Tired of Herding Cats?

You probably hear it as often as I do. "Trying to get them organized is like herding cats." Whether it's being applied to the stewardship committee, the congregational council, or the local minister's alliance, it's an apt simile whenever you come across a pack of individuals who are more interested in getting what they want […]

Smaller Boards Outperform Larger Boards – Duh!

A study by the Wall Street Journal discovered that larger corporations with smaller boards outperformed their larger-board counterparts by a significant margin. In fact, as few as 3-5 extra people made a difference in profit margins by up to 18 percent. Churches of every size have similar issues. The larger the board the less efficient and the […]

Team Building Basics

It's almost nominating time, and with nominations come the reconstitution of teams. But will they just do business as usual, or will they make a serious difference in your congregation? Much depends on what happens at their very first meeting. When a team comes together for the first time, typically the pecking order gets quickly […]

Slow … Steady … Strategic

One of the problems with high-functioning ministers is that our energy tends to always function quite highly, even to the point of dysfunction at times. Many of us score a high “P” on the Myers-Briggs Inventory (which, by the way stands for PANTS, as in fly-by-the-seat-of), so orderly doesn’t tend to be either in our […]

The Difficulty Of Making A Dream Come True

Over the 25 years I’ve been a consultant and coach I’ve noticed that one of the hardest actions facing a pastor is taking a dream and turning it into reality. Most pastors enter ministry dreaming about making a difference in people’s lives or changing the world or simply being part of a thriving church. The […]

The Fallacy of Outward-Focused Ministry

Whether we call it “Social Justice,” Social Action,” or “Mission-oriented” ministry, too many congregations are wearing themselves out and, worse, missioning themselves out of existence. What we need to do is find how we can start focusing our outward-focused ministries inside. I know, I know: we talk all the time about the dangers of navel-gazing […]

Have a “To Be” List

Everyone has a "to do" list.  Some folks are slaves to it; others make one up and then quickly abandon it. And some  are paranoid if they aren't able to mark off every item by the end of the day. Well, that's all and good but in the end it may or may not have […]

Why Your Church Won’t Be the Exception

I just returned from a church growth training event at a local church where we reviewed and evaluated their vision. Their vision statement was a bit wordy, but overall it got high marks. But a question arose from some of the members: "What about those in the congregation who don't support the vision ... who […]

The Ultimate Measurement

Have you ever wondered why the vast majority of the growing churches today are outside of the mainline stream? In fact all of the mainline denominations are in decline. I have a theory on why. Well, it’s more than a theory; it’s what I have observed in working with both mainline and non-mainline churches for […]

Time Management for Church Leaders

One of top questions we’ve heard during the Only Four Things Grow Churches tour has to do with the allocation of the pastor’s time. When we suggest that a pastor leading a church of under 450 needs to spend between 70 – 80 percent of their time networking with the unchurched, the grumbling becomes audible […]