Easter Sunday Checklist

It was over twenty-five years I walked into a tent that
would revolutionize the way I would forever pastor a congregation. Soon after
being called to the First Christian Church of Norwalk California, I began
hearing about a church in Orange County that was doing big things. The church
was Saddleback Valley Community Church and I decided to […]

Stop Sharing Your Church Newsletter with Visitors – and Other Follow-Up Gaffes

I had a rare Sunday off a couple weeks ago and decided to drop by a local church that I’d never visited. I’d discovered the church on my annual Christmas Light Tour (where I drive aimlessly through random neighborhoods looking for great light displays) and I discovered this church tucked deep inside a neighborhood I’d never […]

A Church OF Small Groups

Small groups are one of the most misunderstand
ministries I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen them all.  Most small groups are just one of many
programs churches undertake in an attempt to either reach more people, keep more
people, or provide a needed form of fellowship and perhaps some Bible study.
And in every case those small groups […]

Too Late Warning Signs

One of the sad realities about being a church consultant is that too often, churches don’t realize they’re “in trouble” until it hits their bottom line.

Their finances.

It seems that no one seems to take too much notice when the congregation begins to age out. There’s an expectation that the older folks will relocate […]

When Do You Cancel Church?

Everyone’s talking about the weather in the Mid-West. “Worst winter in decades,” they say.

Which isn’t quite true. Worst winter in terms of accumulated snow and ice over the last couple of years, but long-timers will tell you that this winter looks a lot more like what it used to look like almost every winter. […]

Change is Hard … Even for Me

I’ve been working in the church planting and church turnaround business since I was twenty-six years old. Let’s just say that was awhile ago [my wife just whispered “A LONG while ago.”]. One might think that I’m immune from the allergy to change. But, sadly, I’m not.

It was Grandparent Church Camp. Three days, two […]

Attracting ‘Super’ Men to Your Church

Pastors
of churches all over our country continue to ask the question,  “Where are all the men”? Women comprise more
than 60% of the adults in the typical worship service in America. Some overseas
congregations report ten women for every man in attendance. Volunteer ranks are
heavily female. No other religion suffers the enormous gender gaps that plague
Christianity. […]

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 […]

Three Kinds of Church Members

A family left the church recently because they didn’t like one of the changes in worship. The pastor had been confronted by the board chair who demanded the pastor “Go after them and bring them back.” The pastor kept his cool and gently sidestepped the confrontation, but gave me (his coach) a call the […]