Good Word of Mouth Begins with a Great 1st Impression

In every Pizza with the Pastor gathering I have ever held for newcomers I would ask the same question, “What did you notice first when you came to our church?

Without fail I would hear repeatedly, “How warmly I was welcomed.”

I would convey that story often to our Hospitality, Ushering, Greeting, and Security (HUGS) Team […]

The Six Most Common Mistakes Pastors Make and What to do About Them

Over the years I’ve seen pastors make the same mistakes over and over. Every time I see these mistakes I can almost bet their church is declining. So I thought I would share with you the six most common mistakes I see pastors doing and what to do about it.

Mistake Number One: Not making […]


Cultural holidays are wonderful opportunities to attract people to your church. Take last weekend’s Super Bowl as an example. For years the church I pastored would host ‘Football Sunday’ and we would encourage unchurched people, especially men, to attend services wearing their favorite team’s jersey or colors. As a part of my message on […]

Dealing with C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T. in Your Church

One of the reasons churches don’t grow is because they are conflicted, and they don’t know how to deal with their conflicts. The potential for conflict exists wherever two or more people are gathered and that is just what the church is and does. Church’s experience conflict because of differing ideas and opinions, contrasting […]

Leveraging Valentine’s Day

When February 14th rolls around each year people make much ado about giving cards and gifts to the sweethearts in their lives. How can you convey to your congregation the real love that this holiday was originally intended to celebrate?

Two-hundred and fifty years or so after Jesus was born, during the reign of Emperor […]

Five Steps to Encourage a Guest’s Return Visit

An important step in the growth of any church is to do whatever you can to encourage your first time guests to return for a second week. Notice I use the word ‘guest’ not visitor. To treat first time attenders as a welcomed guest, there are five things I would like to suggest that […]

My Predictions for 2050

Over the years, I’ve made a few predictions about the future and every one of them has come true (you can see the bulk of them here). Now it’s time for another set of predictions. The first seven predictions are strictly about Christianity and the remaining predictions are secular but will need to be […]

The Basic Law of Congregational Life

Over the past twenty-five years I’ve worked with almost seven hundred churches of all sizes and locations. Most in the U.S. but some in Canada, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Ghana. And one overarching truth has emerged from my experiences in these churches – I call this truth  The Basic Law of Congregational Life. […]

Is Christmas Becoming Like Easter?

It’s an exciting time to be a pastor.  It’s equally exciting to be a consultant.  You have to stay on your toes.  These times are changing from moment to moment.

For some time, the Effective Church Group has referenced Easter as Alumni Sunday, meaning that it’s a time when members who rarely attend worship may […]