Resource Round Up

Definition of resourceHere are some church resources from around the web to help your church become a vital congregation for Jesus.

7 Bad Decisions in a Declining or Plateauing  Organization by Ron Edmondson.  From playing the blame game to not taking risks, Ron Edmondson shares the threat of stinkin’ thinkin’ in organizations that are declining or have plateaued.

How to Shape Your Church’s Culture by Andrew Hebert at the Lifeway Church Leaders Blog.  Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” How does one build a Christ centered church culture to make disciples?  Andrew Hebert shares that God’s word, strong leadership, and the power of community all shape a church’s culture.

Moving Beyond a Mountain of Debt by Zip Long of Horizons Stewardship.  So many churches are struggling with debt for buildings that it is choking out any money for ministry.  What is a church to do?  Zip Long has some suggestions.  Check them out.

Engaging Your Mission Field by Bob Crossman.  Crossman, a New Church Strategist with Path One, with the General Board of Discipleship, of the United Methodist Church shares that churches need to listen and learn and turn missional gestures into missional encounters to engage their mission field.

Create New Entry Points– by F. Douglas Powe, Jr. and Jasmine Smothers in the Leading Ideas newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership.  Sunday worship is not the main entry point for many in the church today.  It is incumbent upon the church to help persons find ways to get connected to the church apart from Sunday morning.  The authors give multiple and practical ways for churches to offer entry points outside of Sunday worship.

12 Principles for Change in the Established Church– by Art Rainer.  The only one who likes change is a wet baby.  Change is a fickle mistress and navigating those tricky waters is a challenge for even the most seasoned of leaders.  Rainer gives some great advice for those seeking to lead change in the local church.

5 Features Every Great Church Website Needs– by Justin Lathrop via Pastors.Com.   No one under the age of 104 picks up the phone book and searches for your church in yellow pages so they can call and get info about your service times.  Instead, they look you up online.  The website has become the front porch of the church and the first impression a guest has of your church.

5 Secrets to Getting Volunteers to Perform– by Bill Tenny-Brittian of Effective Church.  The volunteer or “Servant” system of any church is vital if the church is going to be effective.  Bill Tenny-Brittian offers a number of pointers to ensure that your volunteer system is healthy.

Resource Round Up

Here are some of the resources and thought provoking articles swirling around in the blogosphere and elsewhere.  Hope you can use some of it in your ministry.

Definition of resourceEngaging Your Mission Field is an article published for the Leading Ideas electronic newsletter of the Lewis Center at Wesley Theological Seminary.  In this article Bob Crossman, Path 1 Strategist for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church shares about the importance of listening and learning and turning missional gestures into missional encounters.

Never Call it a Welcome Center.  Does your church have a welcome center.  According to Bill Tenny-Brittian you should be calling it an Information Center.  Find out why and some other practical dos and dont’s for the Information Center.

The Importance of Vacation Bible School.  Steve Dunn from Outward Focused Church reminds us that Vacation Bible School is often the front door of our church for persons without a church home.  If you find yourself or others in your church resenting that Vacation Bible School has become a “babysitting service” go read Steve’s post.

Ten Tips for Becoming a More Productive Pastor.  Who doesn’t like tips about becoming more productive?  Thom Rainer gives some good advice here in this post.

20 Church Hospitality Goofs and How You Can Avoid Them. The Evangelism Coach, Chris Walker, shares some hospitality goofs he has gleaned from the Twitterverse.  Many of them are amusing.  Some are just sad.


Easter Resource Round Up

Easter is not far away.  Here are some last minute resources for effective ministry as we approach Easter gathered from different places around the web.

Easter Message

Prayer and Fasting for Lent

As we enter the Lenten season I am reminded that Lent is a wonderful time for the church to teach about prayer and fasting.  While Bishop Young Jin Cho has helped the Virginia Annual Conference refocus on prayer, there has been less focus in recent memory around the issue of fasting.  All of us could learn from the spiritual discipline of fasting.  I know I certainly can.


Here is a resource I developed for congregational use as a teaching tool while I was at Regester Chapel that touches on prayer and fasting Lenten disciplines.  The people called Methodists, as well as many other Christians have a long history of prayer and fasting as means of grace and they were often cited by and prescribed by Mr. Wesley.  Today, in our culture of indulgence and impatience what a wonderful way to realign our focus and observe a holy Lent.

Here is the link to the resource which will open as a pdf file.  If you would like it in a Word document just use the Contact page to get in touch with me and I will be happy to give it to you in Word format.  Perhaps you might find some use for it.  May you have a holy Lent!

Resource Round Up

Here are some great resources from around the web as you seek to become a vital congregation that makes disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!

Definition of resource

5 Suggestions when People Leave a Church– by Ron Edmondson.  It happens. People leave your church.  You might wonder why. Ron Edmondson provides five things you can do when someone leaves your church.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Church Staff Meetings– by Thom Rainer.  If you are serving a church that has staff meetings and you are the person responsible for preparing and leading those meetings you will not want to miss this piece by Thom Rainer who provides seven keys to get the most out of your staff meetings.

Developing a Thank You System for Your Church– by Ann Michel via the Leading Ideas newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership.  Everyone likes to be thanked.  In this article Ann Michel lays out a systematic way the church can ensure it is displaying gratitude toward those who support the church financially.  By being personal, prompt and planned a church is able to show proper gratitude to its contributors.

10 Questions to Increase Volunteer EngagementNick Blevins via Tony Morgan – Every church needs more volunteers.  Every church is looking for the silver bullet to allow them to engage more volunteers.  Nick Blevins shares ten ways the culture of your church might be hampering your efforts at recruiting more volunteers.

20 Great Questions to Evaluate a Church Ministry or Event– by Will Mancini. You have prayed, you have planned, you have executed, now it is time to evaluate.  Evaluation is often the missing piece of our ministry events.  Will Mancini shares 20 questions he came across that will help your church evaluate its next ministry event.

Resource Round Up

Here are some resources from around the web that you might find useful in helping your church become a vital congregation.

Definition of resourceChristmas is Prime Time for Church Invitations– 91% of Americans will celebrate Christmas this year according to Lifeway Research. 47% of persons plan to celebrate Christmas by attending a church worship service. 67% of Americans say a personal invitation to attend a church service by a friend would be a local church’s most effective way to reach out and get them to attend. Christmas is coming- is your church ready?

7 Servant Evangelism Ideas for Black Friday Shopping Crowds– from Chris Walker at EvangelismCoach.Org. Servant Evangelism serves people by meeting a small practical need in their lives with the ultimate end being to share Christ’s love. Get outside the four walls of the church this Black Friday and make use of these ideas for serving your community.

Five Reasons People Aren’t Volunteering at Your ChurchTony Morgan, who literally wrote the book on volunteers in the church with Tim Stevens shares five ways churches might be having difficulty getting and keeping volunteers. I know the churches I have served have been guilty of some of these volunteer recruitment no-no’s.

Three Business Books I Recommend to All Pastors– by Thom Rainer. It is no secret that issues of leadership transcend disciplines. While the church must superimpose a theological lens based in scripture on leadership in the business world, the church can learn leadership practices and principles from the business world. Thom Rainer shares the top three business books he recommends.


Resource Round Up

Here are some of the best gems from around the web to help resource the local church for excellence in ministry.

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7 Reasons Churches that Want to Reach Unchurched People Don’t– by Carey Nieuwhof– In this post Carey lifts up a number of different reasons churches are not reaching the unchurched though they want to do so.  From having good intentions to no strategy to becoming all things to all people and being stretched Carey offers insightful reasons for churches who are seeking to reach those not there yet have not been successful.

Rules of Engagement with Andy Stanley– these are notes via Chris Edmondson’s blog regarding North Point’s strategy for engaging those who give their church a try.  While every church will need to develop its own rules of engagement, the level of detail and thought given by North Point to engaging guests can serve as a model.

Video Resources for Smaller Churches– via Tony Morgan comes a list of free and fairly inexpensive video resources (and some graphic resources) for smaller churches.  Whether you are a new church plant just starting out or an established church with a small contemporary service you will find some good resources here.

Why Didn’t Jesus Do More?– by Geoff Surratt– in this thought provoking piece Geoff Surratt sounds a theme that is becoming more and more common among churches seeking to make disciples of Jesus Christ- simplicity and focus. Jesus, God with us in the flesh, could have done many things, but didn’t.  Find out why here.


Resource Roundup

Here are some of the best resources (articles, blog posts, etc.) from around the web this past week.

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3 Ways to Fuel Momentum– by Ron Edmondson the Big Mo- once you get it how do you keep it?  Once you lose it, how do you get it back?  Ron Edmondson writes about three ways to help keep it or bring it back.  Innovation, creativity and change are the three fuels of momentum.

Why Most Church Mission Statements Aren’t Effective– by Bill Tenny-Brittian.  Bill gives the hard truth about many churches’ mission statements.  Bill writes, “Too many mission statements, including the one above, presumes that the church exists to be a nice, safe, do-good-things kind of organization. But that’s hardly the picture Jesus painted of “his church” (Matthew 16:18). Ultimately the church does not exist to do good things. That’s United Way’s mission. The difference between the church and United Way is that the church’s mission is to make disciples … and every good thing the church does is meant to point directly in that direction (Matthew 5:16).” There you have it!

Five Different Ways Leaders Respond to Anonymous Critical LettersThom Rainer, in an informal Twitter poll of his followers Dr. Rainer asked pastors how they responded to such letters.  He received some interesting responses.  Be sure to read the comments on this one too for some great insights.  The best responses I like were throw them away or read them from the pulpit and use it as a teaching opportunity to teach a biblical way for handling conflict.

5 Things I Have Learned 5 Years Out– from the United Methodist Path 1 blog comes this guest post from Adam Weber, church planter at Embrace Church.  This is a great perspective from someone who has been in the trenches of church planting for five years.  Well worth the read, especially for new church and want to be church planters.

Resource Roundup

Here are some of the best resources (articles, blog posts, etc.) from around the web this past week.

Definition of resource

7 Vital Components of Church RevitalizationRon Edmonson– in order for church revitalization to occur there must be some vital components in place. Ron Edmonson shares 7 of these components out of his experience.

One Size Does Not Fit AllTony Morgan– Every church is different and finds itself in a unique circumstance. Yet, there are foundational building blocks among all healthy churches. Tony Morgan lists these foundational building blocks shared by healthy churches as he has recognized them in his time consulting with churches.

Keeping It Real When Launching an E-NewsletterMartin Davis via ChurchLeadership.Com explores ways to make your html newsletter more effective so it is actually read. Hint- include profiles of members of your organization.

Ten Things Pastors Like Least About Their JobsThom Rainer– Rainer conducted an informal twitter poll that revealed what pastors like least about their jobs. Most of the things on this list are not surprising but for those serving a local church you will find you are not alone in whatever your frustration might be.

Resource Round Up

Here are some of the best resources (articles, blog posts, etc.) from around the web this past week.

Definition of resource

Get Some VisibilityBill Tenny-Brittian talks here how churches lose their visibility in a community after being a around for a while and the need for turnaround churches to regain that visibility.  Bill shares a way he did this in his own ministry that is quite creative.

Are Church Welcome Packets a Good Idea?Chris Walker from poses the question about this way to welcome people and does a good job helping leaders think through this way to welcome guests.

Free Church Graphics And Resources Toolbox– the folks at offer the best list I have seen in some time for those churches who cannot afford or cannot find a graphic artist in their congregation.  This is a post to bookmark and return to again and again.

Decide Now to be a Reader– from Nelson Searcy of Church Leader Insights.  It is well known that leaders are readers and readers are leaders.  Nelson talks here about the importance of this truth and offers a paid resource to help leaders be intentional in their reading.