Curing Congregational Low Self-Esteem

Many churches I work with suffer from low self-esteem and a sense of hopelessness. There are many reasons for this malaise, often because the congregation has come to believe their circumstances are insurmountable (they’re not, but that’s a post for another time). I’m working on a recommendation report from a consultation with a church that […]

Preaching to the New Target

Let’s be honest. Most of us pastor-types were taught to preach primarily to a Modern, well-churched or well-church-experienced audience. The target of our preaching was essentially “one of us.” I hear some of you howling in protest. “I was taught how to preach evangelistically!” Yeah, so was I … but those preaching methods presumed that […]

Three Leadership Metaphors

I like Metaphors because they encourage the imagination to run wild rather than just focus on a definition. In the case of leadership I like three primary metaphors that shed light on the role of a leader without confining leadership to the definition. Here they are. Shepherd However, let your imagination run wild here. Do […]

Great Leadership Part Two

A lot of pastors feel it’s inappropriate to use power, even if it might cause something good to happen. Great Leaders aren’t afraid to use power for the corporate good. They know that in the absence of strong leadership someone steps in to exercise power. They know what normally happens when leaders fail to lead […]

Great Leadership Part One

Leadership is an elusive characteristic. It takes many shapes but you always know a great leader when you see one in action. I’ve had the privilege of working with many of our nations best leaders, both secular and religious. And I hate to say it but I can divide them into two categories whether religious […]

Leadership Lessons from the Movie Enders Game

I saw Enders Game on its opening day and fell in love with the movie. Not because I love sci-fi over all other movie genres (I do). Not because Harrison Ford is my favorite swashbuckling actor (he is). And not even because I thought it had a great plot, great writing, great acting, and great […]

Changing a Congregation’s Ethos … Not an Overnight Job (But Doable)

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book 21st Century Strategies for Church Growth. Too many church members, indeed too many churches, carry an attitude of entitlement rather than commitment. They act as if they’ve paid their admission price and now the rest of the church has to coddle and cow-tow to their every whim. […]

Classic Worship Leaders and Worship Bands

Music isn’t a part of worship for today’s generations – it is the primary act of worship. Whereas classic worship services break up songs with other worship tools, such as responsive readings, prayers, etc., successful alternative worship services produce music “sets,” similar to a concert with one song leading directly into another for a sustained […]

The Average Pastor’s Achilles Heel

I’ve coached and consulted with hundreds of pastors over the years and I’ve noticed a common thread in the ministry of those pastors who do not do well. The sad thing about this common thread is that it could be eliminated with one simple word. But before I tell you what that one word and […]

It’s Nominations Time: Thou Shalt Not Settle

Here’s yet another excerpt from 21st Century Strategies for Church Growth. One of the missing ingredients in today’s church is accountability. As church leaders, we are often so grateful to have volunteers who serve that we’re willing to overlook poor attitudes, bad behavior, and even a lack of integrity. In other words, we settle for […]