Posts

A Follow-up Strategy for CEO's (Christmas & Easter Only people)

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I was recently talking with a pastor about the importance of building a strategic calendar and good invite strategies around the “big days” (Easter, Christmas, etc). During our conversation, he said something I have heard countless times before. “The big days are for the CEO's.” And by the way, he didn’t mean that his Easter Sunday was filled with corporate CEO's. Instead, he was using CEO as an acronym for Christmas-Easter-Only people. We have all seen it. We see it every year because Christmas and Easter happen...every year. 


As a former lead pastor, I can certainly remember the Sundays following Easter, Christmas or some other big day. The services were usually low attended and lacked the energy that was experienced the previous week. Those were usually the Sundays where the number two guy or the youth pastor was scheduled to teach. I've been there too. 
I have talked with churches that said they have pulled back the energy and efforts in trying to follow up with CEO peop…

How Churches can Live out their Mission

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Just about every secular organization has some sort of mission statement. They are usually framed and hanging on a wall or printed in their internal documents. A mission statement is a phrase that defines the aim and purpose of the organization. It answers the questions, “What do we value? Why do we exist?” 
God has given the church a mission as well. While there are literally thousands of mission statements floating around churches, most are tied (or should be) to Matthew 28:19-20, which says, 
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

I have never encountered a church that disagreed with this passage as the foundation of the mission. However, many churches struggle with living out the mission.
What does it really mean for a church to live out their mission? How ca…

Three Conversations that can inject Health into Leadership Development

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One of my favorite 80's movies is The Karate Kid. It's a story about a kid named Daniel who moves to California, meets a girl and soon after, meets her karate trained ex-boyfriend.  After getting beat up a few times, he meets Mr. Miyagi, a highly skilled Japanese martial artist.  Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel about life, love, honor, and yes (my favorite part), karate. In short, Mr. Miyagi developed Daniel from ordinary to extraordinary. In the world of church, that’s  the definition of leadership development; helping people discover  and use the extraordinary gifts and talents God has placed inside of them.

Developing leaders is always a hot topic. It comes up at nearly every church The Unstuck Group works with and showed up as a top trend in a recent Leadership Network study.I believe there are several reasons leadership development is always a front burner conversation, so I wanted to take a moment and share three of those reasons to help pastors and teams have helpful conversat…

Creating the Right Assimilation and Path for Discipleship

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Improving the weekend experience helps you expand the “front door” of your church. But on-ramps and next steps are what “close the back door.” In ministry, the word “assimilation” is often used to describe the process of integrating a new person into the life of a church. A good assimilation process provides a path for people to take. Most assimilation processes flow something like this:


First time guests are sent to the welcome center for a gift where their contact info is gathered.
The church sends an email or text to follow up, usually sharing more information about the church and its programs, or an upcoming event, like a Bible study.
If they return, they are asked to mark "Returning Guest" on their card.
If they take that step, the returning guest is usually asked to attend a class, at which the church invites the guest to become a church member.
Do you notice any issue with this process?
There’s an subtle but underlying assumption in the steps and their progression that th…

The Importance of Planning Christmas (and other big days) Early

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Even if you have no idea what Christmas looks like today, it’s not too late to put something on the whiteboard and start brainstorming. Planning can be a struggle for pastors. Especially when it comes to Christmas. Last month, I spoke with several pastors who had not yet had a conversation about Christmas (which is right around the corner). I totally get it. I remember the days as a lead pastor. Every Monday morning, we are reminded that Sunday is coming… again. Unfortunately a lack of planning can result in missed opportunities to impact people with the gospel. Late planning usually means poor planning, which leads to frustration among volunteers that are trying to pull off last minutes ideas (that are under-resourced and unorganized). In the blink of an eye, Thanksgiving will be over, which is when many pastors start thinking about Christmas. If that’s your normal planning rhythm, keep reading. Having early conversations about Christmas can result in gospel impact. It removes the “I wish…

Three Things that can Heighten Your Church Security

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For most people, the church has always been a symbol of peace; a safe place for people to gather and worship. That has drastically changed over the last few years. It is heartbreaking to hear stories of violence that destroy the lives of innocent people. When I work with different pastors, these stories sometimes come up and security becomes a part of the conversation. Questions like these are usually asked, “What does security look like in a church?, Who qualifies? What are the liabilities? Do we really need a security team?”


A few years ago, I asked my brother to come to our church and speak about the importance of church security. My brother served in the Air Force for four years, followed by several years in the Secret Service under President Bush. After 9/11 happened, he became a Federal Air Marshal and spent the next several years flying around the world. He went through extensive training on how to deal with terroristic violence.
One thing that I vividly remember him saying is, “…