What is the Secret to Effective Worship?

I am driven by the terrible fact that only about 15% of Americans worship as Christians on a given weekend.  This consumes me.  In a country where we are free to worship, why do so many refrain? What about you?  Are you like me?  Are you distressed by our worship reality?  Do you wonder how […]

5 Ways to Leverage Your Church Music Ministry

Perhaps you've noticed, people aren't clamoring to go to church these days.  On any given weekend, about 15% of Americans worship as Christians.  But do not despair, your church music ministry can be a great resource for contemporary evangelism. At The Effective Church Group, we feel keenly that pastors of churches under 500 at worship […]

Long Pastoral Tenures Are Best

History has shown that Long-term pastoral tenures are better than short-term tenures because they produce more effective churches. By long-term we mean 20+ years. Yet, the average pastoral tenure is between four and five years. So what needs to happen so that we have more long-term tenures of over 20+ years? Bloom Where You’re Planted […]

Why Large Churches Are More Effective Than Small Churches

If you have an aversion to large churches, then this article isn’t for you. But if you are open to the possibility that large churches may be better than small churches, then read on. I’m aware some may think all I’m interested in is BIG, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m a […]

Try This for Finding Church Visitors

Last weekend, about 15% of Americans were a part of Christian worship.  If you are a Christian leader, that should be enough to get you motivated. Many church leaders weren't trained for what ministry looks like today.  The bottom line: Could you use more visitors in your church?  If so, let's get started. Some years […]

The Path to Becoming a Successful Church Consultant

I don't know what the deal is, but over the past couple of weeks we've been inundated with requests from current pastors who have become interested in becoming church consultants. I've responded personally, but I think there's enough interest that I wanted to set the record straight about what it takes to be a successful […]

On Not Being Nice for the Sake of the Gospel

The following is one of our most asked-for blog posts.  It was written two decades ago, but it is still as relevant today as it was then. Throughout all my consulting ministry, I have seen a disturbing pattern: most established churches are held hostage by one or two bullies. Either one individual or a small group […]

Bad Information for a Young Pastor

Jim was right out of seminary and into his third year as pastor of his first church. He had worked hard all three years, but the church didn't grow. In fact, if anything, it was smaller than when he arrived. His frustration level was high. I ran into Jim at a seminar I was doing […]

Don’t Let the Tail Wag the Dog

The vast majority of dying churches I know get their priorities mixed up. Every church has a primary priority and secondary priorities. The primary priority of any church should be effectively growing the Kingdom, and it can’t be doing that if it totally dies. Secondary priorities can be any kind of mission they choose. However, many […]

Directness Wins … At Least for Me

I’ve never been very good at catching subtle hints … but was pretty good at laying them out there. For years, I worked with churches and tried to lead with gentle-ish suggestions, but little changed. It was in Loganville, Georgia where I intentionally made a change. I was the pastor of a historic church on […]