Seven Things I Lost Because of Church Growth

Uncategorized Nov 18, 2019

When I first walked into my church over 12 years ago, there were 87 people in attendance. Today, across two campuses, there are over 700 people on a typical weekend. I’ve seen so many incredible things happen in my church over the years, and I have gained so much. But there are also things I have lost, and as your church grows there will be things you will lose as well.

  1. Friends – None of us set out to lose friends, but you inevitably will. As the church changes, and more people start showing up, others will get uncomfortable. People who have been in your home, been to your kids’ birthday parties, been a part of your life for many years will leave the church. They want people to change, but never want the church to, which we all know is impossible. It’s sad, but you move on because you know you’re following God’s direction.
  2. Coworkers – As your church grows you will need to hire staff, and as your church grows some more you’ll need to...
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Announcements, Bulletins, and When to Say No

Uncategorized Nov 11, 2019

“Can you announce that the mission team is having a barbeque fundraiser this Saturday? The ladies quilting group won’t be able to meet next week either. Make sure to get that in the bulletin. Oh and by the way, last Sunday you forgot to mention that the Richardsons had their new baby here for the first time. Now they’re upset and will probably never come back.” This is the communication nightmare that happens in far too many churches.

Today, I want to give you permission to say no.

For years, the church I serve heard these types of comments and suggestions.

Each time we would scramble to get every little detail in the bulletin and make every announcement that someone thought necessary. And you know what? We still didn’t please everyone.

Not only that, the more announcements we made, the less people attended the events we were announcing.

So, we made a decision. No longer would everything get promoted equally. The staff would decide what was worth...

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The 4 GREATS of a Healthy Church

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2019

God is great and greatly to be praised!

But what great things is God doing in your local church?

Let’s talk about how GREAT He wants your church to become in terms of quality and excellence.

You see, I believe your local church only deserves to be bigger if it is also getting better.

To get better, a local church focuses on growing obedience to the GREAT principles of the New Testament, which lead to better health.

What will it take for your local church to go from good to great? Let’s realize these four GREATS for optimal health.

1) The Great Commandment is to love God and others. You can learn about it from Matthew 22:34–40.

The Sadducees tried, and now the Pharisees have stepped up. Their trickery results in Jesus summarizing all of the Law and the Prophets in two commandments. The totality of the Old Testament is to love God and love others. It all hangs on these two.

With that, Jesus hangs us all out to dry with conviction. Christ is calling us to a...

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10 Preaching Mistakes You Should Avoid

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2019

I always feel a bit awkward giving preachers advice on preaching since I’m an Executive Pastor who only preaches a few times of year, but just hear me out. I’m actually probably more qualified than most people because while you are preaching the messages, I’m in the audience listening to them. And over the years I’ve listened to hundreds of messages, some from great preachers and some from not so great. Thanks, Facebook Live! Over the years I’ve noticed what I believe are some huge mistakes many pastors are making.

Here are the ten I believe you should avoid.

  1. The preacher voice. If you don’t know what this is, then you’ve never been to a small town church in the south. For whatever reason, it’s like some pastors have a totally different tone and dialect when they’re preaching than when they’re not. They add extra syllables to words and forget to breathe. It’s really a sight to behold, and the crazy thing is people...
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4 Phrases Every Pastor Should Say Every Sunday

Uncategorized Oct 14, 2019

There’s something powerful about repetition. Doing the same thing day in and day out. Over time habits start to form, and those habits play a big role in our lives. If you have good habits, your life tends to go well. If you have bad habits, your life tends to fall apart. In the same way that our lives have habits, your church has habits as well. Sometimes those are good, and unfortunately sometimes those are bad. If the church has good habits, things tend to go well. If the church has bad habits, things tend to fall apart.

When the church I serve was just getting started, it had a lot of bad habits.

We would never get started on time, we let anyone have the floor to speak or sing, and we had monthly business meetings. Yikes!

It took years for us to get out of these, and we lost some people along the way.

You know as well as I do that bad habits are hard to break.

Eventually, we started to develop some good habits in a lot of different areas of our church, but I want to focus...

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Developing an Emergency Fund of Volunteers

Uncategorized Oct 07, 2019

Well-known radio personality, Dave Ramsey, promotes a first baby step to financial freedom on his radio program. Ramsey instructs the listener to collect $1,000 into an emergency fund before taking on any other financial steps. I have found one of the benefits to following this advice is that the savings account changes the definition of emergency. Before following Ramsey’s guidance, a damaged tire with a replacement cost of $70 (back in the day of course) constituted an all-hands-on-deck emergency. The emergency account reduced the crisis to the level of an irritant with little consequence to daily life.

While Ramsey’s advice is regarded as rock-solid financial guidance, many churches could benefit from a volunteer emergency account. A volunteer emergency account is a pool of people who are not being used routinely for a program to function. This limits churches in much the same way as the lack of an emergency fund.

It is not unusual to hear of a church that loses a...

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4 Big Day Ideas to Grow Your Church This Fall

Uncategorized Sep 30, 2019

I believe it was Nelson Searcy who originally came up with the idea of growing your church through “Big Days.” A “Big Day” is an all out push toward a single Sunday in order to see a large increase in attendance on that day. He actually wrote an entire book around the idea called Ignite: How to Spark Immediate Growth in Your Church. The idea is that if you can get a large number of people to your church on a single day and create a great experience for them, then there’s a very high likelihood that many of them will stick. So, with that in mind I wanted to share with you a few “Big Day” ideas for this fall.

The Tailgate Party

If you live in the United States, you understand how much people love football. It doesn’t matter if it’s College Football or the NFL. Either will draw millions of viewers each week. The only thing Americans may love more than football is eating. So, what did they do? They decided to combine them into a...

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5 Assumptions Your Church Should Make to Serve Guests Better

Uncategorized Sep 23, 2019

Guest Post by Brett Bixby

There’s no guarantee that a first time guest will visit your church this week, but if they do, will you prepared to receive them? One of the biggest mistakes small town churches make is not preparing with guests in mind. We can’t afford to make that mistake. Our mission is much too important. So, I’d like to share with you a training we did with our teams, that you can take and share with yours.

  1. Assume there will be guests every week
  • We do what we do in guest services under this assumption every single week.
  • We are glad everyone feels welcomed and accepted each week, however, we do guest services for the person or family that arrives for the very first time.
    • Everyone knows where to park – but not the first-time guest
    • Everyone can open the door on their own – but for the one guest
    • Everyone knows where the kids check in is – but not the first timer
    • Everyone can find their own seat – but we want the first-timer to...
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How to Conduct a Facility Inspection

Uncategorized Sep 16, 2019

Maintaining your church facility may be the most overlooked aspect of leading a small town church. This could be for a variety of reasons including budget, time, and the meetings needed to get something done.

While all of these are major factors to consider, the one thing that seems to hold most churches back is vision.

No, not the kind of vision you’re probably thinking. I’m talking about the vision provided by your eyes. Most facility issues never get dealt with because they’re never really noticed, at least not by you, because you’re used to it.

However, new visitors notice them because they’re laying a fresh set of eyes on a new place. So, they notice the cobwebs in the corners, the stains in the ceiling tiles, and the weird smell coming from the bathroom. 

If they notice enough of these issues, they make the decision not to come back. It doesn’t matter how well they’re greeted, how much fun their kids had, or how much they enjoyed...

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5 Must Haves for the Small Town Big Church

Uncategorized Sep 09, 2019

I participate in many Facebook groups.

Actually, I’m a member of more than enough of these groups. However, my motive is mutual benevolence. I’m there to learn from others. I’m also present to help others when I can. There’s no better feeling for me than to know that I have been able to help another person.

Sometimes, a fellow minister just needs to ask some things out loud. There’s nothing like a safe environment in which to bounce ideas around.

Recently, I stumbled across this question. “What are the small church givens that should always be in place no matter the particular community or denomination, but are not talked about as much because they are given?”

The question called my mind to action. I interpreted “givens” to mean must-haves. And so I thought I’d share my list of must-haves with my Small Town Big Church, Kingdom-minded friends. They’re listed here without any thought given to the order in which they...

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