity that the New Year provides to re-think priorities. One issue to consider is how to improve communication between the pastor and the congregation. Among the most effective methods for strengthening the lines of communication is the formation of a Pastoral Relations Committee.
As iServe pastor, Mari Beth Poor oversees the “on the mountain” ministries that enhance the overall experience of people attending Sunday worship services at Mountaintop Community Church. These include guest services, student ministries, children’s ministry, and worship and media. She also leads the church’s “off the mountain” community efforts and global outreach.
The aisles that guide your congregation to a higher power could lead to slips, trips and falls if you’re not careful. Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council. Those injuries accounted for about 8.8 million visits to the emergency room in 2013 — a nearly 500,000 drop from about 9.3 million visits to the emergency room in 2011.
In this series installment, Paul Gage — who has consulted more than 500 church capital campaigns, with results exceeding $1 billion — focuses on the second phase of a campaign: Organization. According to Gage, the three most critical components of this phase are Prayer, Presentation and Preaching.
Church members not only look for spiritual leadership from their pastoral staff, but they also have expectations that donations made will be widely used. Often, they expect leadership to provide financial reports produced from a reliable accounting package, verifying their trust.
I recently conducted a small Facebook test. Survey participants were asked to answer three questions about giving. Here’s what I found:
• 96% of people consider themselves to be generous
• 80% of those same people want to be more generous than they currently are
• 92% feel held back by a lack of money
These findings represent a strange tension between who we are, who we want to be, and our perceived lack that stands in the way.
Seminary is not about answering every question a church leader might encounter; it is about developing a holistic biblical worldview and obtaining the right tools to understand those questions and discern the answers. It is about being prepared to apply biblical truth in a variety of social and cultural contexts. It is about speaking the truth of the gospel with humility and grace.