Best Practices

When your Facebook friends are pastors…

When your Facebook friends are pastors and you’re sheltering in place, your Facebook feed includes a lot of Sunday services.  Over the past weeks I’ve watched and listened to many and have some observations to share… First, I witnessed dedicated pastors doing their best to connect with their people. After reviewing reactions and comments to recorded…

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Your congregation a frontier church or immigrant church?

Throughout the history of Christianity, I have observed two models of church planting that, for the sake of this conversation, I will label Frontier & Immigrant. Typically, the Frontier model church plant is the fruit of an evangelist who, in obedience to the call of God, brings the Gospel to a new geographic area or…

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Is it time to close our doors?

The leadership of Grace Church was facing a pastoral vacancy, a recurring challenge in the life of a congregation. They were also challenged by declining worship attendance, the absence of new members (by birth or profession), insufficient resources to call a full-time pastor, and a tired but dwindling core-group of dedicated members who felt an…

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Request #1: On Worship Attendance

Can we stop claiming it’s not about numbers while at the same time advertising our worship attendance? Have you ever asked the same question? Perhaps you were at a conference featuring the pastor of a large church. The short bio in the program informed you of the thousands attending the church. The host who introduced…

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What is the mission of your church?

It was hard to admit but after several weeks of conversations with congregants, Grace Church was forced to acknowledge that their mission as a church was maintenance. They discovered that their entire purpose boiled down to keeping the church running and paying the bills.  Now there are people who get excited about maintenance, auto mechanics…

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A Pastor Who Affirms But Doesn’t Agree With Every Jot or Tittle

What is of more value to the local congregation? A pastor who wholeheartedly and unreservedly believes in, agrees with, and subscribes to the doctrines of a particular church and its denomination? Or a pastor who promises to affirm wholeheartedly and not publicly contradict the doctrines of a particular church and its denomination? Granted, a congregation…

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Question #12

The time has come to search for a new pastor and you wonder how to go about such an awesome responsibility. You hope and pray for a candidate who embodies the 5 Cs: Character, Competency, Chemistry (fit with your congregation), Culture (fit with your community), and Credentials. But how do you find such a person?…

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Question #9

Growing up in Chicago, I have frequented countless hot-dog joints and ordered many a double dog with everything but onions. (Note that for Chicagoans everything does NOT include ketchup.) I have also visited many McDonald’s, including the original in Des Plaines, where I enjoyed a “Big Mac” and fries. I find it interesting that McDonald’s…

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Question #8

I hate to break it to you, but it’s best for you to know that your next pastor will most likely ask your previous pastor a simple question: “Why did you leave?” And they should ask. Nothing worse than rowing a boat into the middle of the lake only to discover a leak. Speaking from…

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