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Taking time from the day-to-day to take the long view
Taking time from the day-to-day to take the long view
Most leaders have heard and have benefited from Ron Heifetz's insistence that leaders need "balcony time," when they step back from the metaphorical dance floor of their daily obligations to take the long, strategic view.
5 sure-fire ways to improve your leadership skills
5 sure-fire ways to improve your leadership skills
As the 2016 presidential election begins to come into focus, one of the biggest questions people have is how well can the candidates lead. And why shouldn’t it be? While ideas are good, leadership brings them to reality. Plus, we all love a chari...
10 commandments for pastors, politics, and social media
10 commandments for pastors, politics, and social media
There are few topics that evoke as much emotion as politics. The intensity of emotions is particularly evident during presidential elections. Pastors and church staff are not oblivious to political emotions. Indeed, some of them can be among the most i...
Are you connected with fellow church business administrators?
Are you connected with fellow church business administrators?
We all know we need other believers to help us mature spiritually, hold us accountable and provide encouragement. The same concept applies to our professional efforts. We need the insights, wisdom and more from others who work in similar roles. The iro...
IRS sued for refusing to release secret 'church investigations' procedures
IRS sued for refusing to release secret 'church investigations' procedures
Government watchdog groups have filed a motion in federal court to compel the IRS to reveal how it determines when to initiate "church investigations" after accusing the tax-collecting agency of "stonewalling" efforts to bring to light its procedures. ...
Men and women divide on religion
Men and women divide on religion
Fewer men than women show up in U.S. churches, and women are markedly more likely to pray and to hold up religion as important. Those are among the top findings in a new Pew Research study of the gender gap in religion, drawn from data in 192 nations. ...
Survey: Trends in church budgets
Survey: Trends in church budgets
A recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research reveals positive changes in the outlook of church finances — but it also raises concerns about the state of church budgets. "Wages grew in 2015, and inflation and unemployment remained low," said Scot...
5 burnout warning signs (and how to respond)
5 burnout warning signs (and how to respond)
Most of us are rational optimists; we believe in our teams and more than likely make one of the easiest assumptions that is frequently violated: The assumption that you'll always remain enthusiastic and energized about your role. The truth is, burnout ...
Seeking God, and redemption, in a Texas prison seminary
Seeking God, and redemption, in a Texas prison seminary
Inmates in white uniforms carrying Bibles filed into a classroom at the maximum security Darrington Unit prison in Texas, some with gang tattoos snaking up forearms, others bearded and graying, all eager to contemplate the most vexing theological quest...
Daredevil pastor to test faith with fire
Daredevil pastor to test faith with fire
John "Mercury" Morgan isn't your typical pastor. Sure, he performs baptisms, conducts weddings and delivers a sermon every Sunday. But he also happens to like to ride his bicycle through fire. Morgan, 51, is the senior pastor at Faith on Fire Fellowshi...
Tennessee adopts protections for Christian counselors
Tennessee adopts protections for Christian counselors
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed a bill that protects Christian counselors who don’t want to advise people in same-sex relationships. “No counselor or therapist providing counseling therapy services shall be required to counsel or...
Churches and cybersecurity risks
Churches and cybersecurity risks
With many churches now relying upon technology and online platforms to share and store information about the church, the risk of churches being targeted by hackers is a growing threat. In fact, failing to take action to prevent hacking or other cyberse...
How to talk about church health ... without taking a head count
How to talk about church health ... without taking a head count
How's your church doing? It's a question all church leaders are asked sooner or later, and if it catches them off-guard, it can be tempting to fall back on Sunday morning censuses and budgetary breakdowns, even when they know that data doesn’t te...
Muslim villagers donate money to build church for Christian community in Pakistan
Muslim villagers donate money to build church for Christian community in Pakistan
Muslim villagers in Pakistan are helping to fund a new church for their neighbors in a show of religious solidarity six years after the Christian community was attacked by mobs in the area. People in the village of Khaksabad are donating what they can ...
What can your church do to be better at follow-up?
What can your church do to be better at follow-up?
Once a church has been established for a certain period of time, it can be easy for the pastor, elders, worship team members, ministry leaders and members to fall into a routine pattern every week. Of course, having an order of worship and a structured...
4 ways churches fail when it comes to asking for money
4 ways churches fail when it comes to asking for money
Nobody likes to ask for money. But let's be honest, your church needs money. Whether it's for a leak in your roof, a mission trip to Honduras or everyday maintenance and salaries, there will come a time that your church will need to ask for money. But ...
3 essential branding tips for church growth
3 essential branding tips for church growth
People who follow after Christ are far from a majority in this world. We find ourselves struggling in a community that has little concept of who we are as a church. Most think it's a closed group of unintelligent "sheep" who are overwhelmed with rules ...
The church collection plate goes digital
The church collection plate goes digital
At the end of a service, a member of the worship team will call on parishioners to tithe and pass the collection plate. But not all people reach into their wallet. Many take out their phone instead.
This is how great leaders use employee feedback
This is how great leaders use employee feedback
We tend to throw the word "leader" around so much it has lost most of its meaning. Any CEO, entrepreneur, or company founder is called a business leader. But that doesn’t really mean they're effectively leading anybody. So what is it that makes a...
6 symptoms of church ministry silos
6 symptoms of church ministry silos
Most churches don't want to admit that they have ministry silos. But admit it or not, the common natural drift of churches toward silos means that many currently have them. Ministry silos are multiple independent ministries operating under one roof. Ho...
How email automation can improve ministry communication
How email automation can improve ministry communication
You should be using email automation. It's efficient, lets you send timely messages and will make your life easier as a church communication professional. A great example of an automated email is the email receipt you get from a retailer when you purch...
5 tips for improving retention of your top talent
5 tips for improving retention of your top talent
You know that employee turnover is a huge cost to your business, and you also know that you cannot run a successful company without a strong team. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) estimates that every time a salaried employee is replac...
6 essentials for churches engaging millennials
6 essentials for churches engaging millennials
While millennials are less churched than most generations, data has shown they are no less spiritual. So why aren’t they in our pews? The longer Welsey Spears-Newsome, pastoral intern at Union Grove United Methodist Church, has examined this ques...
7 tips for cultivating traditioned innovation in leadership teams
7 tips for cultivating traditioned innovation in leadership teams
I like the idea of traditioned innovation and believe it is a biblical way of thinking. But how can I learn to practice it in my leadership, and to help my team of direct reports do so as well? This question is as important as it is complex: How can on...
Study finds unique positive mental health factors for clergy
Study finds unique positive mental health factors for clergy
In a recent study, associate research professor of global health Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell and her colleagues discovered that factors that decrease the likelihood of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are not necessarily the same as t...
6 tips for managing meetings well
6 tips for managing meetings well
Few [people] enter the pastorate with any concept of how many meetings they will attend. The pastorate is filled with meetings, and you will often lead them. Small group, one-on-one, and staff meetings occur every week. While they are important to prep...
5 ways to simplify VBS registration
5 ways to simplify VBS registration
Getting ready to run a vacation bible school, or VBS, is no small task. There are many steps involved in pulling together a successful program that reaches kids effectively. While there are many tasks involved in pulling together volunteers, designing ...
7 surprising questions great leaders ask
7 surprising questions great leaders ask
Great leaders ask great questions – have you ever wondered why? Do great leaders intentionally develop the art of asking great questions because they know it’s an essential leadership skill or do people who learn to ask great questions even...
Mobile churches turn space for rent into houses of worship
Mobile churches turn space for rent into houses of worship
It was 6:54 a.m., and the church altar was nine minutes late. Christians have a song proclaiming God is always on time. But the physical church has been late on occasion – especially when it’s stuffed into a trailer and towed across New Jer...
My love/hate relationship with leadership
My love/hate relationship with leadership
Ed Stetzer has a love/hate relationship with leadership. First of all, he hates it because he's not a natural born leader. He's never been able to step into leadership roles effortlessly. He meets people who just became leaders because of who they are....
When a minister can't manage
When a minister can't manage
A seminary degree is not an MBA. There are no accounting classes in seminary. Most ministers don’t dream about the process of hiring people or look forward to the annual performance reviews. Policies and procedures often elicit a gag reflex, and ...
Saddleback Church welcomes prison inmate of 30 years as new ministry leader
Saddleback Church welcomes prison inmate of 30 years as new ministry leader
A former prisoner who spent more than 30 years behind bars has become Saddleback Church’s leader of Mercy Ministry, a ministry to prisoners. Christian Today reports that Danny Duchene, who was sentenced to prison at the age of 19 for killing two ...
When to bring a coach into your organization
When to bring a coach into your organization
Coaching can be a valuable tool. Like with any tool, though, it helps to know what you can use it for and, of course, how to use it. Coaching is a great way to help employees at any level through some sort of transition. Specifically, it is an effectiv...
Where successful church plants get their money
Where successful church plants get their money
More than half of new church plants (58 percent) are financially self-sufficient by their fourth year, a LifeWay Research study shows. Almost a quarter (23 percent) are financially independent in their first year. LifeWay tracked the financial steps of...
The brand and value of a church
The brand and value of a church
All of us understand that when you have something of value, you protect it. We may differ on defining value, such as whether it is based on a monetary or sentimental cost associated with the item, but the principle of making sure that an item of value ...
4 tricks to conquering church social media
4 tricks to conquering church social media
Social media is here to stay. In fact, 45 percent of users feel "worried or uncomfortable" when email or Facebook aren't accessible. We like scrolling through our feeds, with many of us getting our news from it. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Sna...
Going to church could help you live longer, study says
Going to church could help you live longer, study says
Many Americans say they attend church because it helps them stay grounded and gives them spiritual guidance. A new study suggests that regular attendance may also help increase their lifespan. Researchers looked at data on nearly 75,000 middle-age fema...
7 rules on engagement for online theological discussions
7 rules on engagement for online theological discussions
Christians have had their share of social media successes in over the past few years, many of them related to identifying theological error and defending theological truth. This work has been carried on through blogs, of course, but also through Facebo...
Interview questions prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act
Interview questions prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it unlawful for a covered employer to discriminate against a qualified applicant or employee with a disability. The ADA applies to private employers having 15 or more employees and engaged in commerce. Th...
What if every Sunday was Easter Sunday?
What if every Sunday was Easter Sunday?
One helicopter, lots of Easter eggs and an event that went viral in the community. That combination didn't turn out so well Sunday for a church in Plano, Texas. What was planned to be a fun event for the community went awry when a crowd of about 10,000...
Why do we pick-and-choose our religious beliefs? Blame social media
Why do we pick-and-choose our religious beliefs? Blame social media
There is growing evidence that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are changing how people think about their faith. Paul McClure, a doctoral student at Baylor University, studied how social media affects youth and young adult religion beliefs. Mc...
7 steps to successfully launch a church rebrand
7 steps to successfully launch a church rebrand
A church rebrand is something most pastors will only do 1 or 2 times in the course of their ministry. It can be a challenging, emotional, and even expensive thing to do. It can also be rewarding, energizing and even healing for a congregation. The foll...
Church safety: Policies for children's ministry
Church safety: Policies for children's ministry
Now that we've discussed establishing a safety team, preventing and treating medical emergencies at your church and addressing your building's physical grounds, let’s discuss child safety. No matter how large or small your church is, keeping kids...
4 surprising revelations from church focus groups
4 surprising revelations from church focus groups
I travel around the U.S. talking to demographic church groups to better understand what's happening in a specific local church – successes, failures and themes to help the church communicate more effectively to reach deeper into their community. ...
7 concerning findings about benefits for pastors and church staff
7 concerning findings about benefits for pastors and church staff
It is a tragedy that many church members have misperceptions about pay and compensation of ministry staff. Many of our ministers are underpaid by community standards. Even more don't have benefits common in the secular world. Our pastors and church sta...
Religion in everyday life
Religion in everyday life
A new Pew Research Center study of the ways religion influences the daily lives of Americans finds that people who are highly religious are more engaged with their extended families, more likely to volunteer, more involved in their communities and gene...
Infographic: New managers are not ready to lead
Infographic: New managers are not ready to lead
In the first quarter of 2015, millennials became the biggest demographic in the American workforce. The oldest millennials are 36 now — heading toward 40. GenX is so much smaller than GenY that it was inevitable we would end up with a younger dem...
When disaster relief brings anything but relief
When disaster relief brings anything but relief
When nature grows savage and angry, Americans get generous and kind. That's admirable. It might also be a problem.
Proposed legislation seeks to cripple faith-based higher education in California
Proposed legislation seeks to cripple faith-based higher education in California
A bill rushing through California's state legislature could deliver a fatal blow to Christian education, legal experts warn.
10 warning signs a servant leader has become the 'king' of his kingdom
10 warning signs a servant leader has become the 'king' of his kingdom
As Christian leaders, we are called to serve others even as we're completely reliant on God. Too often, though, a leader who was once a servant wrongly transitions into being the king of his own kingdom. Here are some signs that a leader has become the...
Cheerleaders for Christ
Cheerleaders for Christ
The cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas, have been painting Bible verses on the banners they hold up at football games for nearly four years. Players line up on Friday nights behind a big stretch of unrolled butcher paper, busting through it as they run ont...
The one leadership skill that impacts overall success
The one leadership skill that impacts overall success
The single most important skill of a good leader may not be what you think. Although it is important to be visionary and a strategic thinker, a new study suggests that it’s more rooted in their daily dealings with people. According to DDI, the le...
Most common mistakes pastors and church leaders make on social media
Most common mistakes pastors and church leaders make on social media
While there is some overlap with church social media accounts on what not to do, there are some distinct mistakes made by church leaders that are typically not made by church accounts. One mistake is "customer service rants." Too many pastors and churc...
Churches examine white privilege
Churches examine white privilege
In the wake of the continuing deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers, some white church leaders say they can no longer check off their racial-justice to-do list by hosting a Black History Month event. Instead, they are holding work...
How a Texas church drove out the predatory loan industry
How a Texas church drove out the predatory loan industry
Payday lenders have been having a tough time in Garland, Texas. Their storefronts have closed, their gaudy signs spray-painted over in black. In recent months, about a third have left the city of 230,000, situated 18 miles northeast of Dallas. Nobody ...
Churches, Christian-based recovery groups playing vital role in saving America's working class fr...
Churches, Christian-based recovery groups playing vital role in saving America's working class fr...
America's working class has been the subject of studies analyzing the large spikes in alcohol- and drug-related deaths over the last few decades, and churches and Christian-based recovery groups are playing a vital role in saving lives by helping peopl...
Church trends in the United States and beyond
Church trends in the United States and beyond
Raise your hand if you think Christianity in the United States is dying. If you do, consider what Matt Morrison of e3 Partners has to say about local church trends. In a recent article, Morrison exhibited five reasons why Christians in the United State...