Twenty Reasons Why Your Church May Not Be Growing

Found this article by James Emery White. Here’s the link to the article: http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-james-emery-white/twenty-reasons-why-your-church-may-not-be-growing.html

 

 

I have a conviction.  Disagree with it if you want, but I believe it to the core of my being.  God wants churches to grow.  Healthy churches, their veins coursing with the power of the Holy Spirit, are meant to grow!  Maybe not all at the same pace, or amount, or regimen, but grow they will.

Which leads to a simple question:  you don’t have to ask yourself how to grow your church.  You have to ask yourself what is keeping your church from growing.

Here are twenty ideas.

I am not going to elaborate, or define, any of these.  I believe they are self-explanatory, and if you feel they apply to you, much of the benefit is seeking to work out what you think it might mean for your church.

But read through the list; if your church isn’t growing, I believe there is a reason.

Maybe one of these is why:

You aren’t praying for growth.

Your location is counter-productive.

You have unresolved divisions, tensions and discord within the staff and/or congregation.

Your lead communicator does not have the spiritual gift of communication.

You are methodologically, stylistically and strategically out of date.

Your leader(ship) does not have the spiritual gift of leadership.

You are watering down the message of the gospel.

Your church structure stifles leadership, innovation and front-line decision-making.

You have not taught, challenged or led the church to provide adequate financial resources.

Your atmosphere is one of condemnation, exclusion, awkwardness or rejection instead of understanding, sensitivity, acceptance and grace.

You are not attempting to connect with the next generation.

Your mentality is oriented toward the already convinced and those “in-house,” not turned outward toward the skeptic and the unchurched.

You do not pay attention to, sufficiently fund or appropriately staff your children’s ministry.

Your “front-door” services and events are designed in such a way that people intuitively do not invite their unchurched friends to attend.

You haven’t effectively strategized as to how to break through your next growth barrier, which tends to exist at around 70, 200, 500, 800, 1200 and 1800.

Your mindset is that you have to do everything, be at the center of every “Yea, God!” story, and micro-manage – so your leadership becomes a bottle-neck.

You are an “8” on a scale of 1-10.  But instead of hiring “9’s” and “10’s”, your insecurity leads you to hire “6’s” and “7’s”.

Your shoe is telling your foot how big it gets; meaning land, parking and seats.

You do not make it easy to connect with others and get plugged-in.

Your vision has not exceeded your reality.

Okay, there you have it.  A shopping list compiled from nearly thirty years of experience in the trenches.

But again, remember the question; it’s not how to grow your church, but what is keeping it from growing.

James Emery White

 

 

 

 

7 Things Pastors Should Tell People Often

Another article off Crosswalk.com. Here’s the jist of the 7 things the writer believes pastors should frequently remind people of.

 

1) Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the only Savior.

2) The Church is an essential part of the Lord’s plan, for now and forever.

3) Salvation is all about the cross.

4) We are not saved by good works, but saved “unto” God works. (Ephesians 2:10)

5) If you have faith, you will pray.

6) A church exists by evangelism and missions as a fire exists by burning.

7) The Bible is the inspired word of God and the spiritual nutrition of believers.

 

Click here for the full article: http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/joe-mckeever/7-things-pastors-should-tell-their-people-often.html

7 Things Pastor’s Wives Wish They Had Been Told

 

Found this article on Crosswalk.com.

 

1. I wish someone had told me just to be myself. “I am a people-pleaser by nature, so for me, not being prepared to handle being a pastor’s wife with my personality was a heavy burden to carry early in our ministry.”

2. I wish someone had prepared me to deal with criticism of my husband and me. “It was hard to deal with negative experiences, conflicts, or criticisms, especially in relation to my husband and our area of ministry. So I would harbor feelings of resentment when it came to ministry and my man.”

3. I wish someone had reminded me that my husband is human. “I wish someone had told me that my husband could not be God for me. I was disillusioned at first to find out that he indeed is just a man.”

4. I wish someone had told me that others were watching us (the glass house syndrome). “Even though they are watching us, we don’t need to be controlled by what they expect of us.”

5. I wish someone had told me there are some really mean people in the church. “I was really surprised. I had to learn not to pay too much attention to them or they would get me down.”

6. I wish someone had told me how much my husband needs me to build him up. “I need to be his cheerleader. Dealing with critics in the church is difficult. He needs to hear that I respect him now more than ever.”

7. I wish someone had told me that my schedule will never be normal again. “Your husband will be very busy. Expect that. But come alongside him in the areas of time management and organization.”

 

Here’s the link for the full article: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/women/7-things-pastors-wives-wish-they-had-been-told.html

VBS 2012…and a 2013 Outlook

This summer I had the privilege of doing not one, but two Vacation Bible Schools. The first was with the church I attend, First Baptist Church of Pearl City. Our theme was Sonrise National Park. We had a good set of songs this year, with this being my personal favorite:

The second VBS was with Kohala Baptist Church, and the theme was Amazing Wonders Aviation.

There are basically 3 different VBS publishers that I know of. The first is Lifeway. They seem to be the most used, since most churches I know of us them, though my church does not. They’re the ones who did Amazing Wonders Aviation for 2012. Then there’s Gospel Light. They do the Sonrise series. The third is Group Publishing. In 2011, they did Pandamania, which my church used. (It was awesome.) Basically, my church tends to use either Gospel Light or Group Publishing. I don’t remember the last time we used Lifeway. See, my church has a well-organized committee devoted to VBS. From what I know, they look at all the VBS options, and select the one they feel will be best for the children of the church and the neighborhood. The theme, the curriculum, and the music all factor in to the decision of which VBS they choose.

Looking ahead to next year, Lifeway’s theme is Colossal Coaster World, a roller coaster themed VBS. Gospel Light’s theme is Sonwest Roundup, a cowboy/western theme. Group Publishing’s offer is Kingdom Rock, a medieval theme.

I’ve sampled some of each, and right now, if I had to vote for one, I’d probably choose Kingdom Rock. It seems to have the best music, and the medieval theme sounds cool. I like the cowboy theme of Sonwest Roundup (it’d give me a reason to use my cowboy hat), but I’m not sure about the music. I don’t know if my church will really dig the country music. Regardless of which one my church ends up choosing, I’ll probably end up doing the Colossal Coaster World with some church…especially if God lets me go back to Kohala next year.

Looking forward to next year’s VBS!