A Simple Way to Grow Yourself and Others

I don’t think you would be reading this blog if you didn’t have some interest in growing yourself as a pastor and leader. In this post, I’m going to share with you a simple way you can do just that, as well as grow others along with you. Often I think we try to overcomplicate leadership development, when all that is really needed is a willingness to learn.

As long as you have a willingness to learn, the rest is simple. Start with these four steps.

  1. Pick out a book, blog, or podcast.
  1. Read or listen to it.
  1. Ask two questions:
  • What did I learn?
  • How can I apply it?
  1. Invite others to join you. (Form a group.)

The hard part of leadership development is finding those who have a desire to learn. Once you’ve found them, the developing should come easy.

What are some of the best books, blogs, or podcasts you’ve taken your team through? Share them in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get tips on leadership, church growth, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

How to Know if Its Time to Cancel the Church Event

This year my church cancelled our annual 4th of July event, and I couldn’t have been more proud. It’s not that I’m not patriotic. I am. It’s just that I couldn’t justify spending a significant amount of time and money on an event that was getting few, if any, people closer to Jesus. The congregation really liked the event. Many in the community even came out to see the fireworks, but it wasn’t getting people connected to our church, which made me ask the question, “Should we even be doing this?” For us, the answer was no.

Let me ask you, is your church doing any events that need to be cancelled? I bet the answer for many of you is yes, although sometimes that’s really hard to admit.

Here are a few ways you can know for sure.

  • The event has no clearly defined win. Why are you doing the event in the first place? Unless you’re getting people closer to Jesus or more connected to the church, then you don’t have a good reason for the event. People showing up is not a win.
  • The event is for people already connected to the church. If you’re going to spend time and money on an event, then it just makes sense to try to get guests there. It should be used as an evangelism tool, not just to entertain or satisfy those already in your church.
  • The event competes with other events in the community. For example, our 4th of July event was one of many in the community. We were basically telling people come to ours, instead of encouraging them to support a community event that would put them around people who need to know Jesus.
  • The event never gets evaluated. No one ever asks the questions: was this a success, was this worth the cost, or why should we do this again? It’s just expected every year, so it keeps getting added to the calendar.
  • The event gets rescheduled to keep church people happy. The event has nothing to do with getting new people connected to the church. It’s all about keeping people from leaving the church.

After you compare your event with this list, you’ll know pretty quickly what should do. Now, the question will be, are you willing to make the tough decision? Leave a comment, and let me know what you decide, and don’t forget to subscribe the blog to get tips on church growth, leadership, and more delivered to your inbox each week.

Six Things to Consider When Launching a New Church or Campus

Launching a church or campus is often the dream of many pastors. Unfortunately for some, that dream quickly becomes a nightmare because they didn’t properly prepare. I’ve been fortunate to be friends with several church planters and have been in the middle of launching a campus at my own church. In this post I want to share with you the six things you need to consider before launch.

  1. Who’s on the staff?

Every church or campus needs to begin with a staff already on board. They don’t have to be paid, but they need to be bought into the vision of the church. Most churches should begin with a lead or campus pastor, a worship leader, a children’s ministry leader, and someone who handles the administrative tasks of the church. Churches may also choose to have a student ministry leader, small groups leader, missions leader, etc. either from the beginning or added later on as needed.

  1. Where will we meet?

It may surprise you to know that next to who’s leading the church, the thing that determines whether the church or campus succeeds or fails is often the location. Not great news for us small town and rural church pastors. If possible, you want to be along a main road that gets high traffic or in a facility that the community recognizes, for example the local high school or community center. Leasing a building is also a great option, although it’s sometimes hard to find buildings large enough to house a church that also fits within your budget.

  1. What ministries will we offer?

The temptation for most churches is to do much more than they need to or are capable of. When you’re starting out, you want to concentrate on doing a few things really well. This will allow you to grow, which allows you to add ministries later. Decide on what ministries you’re going to start with, which ones you may add later, and those you’ll never do. If you’re starting with more than five or six, you’re trying to do too much.

  1. How will we get the word out?

It would be naïve to think that just because you’re starting a church that people are going to come. It just doesn’t happen anymore. You need to build a team of 40-50 people before you ever think about launching. Most of these connections are going to come through personal relationships. Others may come because of social media posts. Others may have seen a Facebook ad or received a flyer in the mail. Make sure to set aside a significant amount of money to market your launch.

  1. How much will this cost?

Speaking of money, launching a church plant or campus often comes with a significant financial cost. Be wise and do your homework up front, or you’ll pay the price later. Figure up your upfront costs, and create a budget for your first two years of ministry. This will give you an idea of how much money you need to raise, and how much money you’ll need to bring in each week to survive.

  1. How will we develop leaders?

This is the easiest one to overlook. In the excitement of launching a new campus or church, it’s easy to get so busy that you neglect to develop new leaders. This ends up coming back to haunt you as your church begins to grow because you don’t have the leadership in place to handle the growth. Because of this, often churches that launch big will quickly lose the people they tried so hard to reach. Make sure you have a system in place to develop new leaders before you even launch.

We need more churches and campuses to bring light to a broken world. We need you to succeed. I hope this list will help.

For you who have planted campuses or churches, what would you add to this list? What have I forgotten? Let us know by leaving a comment below. If you’re thinking about launching a campus or church, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe I can help. Shoot me an email and let’s connect.