Best Practices

What is our mission as a 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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Through Thick and Thin

As Christ-followers, we worship the Lord through thick and thin.  We worship the Lord in good times and bad, with plenty and with little, after victory and after defeat, during storms and while basking in the sun. We also worship the Lord through thick and thin practices.  Have you heard of that distinction? Those who…

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What do we value as a church?

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 (IL), where I enjoyed a “Big Mac” and fries.  I find it interesting that…

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Is your pastor a leader or a manager?

My father, along with two of my uncles, owned Reliable Scavenger Service, a small, two-truck garbage company that serviced the near-north side of Chicago. The three brothers purchased the business from their father but, in time, my two uncles sold their shares to my father. One uncle moved to Florida where he hauled trash and…

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The Post-Covid-19 Church?

Like most of us these days, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder things. Lately I’ve been wondering, “How might the post-Covid-19 church be different from the pre-Covid-19 church?”  I predict some congregations will: Replace live-streaming with a recorded and strategically-produced weekly service. Those who have done so during this time have been receiving positive…

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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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