This brief list was inspired by a blog post by Ben Reed at

Once I read it, I thought I’d jot down my own top ten list and I asked Bill Easum to do the same. I found it interesting to see what we identified.

Bill T-B’s List

  1. That today’s churches need leaders more than they need pastors.
  2. That there are specific growth barriers every church has to face… and how to get over them.
  3. That there is no change without conflict… and how to deal with it when (not if) it comes.
  4. That successful changes are only implemented through alliance building… and how to build effective alliances in the church.
  5. Since every community is different, how to “read” a community.
  6. How to network effectively with the unchurched in the community.
  7. How to market the church when there are no marketing monies… and what’s worth marketing.
  8. How to prepare and deliver a sermon that not only moves, touches, and inspires, but that creates behavioral change in people’s lives.
  9. How to adopt and adapt ever-changing technologies to benefit the church… and how to get the church to accept and use them.
  10. How to deal with personal finances… how to invest and how to manage a salary package effectively.

Bill E’s List

  1. How to be a politician who can lobby tough decisions through the church machine.
  2. How to be a leader more than a theologian and that my primary role is to make disciples who make disciples.
  3. That architects don’t understand the importance of sound in a worship center.
  4. That church planting on multiple sites is far more productive and less expensive than a church in a single location.
  5. How to make the big ASK because raising money and motivating people to be generous is one of the reoccurring things effective pastors have to spend their time doing.
  6. How to deliver a message on Sunday that results in people desiring to give their life to Christ or their hands to mission.
  7. That the real mission field is now in our backyard and that pastors need to develop backyard missionaries rather than committee members.
  8. That sermon content is not nearly as important as the transparency of the person delivering the message.
  9. That I am the content that will change people’s lives: when people see Christ living in another Christian they are more apt to believe what they see than what they hear.
  10. That every dying church has one or two people who are causing the decline – get rid of them and the church can grow.

As I pondered both Ben’s and Bill’s lists, I wanted to adopt them all and thought “Yeah, that too.”

Question: So, what’s on your Top 10 List? Leave a comment below!


BTW, if you haven’t signed up for the free excerpts and tools we’re giving away at our Effective Staffing site, take a ride over there. Our book Effective Staffing for Vital Churches will hit the shelves on November 1st. We believe this to be one of the most important books we’ve written.