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 […]

Getting Ready for Sunday

As the pastor, the reminder “Sunday’s coming” may bring feelings of elation or dread. To be fair, most pastors live week-to-week and much of their waking time is spent with an eye toward worship. It might be an overstatement to say we’re obsessed by the weekend, but for most of us, it’s not much […]

First Week of the New Year

No matter what, most resolutions are broken before the second week of January rolls around.

Good intentions pave the road to yesterday’s results.

If you’re committed to changing things in your church, now’s the time to begin.

And it all begins with you, pastor.

Here are five-and-a-half practices that guarantee that the end of this year won’t look […]

Christmas Eve on Sunday

Christmas Eve, the most important time of the year to reach the unchurched (yes, it’s more important than Easter these days), is fast approaching and far too many pastors will be enticed by their church leaders to make one of the most fatal mistakes possible. And this year that enticement will be even more […]

The 7 Front Lines of Hospitality

At my church, the first person a guest likely has conversation with is “Tom.”  Tom has Asperger Syndrome.  He’s the perfect front line for hospitality.  His life situation keeps him focused on the mission at hand.  He’s not distracted by people he knows who are tempted to chat with each other.

His job is to […]

The Long Game

One of the most frustrating realities about a turnaround is that it takes more time to get ready for a successful turnaround than it does to grow a church. 

Let me explain.
There are Several Ways to Grow a Church

Give me a big enough budget and I can fill your church I don’t care how […]