Church Leadership

Church Leaders Need to Stop Playing H.O.R.S.E. with Each Other

I love learning the best ideas, methods and principles that I can find from as many people as possible.

But, no matter how good their idea is, no matter how well it’s working at their church, I’ve learned the hard way that my church isn’t their church. Because of that, I’d like to pass this simple principle on to you today, so you don’t have to learn it the hard way like I did.

We need to stop playing H.O.R.S.E. with other churches and church leaders.

For those who don’t know what that means, H.O.R.S.E. is a game basketball players like to challenge each other with. The first player tries a trick shot, then the other players have to duplicate it. If they do, they stay in the game. If they don’t, they add a letter until they’ve spelled H.O.R.S.E. and they’re out.

This happens in the church all the time.

We go to a pastoral leadership conference, where we hear about a church that’s discovered a new way to do a certain kind of ministry, so we go home and try to duplicate their trick shot, only to fail miserably. Then we wonder “what’s wrong with me and my church that we couldn’t pull it off?”

After trying and failing enough times, many ministers find themselves leaving ministry entirely because they couldn’t duplicate the success of others. But we’re not called to duplicate the success of others.

Learning principles from other churches is great. But trying to copy their methods, programs or style is just the church version of H.O.R.S.E.

Please Stop Writing “Here’s Why Your Church Isn’t Growing” Lists – They Don’t Help

When an already-discouraged pastor reads a list telling them their church isn’t growing because they’re visionless, self-serving and petty, it doesn’t lift them up, it beats them down.

Guilt doesn’t motivate, it discourages. Besides, those petty attitudes aren’t true for us. Pastors who don’t care, don’t read church leadership blogs!

Don’t slap our hands, put tools in them. Tools that will work for us now, while we’re small. Tools that promote health and growth. Tools that encourage and inspire us. Slapping the hands of your readers for not caring is like yelling at the people who did show up to church because you’re mad at the people who didn’t show up.

We need a moratorium on “Why Your Church Isn’t Growing” lists for one simple reason: they don’t work!

Small Church Pastors Should Stand Tall (Podcast)

There’s a big gap in our pastoral leadership training. If you want advice and training about how to grow a big church, you have lots of great material to choose from. But do you want to know how to pastor your current Small Church well? You’re pretty much on your own.

To make matters worse, there don’t seem to be a lot of church leaders expressing concern about this massive oversight.

In today’s podcast, Jeff and Jonny of interview me about that gap. Plus, we address the importance of connecting with other Small Church pastors, equipping Small Church leaders with the tools that work for their size, and why Small Churches are ideally suited to be the innovators in the body of Christ.

I Am a Small Church Pastor and I’m Calling Out the Church Leadership Bullies

There are some bullies in the church growth movement. No, not most of them. And even those who are bullies probably don’t realize it. But they’re bullies, just the same.

It’s because I don’t think they intend to be bullies that I’m using such a strong term – to help them see the hurt they’ve been causing to their fellow Christians and church leaders.

Small Churches and their leaders have suffered under this problem for years. But no one has dared say it out loud. So I’m saying it today, because we can’t fix a problem until we acknowledge it.

Small Church pastors often feel bullied and insulted by the very church leaders we go to for help.

This problem is real. It’s hurtful. And it needs to stop.

Saying “I Can’t” May Be Your Missing Key to Success

“I can’t” may be the two most liberating words missing from your leadership lexicon.

For years I’ve been told by well-meaning preachers and teachers that if I have enough faith, I can do anything I want to do.

But it’s not true. I can’t do anything I want to do. Neither can you. Knowing and embracing that truth has freed me. And it can free you, too.

#BestOf2013: The #1 Leadership Key to Spark Innovation in a Small Church

If you want to increase your chances of working with innovators who need guidance, instead of heel-draggers who need motivation, this is the best piece of advice I can give you. I now consider it to be one of my main roles as a church leader.

Find a way to say “Yes”.

Yes to people. Yes to their crazy ideas. Yes to their passion. Yes to something God may be trying to do through them that I just can’t see yet.

They Just Don’t Get It: When Big Church Solutions Meet Small Church Realities

“They just don’t get it.” How many times have I said that while shaking my head after reading articles, blogposts and books about church leadership? I could write a book. Oh, right… I know I’m not alone in this. If you’re a Small Church pastor, you’ve had the same experience on many occasions. The articles …

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