Polishing your Discipleship Path

It's exciting to see new people at church each weekend. The number of new guests play a vital role in church growth. While it is important for churches to be appealing to new people, it is equally important to make sure you have the right next steps so guests can find and follow Jesus. In Tony Morgan's book, The Unstuck Church, he talks about the importance of creating pathways instead of programs. Unlike programs, a path offers a relational journey where people can grow in their relationship with Jesus and other people. 
Here's the big question. Are you wanting to produce members or disciples? If membership is the end goal, you'll probably get a lot of names on the roster, but few people involved in ministry. Since Jesus made it clear that making disciples is the objective of the church (Matthew 28:19), we can't settle for a path that simply creates church members. 
At the end of the day, every church has some sort a pathway. Unfortunately, it isn't always a pro…

Polishing Your Guest Strategy

Holidays can bring new people to your church and create opportunities for impact. Most pastors can easily name the big days that bring high attendance; Christmas, Easter, New Year and Mother’s Day are usually on the radar. However, knowing about big days and planning for them are two different things. Too often, these days sneak up on pastors, resulting in last minute planning and low impact. One of the biggest days comes early this year. Easter is only a few weeks away! If you just paused your reading to send a text saying, “OMG! Easter is just a few weeks away!” to your team, please keep reading. 
When big days sneak up on you, the rule of thumb is to polish what’s working instead of trying to create something new. Creating new requires time and planning; and if you’re the guy who sent the text, time isn’t on your side. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to talk about different areas you can polish to help enhance your impact. This week we’re going talk about Guest Strategy
The main…

3 Changes Leaders Avoid Making

Why Small Churches Get Stuck: 3 Changes Leaders Avoid Making
 0BY ON JUNE 12, 2017LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT I am fortunate to serve as a ministry consultant with The Unstuck Group. Helping churches get unstuck is very fun and rewarding. I also serve as a coach, where I get the privilege to talk with pastors on a monthly basis to help them fight for healthy growth within their church. Although I work with churches of all shapes, sizes and flavors, they all have one thing in common: they want to grow. It’s not uncommon for a client to ask, “How long will it take to see growth?” That’s a loaded question and one that I can’t answer with a number. The bigger question is: how willing are you to lead change? It’s easy for people to get excited about growing a church, but when the change begins, it often brings more hesitation than excitement. I’ve learned something really important: growth and change are synonymous.<

The Leader Vitality Wheel

There’s a reason you can find thousands of books, blogs and podcasts on leadership: Leading people is hard inany organization, and especially in the church.

Many people believe preaching and teaching are your only duties. (These people obviously have never been involved in church leadership.) In addition to sharing God’s word, you deal with hurting people, broken marriages and other life crisis situations regularly. You have the complicated task of leading a combined workforce of paid staff and volunteers of all ages and many different giftings. During my 16 years as a lead pastor, I remember coming home from work completely empty countless times. Consistent exposure to life crisis and the everyday pressure of leading a church can rob pastors and leaders of their personal vitality. It’s like starving to death in a grocery store. You feed everyone but yourself.
Vitality Myth:If I take care of everybody else, God will take care of me.Vitality Fact:I am the only person who can take care of me…

Launching an Additional Sunday Service

For a pastor, hardly anything is as exciting as seeing people fill the chairs on Sunday morning. Pastors and leaders love it when people have to look for a seat. While leaders get excited, guests don't, especially when they are looking a place where they can sit together as a family. When seating capacity consistently hits around seventy to eighty percent each week, something needs to be done. Usually there are three options: 
1) Expand the current building 2) Start a new campus 3) Add an additional service

Out of the three, adding a new service makes most sense, as it would take less time and money. However, that doesn't mean it should take less planning. There is a lot of value in having more than one Sunday gathering each week. In addition to utilizing your current space and facilities, it can create energy, momentum and gives people options.
I have worked with churches who have done a superb job adding an additional service, while others not so much. The latter group are those …

Confessions of a Conference Junkie

I try to attend at least two or three leadership conferences each year. There is a lot of value in hearing talented, gifted people share their stories and experiences. In addition to hearing great speakers, the conversations with other attendees are priceless. Some of my greatest learnings and takeaways have happened over a cup of coffee in-between sessions with like-minded leaders.
Rewind several years ago and you could find me, not at two or three, but at several conferences throughout the year. I confess, Iwas a conference junkie. I was at every conference that my time and budget allowed. If conference paraphernalia (pens, notebooks, lanyards, etc) are considered trophies, I had enough to fill two cases. One of the opening questions almost always asked at the beginning of each event was, “Are you ready to drink from a firehose over the next two days?” For a junkie like me, there was only one answer. Bring it. When the conference ended, I returned home and in a few months, I was alr…

The Church That Voted for a Slow Death

The Church That Voted for a Slow Death 0
BY ON OCTOBER 17, 2017LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT The average age of the congregation was 62 years old. The budget had been red for a while; the church was only a few years away from being cashless. They were on life support. The elders knew it, and that’s why they called The Unstuck Group.   This church of 120 people is located in a highly populated, major U.S. city. It’s over a hundred years old and has been experiencing steady decline for a long time. During the strategic planning part of our process, we determined several priority action initiatives to bring the church back to an outward focus, as well as a major budget revision to stop the bleeding. Without difficult changes, the church would continue to dwindle as it focused only on itself — but it would also run out of money, and fast. Here’s the kicker. Digging into the budget revealed a disproportionate amount of spending on staff. Specifically, the senior pastor was paid a six-fig…