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Daily Thought Leadership Outreach Visitors

What are you doing for your community?

I was reminded late last week about a major connection we have with those around us, our Community.

This connection takes on many forms and can simultaneously be a blessing and a curse.  Strong communities are the life-blood of social interactions and allow us to enjoy the social, political, and economic aspects of being bonded together.  Unfortunately, at times, there are disagreements, divisions, mis-understandings within this connection.  (Sound like your church?)  I had this happen to me this week with an individual.  His decision for community involvement is to write on the community online forum he created that amounts to nothing more than political propaganda.

This being said, I was able to spend the weekend deciding how I would respond.  My decision is to not respond at all.

However, I did start thinking about how these types of connections affect our churches.  Our churches are a group of people from the community bonded together for a common purpose.  We come together as a body of believers for worship and to exalt our Savior.  We enjoy the fellowship of like minded individuals and the camaraderie that comes from our interactions.  At times, we’ll even express our desire to have others join our group.  For some, this is a true, unrelenting passion; while for others it amounts to nothing more than lip service as a response to what we perceive is a requirement.

How can our churches get beyond our walls and reach our communities?

I have often asked the question of pastors when we are talking about community involvement as follows.  “If your church were forced to close it’s doors tomorrow, would the community know your were gone, and more importantly, would they feel an impact?”

It’s a tough question to ask and we’ll introduce some ideas to help.  I’ll give you a sneak peak though, they involve being a part of the community without your hand out.

In the next few days and weeks, I’ll detail some ideas on how to make your church a light in your community.

Categories
Church Management Growing Your Giving Base Leadership

Aware of But Not Focused on Church Numbers

A growing trend among evangelical pastors is to focus on their attendance numbers.  Many have even joked about pastoral counting, which basically means that pastors inflate numbers to make their ministry look larger.  We all know that our society has become enthralled with the notion that bigger is better.  Unfortunately, in ministry we have also at times fallen victim to this mindset.

What can the numbers do for us though?  While counting people to boost your ministry ego is not the point, keeping an accurate count of crucial benchmarks can allow pastors and church leaders to effectively gauge their ministries’ effectiveness.

The opposite extreme is also just as dangerous.  Not keeping track of crucial metrics or ignoring poor counts can cause just as many problems as over-exaggerating the numbers.  A pastor that says he is not concerned about numbers is either so in touch with the congregation that he understands the pulse, or he is ignoring the facts.  Having an accurate reading on key metrics will help a pastor get an idea of the effectiveness of his ministry and outreach.

Some key metrics to keep in mind:

1. Worship Attendance – this may be the most obvious of the things to count, but watching trends in attendance can help church leaders really get an accurate picture of the congregation.  These numbers can be tallied and evaluated against local events, holidays, vacation seasons, etc. to get a real picture of whether the ministry is growing bigger or smaller.

2. Sunday School/ Small Group Attendance – having effective small groups is the best way to grow disciples.  Churches with growing Small Group Ministries will quickly find themselves a healthier church growing and duplicating themselves.

3. Giving per Person – This number can be found by taking the total weekly giving amount and dividing by the giving units.  This number is not an exact figure but rather an approximation but provides an idea for financial forecasting as well as whether the church has healthy givers.

Each of these metrics are just a small part of accurately measuring ministry effectiveness.  For more information on how to accurately measure your church’s health, shoot us an email and we’ll help you out.

What numbers are you using to get an accurate picture of your church?

Categories
Church Management Facility General

Are Your Guests Willing to Come Back?

Lifeway put out a good article last week about your church and it’s openness to guests.  Of course we all say we’re friendly, we all say our doors are open and inviting, and we all SAY that guests are important to us.  But is that portrayed in how we’ve aligned our priorities of our worship services?

Did you know that your guests have made up their mind whether or not they will return to your church in the first 10 minutes of their visit?  What does that tell you about the extensive time and money you put into worship, drama, powerful sermon illustrations, etc.?  Don’t get me wrong, those are all great, but what are you doing to capture your guests in the first 10 minutes of their visit to help assimilate them into the church family?

Here are some ideas:

Categories
Church Management Leadership

Team Leadership for your church

I recently completed reading “The Power of Team Leadership” by Charles Barna.  While the premise at first seemed simple and I questioned how a complete book could be written about something that appeared obvious, I was amazed at the detail and analysis provided.  Mr. Barna took great time in providing a very compelling presentation of shifting from committee, business meeting driven churches to a purposed team driven ministry.

As I sat and read the first 10-15 pages, I had to resist the temptation to jump up with fist pumping in the air.  His reasoning for shifting to Team Leadership were exactly the same reasons why our company exists.  Our modern culture has put so much emphasis in the size and attendance of churches that our pastors have been given a huge burden.  While at times unknowingly, there is an assumption that in some way a pastor that is not preaching to thousands, writing books, or traveling the national speaking circuit is a sub-standard pastor.  Not only do pastors have an insurmountable task to begin with, our culture is setting an assumed standard that is all but unnattainable except in instances of anomolies.

How then can pastors effectively grow their church and reach people?

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Podcasts

Time Management – Podcast Featuring Pastor Robert Weaver

Categories
Accounting Church Management General Priorities Time Management

Maintaining Balance Part 3 – Your Church

Let’s face it.  In many cases our modern churches have become much more than just a gathering place to worship.  We have added daycare, schools, coffee shops, bookstores, free wi-fi, etc., etc., etc.  Now there is nothing inherently bad with these things, and for the most part they are great tools for reaching new people and providing Christ centered education for our children.  However, who is responsible for keeping these things operational and when do we get back to the church being a group of believers assembled together to worship God?

Today, I’d like to focus on maintaining balance in Your Church.  The statistics are staggering:

  • Pastors have the second highest divorce rate of any other profession.
  • 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations.
  • 45% of pastors say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
  • 80% of pastors say they have insufficient time with their spouse.

And the most Staggering Statistic:

Categories
Church Management Priorities Time Management

Maintaining Balance Part 2 – What are Your Priorities…

I have always been in awe when reading stories of business owners, executives and other leaders that talk about only getting 3-4 hours of sleep per night. I am in awe as I wake up dreary from my 8 hour nightly nap. How are they able to function on such little sleep? And, the more important question, what are they doing with the 20+ waking hours they have at their disposal?

One commodity which levels the playing field for every man, woman, boy and girl no matter what race, religion, creed, color, class or…you name it… is that we are all given 24 hours in a day equally. How we choose to use that time is what separates each of us.

How do you use the time you’ve been allotted?

I realized a few months ago that I was spending a lot of time on activities, processes and work that really didn’t offer me profitable, tangiable and relevant results. I sure looked busy, and was very involved, but when it came time to account for the time I was not producing results.