I love these events because it always gives me a chance to get to know more of you face-to-face (not to mention teaching you how to break the 3 most common growth barriers that all churches face).
Here’s the info:
So, Senior Pastor – Can you join me?
Here’s what I’ll be teaching you:
- What is keeping your church from growing the way God desires
- How to identify and break the three most common barriers blocking your church’s growth
- Pouring the foundation for solid growth in the future
- Specific coaching on these growth barriers
- The tools you need to break through these barriers
- Plus much more!
To Register for FREE now (hurry – there are only a few seats left at each venue):
I hope to see you there!
From time to time, after a big day like Easter or a Friend Day, our staff sit down and wrote hand written thank you notes to everyone who made that Sunday happen (often 100+ thank you notes).
We write, pray, write and pray some more. It’s a powerful reminder that you aren’t in this alone . . .and its a powerful connection for your people to receive them too.
I recently read this story in the new Tom Peters book (Little Big Things) – he captures the spirit of ‘saying thank you’ perfectly:
“During my brief White House stint in the mid-1970s, I did something similar, spending eight or nine straight hours one New Year’s Eve on my office phone. I called close to 100 people I worked with—in agencies all over Washington and in embassies around the world—to thank them for their help the prior year.
In addition to enjoying the chats, which I did . . ., I admit that I was purposefully engaging in an ADRE…an Act of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement. I’m not suggesting false sincerity here, as I fully buy the argument that ‘If you aren’t sincere, it’ll come through as if you were using a megaphone.’
I nonetheless urge you to develop some similar ritual. Moreover, I urge you to start it in the next couple of weeks, then get into the New Year’s Habit. Think ADRE. Twelve months a year!”
I love the idea of ADRE – an Act of Deliberate Relationship Enhancement.
Now quit reading this blog and go write 3 thank you notes . . . now. Go!
With thankfulness for you,
P.S. I recommended Tom’s book, Little Big Things, in the April Church Leader Insights Newsletter. Did you get it? You can subscribe to the Newsletter for free by clicking here.
He took the time to share some great news about their Assimilation System -
In just a few months, they’ve increased their Retention Rate (the number of guests they keep) from 1 out of 16 to an incredible 1 out of 3!
I’ve seen at The Journey, in Coaching and in thousands of churches that improving your Assimilation System is the fastest way to grow your church.
So I asked Jeff to share a couple of the biggest changes they made to see such a dramatic improvement in their Assimilation. Here’s what he had to say:
- We use a connection card every Sunday and the information on the card serves as a point of contact for all follow-up. I ask all visitors to kindly complete it and drop it in the offering plate which is handed around later in the service. Most people are willing to do this.
- The other big component is that I have coached a team of people to assist me in the assimilation process. Each person is clear about their role. We adhere very closely to the process we have established. In addition, I share with them news about the people getting connected, especially the feedback (mostly positive) visitors provide to encourage them.
This is a great example of how just a few tweaks to how you interact with and follow up with guests can have a tremendous impact on how many of them will actively plug into your church.
Keep up the great work Jeff!
P.S. If you’re ready to grow your church by keeping more of the guests that God is sending your way, check out my bestselling resource, “The Assimilation Seminar” – Click Here to read more or to secure your copy now.
One of the foundational truths that my friend and coach Steve Stroope shared earlier this week in the Improve the Financial Fitness of Your Church Webinar was that “an important part of your job as a church leader is to provide the resources for ministry.”
Unfortunately, many pastors struggle to cast a compelling vision for stewardship. As a result, their churches remain painfully underfunded and miss out on some great ministry opportunities just because they can’t afford them.
The first step for any church leader – even before casting a vision for stewardship – is to clarify your theology of money. Spend some time digging in to what the Bible teaches about money and grab & read through a copy of Money Matters in Church.
In short – know what you believe about stewardship and make sure you’re living that out in your own life.
Remember: “if it’s a mist in the pulpit, it will be a fog in the pew.”
Then, boldly cast vision for stewardship. Steve shared these vision-casting arenas in the webinar:
- In Your Preaching – Don’t shy away from the topic of money. Evaluate your preaching on a regular basis to stay balanced (click here for a resource to help you do just that). When was the last time you preached an entire series on the topic of money? How can you include a stewardship illustration in an upcoming message, to raise the value of honoring God with your finances?
- In Membership Class – Clearly present the expectations of membership (including giving) and be sure they understand what the church believes about money (click here for a post about Steve’s membership expectations). Be sure that financial giving is understood as a commitment of membership from the beginning. Then remind members of their commitment to give and support the work of the church periodically.
- In Small Groups – For most of us, small groups are what Steve refers to as a “Level 2″ activity (primarily for the development of believers). Because of that, you can teach on the topic of giving, stewardship, and finances in general with a different approach than you do during your worship services. In addition to incorporating stewardship teaching into your small groups curriculum from time to time, you can provide ongoing opportunities for financial education and growth (ex: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University).
These are three powerful (and often untapped) opportunities to teach, challenge and cast vision for biblical stewardship at your church.
So what’s your next step?
- Do you need to clarify your theology of money?
- Is it time to evaluate your preaching and add in some points about stewardship?
- Are you clearly letting members know that they’re expected to give?
- Should you order Financial Peace University and offer it as a small group this summer?
Whatever it is, know this – my prayer is that you will take the steps required for your church to be fully resourced to reach the people of your community!
Can’t we all use a chuckle on Monday morning?
The Top 10 Signs Your Sermon Isn’t Going Well
13. Your associate pastor is warming up in the bullpen.
12. The praise band begins playing you off the stage.
11. The congregation is filling in the blanks of your outline before you get there.
10. You think the lyrics to a bluegrass song are really connecting with your audience.
9. When you pause for dramatic effect, several people giggle.
8. Your cell phone starts ringing, and you answer it.
7. The person signing for the deaf just pulled on mittens.
6. When the children are dismissed to junior church, most of their parents go, too.
5. Your sermon took shape over a glass of wine and volume three of Left Behind.
4. Your interpreter just rolled his eyes and put your last statement in quotation marks.
3. Desperate mothers are pinching their babies.
2. The ushers are handing out refunds.
1. You began your sermon with “Top 10 signs your sermon isn’t going well.”
Have a great Monday!
P.S. To increase the effectiveness of your preaching and reduce your stress from week to week, check out “Planning a One Year Preaching Calendar“
Here’s the information:
So, can you join me?
Here’s what I’ll be teaching you:
- How to DOUBLE your church in a day (it can be done)
- How to immediately raise the evangelism effectiveness of your church
- How to mobilize your congregation to reach their friends
- How to spark growth in a stalled church
- How to keep momentum year after year in a growing church
- How to excite your people, even if they’ve not been motivated in the past
- How to influence your leaders to reach out to the community
- How to plan and implement a proven BIG DAY process
- And much more . . .
To Register now (hurry – there are only a few seats left at each venue):
I hope to see you there!
One of the hot topics from Tuesday’s Improve the Financial Fitness of Your Church Webinar with Steve Stroope was his clear and concise explanation of the commitments of being a member at his church, as they describe in their New Members Class (click here if you’re looking for help developing your own Membership Class).
When you join Lake Pointe Church, there are 5 things that are expected of you:
- Feed Yourself - Have a regular daily devotional (and we’ll teach you how to do that).
- Share Your Faith - As long as you’re a member, you’ll have at least 3 people that you’re praying for, seeking to witness to and seeking to invite to church with you.
- Give Small Groups a Try - Get in a small group for at least 6 weeks because we believe that you need to be in the context of relationships to grow spiritually.
- Serve Somewhere in the Church – As long as you’re a member, you’ll plug in and serve in some capacity.
- Give Financially – To become a member, you have to commit to all five of these commitments.
So, here are a few questions for you to wrestle with today:
- What do you ask of your church members?
- What’s expected of a member at [fill in the name of your] Church?
- How do you clearly communicate that to them when they join and remind them of these commitments?
- When was the last time you taught on the value of church membership and invited people to “join the team”?
P.S. For more great insights from Steve Stroope, check out the full, three-hour seminar “Improve the Financial Fitness of Your Church,” available as a 3-CD Set or for Immediate Download. Click here to read more or secure your copy now.
P.P.S. For everything you need to begin offering your own Membership Class, check out “The Maximizing Membership Package” – it’s a fully downloadable kit that contains everything you need to move people into membership at your church. Click here to read more or secure your copy now.
Steve is the Lead Pastor of the 10,000+ member Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, co-author of Money Matters in Church with Aubrey Malphurs, and one of the nation’s experts on church finances, capital campaigns and stewardship in general.
My only problem yesterday was trying to make sure I took good notes (and making sure I didn’t run out of notebook space)!
Steve has been a tremendous help to me and The Journey since the early days, and he’s partnered with Church Leader Insights on a number of practical resources, including:
|Lead Your Own Capital Campaign Kit (DVD Set)||Improve the Financial Fitness of Your Church Seminar (3 CD Set)||Money Matters in Church (Downloadable Audio)|
One of the powerful stewardship ideas I wrote in my notebook yesterday was to ask your church members to re-commit to the commitments of membership on an annual basis (including, but not limited to, their giving commitment for the year).
Steve gave me permission to share one of the free downloads that webinar participants received yesterday - the actual commitment card that they use at Lake Pointe. Here it is, for your downloading pleasure:
P.S. If you’re even considering a Capital Campaign in your church, perhaps the best investment you can make is to order a copy of Steve’s Lead Your Own Capital Campaign DVD Set - Click here for more details.
One of the greatest obstacles to your church growing, thriving and reaching its “full redemptive potential” is a short, 6-word phrase that has led to the plateau and ultimate decline of many a church:
That will never work here because…
If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that statement over the years – it’s normally followed by:
- my people would never go for that
- you don’t know what I have to go through to make changes at my church
- it’s different in the south/north/midwest/west coast/(insert your location here)
- it’s an urban/rural/suburban/(insert your setting here) thing
- we’ve never done it that way before
I’ve heard this statement – in its many variations – so many times that now I ask my coaching participants to extract it from their vocabulary for the time they’re in the network (and for the most part they do).
It’s often the poison of “that will never work here” thinking that keeps you from attempting to lead God-inspired change in your church.
In coaching over 700 pastors in ALL KINDS OF churches, denominations, settings and geographic locations, I’ve seen that the systems, the growth barriers and the leadership techniques that lead to lasting health and growth in churches are eerily similar – no matter where “here” is for you.
So here’s my challenge to you:
Stop looking at every method, principle, teaching and technique from the standpoint of “why that won’t work in my church” and, instead:
- Seek God’s direction.
- Set some ministry goals.
- Begin implementing the changes it will take to get from where your church is today to where God wants you to be six months or a year from now.
When you begin to realize that the principles of church health and growth are the same in towns as different as New York City, Walla Walla, Poplar Bluff and Kalamazoo, you’ll be able to get to work on cooperating with God to reach the people of your community with the Gospel!
P.S. If you’re looking for a proven process to expand your leadership skills, improve the health of your church and “cooperate with God to reach the people of your community,” my next Tele-Coaching Network for Senior Pastors begins in August and I’m receiving applications now.
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