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Seven Ways Your Church Must Deal with Rapid Change

Seven Ways Your Church Must Deal with Rapid Change

Though it is cliché, change is the constant in our culture. Even before COVID, the world was changing steadily and constantly. When the pandemic came, change was accelerated, and the challenges were exacerbated. In earlier years I was an advocate of “eating the elephant” change, that is making incremental, “one bite a time” changes. I…

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Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Every Pastor

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Every Pastor

It’s that time of year when people partake in the annual ritual of making well-intended promises that end up broken by February. I also realize the presumptuous nature of this post—as if I could tell you what promises to make (and then inevitably break). However, I do believe every pastor should consider these ten resolutions….

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Four Essentials of a Great Christmas Eve Service

Four Essentials of a Great Christmas Eve Service

Christmas Eve is the most likely time an unchurched person will walk into your worship space. It’s a huge opportunity. My fear is some churches go through the motions since Christmas Eve is the peak of the busy season and volunteers are short in supply. Your Christmas Eve service is worth the effort. Families are…

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6 Things Christmas Means for Church Leaders in Tough Situations

6 Things Christmas Means for Church Leaders in Tough Situations

I wish I could tell every one of my young students that ministry will always be easy and churches will always be supportive. That’s not always the case, though. Sometimes this work is just hard. If that’s the case for you today, I hope these thoughts encourage and strengthen you. Here’s what the Christmas story…

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Four Success Stories from Churches that Made a Commitment to Know Their Communities Better

Four Success Stories from Churches that Made a Commitment to Know Their Communities Better

God is not done with our churches. His activity and his work remain powerful and pervasive. Let me share with you four examples of churches that have been used by God when they made a specific and powerful commitment: They wanted to serve and minister to their communities more effectively. 1. Single moms and the…

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What I’m Planning for 2022

What I’m Planning for 2022

Let me take you behind the scenes of our church’s communication strategy. I set aside a day every year in December to think through our church’s communication goals. I spend time thinking about what worked and didn’t work this year, and what the challenges will be for our church in the coming year.  During this…

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The Perfect Gift: Prayer

The Perfect Gift: Prayer

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Is it putting up the Christmas tree? Gathering with family? A beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve service? It’s hard for me to pick just one, but one of the Christmas hallmarks in our house is wish lists. Toys, clothes, games, and even Bibles fill virtual pages with gift ideas for…

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Ageism: The Real Struggle for Church Staff Close to Retirement

Ageism: The Real Struggle for Church Staff Close to Retirement

The magical age for ministry is somewhere between 38 years-old and 56 years-old. I use the word “magical” because far too many churches look at the age of a ministry candidate as some sort of magic bullet. Any younger than the mid-thirties, and you’re too young. Any older than the mid-fifties, and you’re too old….

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Ten (Very Different) Church Trends for 2022

Ten (Very Different) Church Trends for 2022

I’ve been doing trends and predictions for churches for many years. My track record is good, but it has nothing to do with my sagacity. To the contrary, my approach is straightforward. I look at the data points and try to connect them to see the trends. This COVID year is different. We know the…

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Nine Pointers for Serving Alongside Your Spouse in Full-Time Ministry

Nine Pointers for Serving Alongside Your Spouse in Full-Time Ministry

When a married individual works in full-time ministry, there can be the temptation to think the spouse should volunteer in the same area in order to help. Sometimes this temptation comes from the full-time minister pressuring the spouse to “support” his or her ministry via volunteering or sacrificing. Other times it’s the spouse that pressures…

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