“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
– Kenneth Blanchard, writer/Leadership Guru
Now is the time to apply for my Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network that begins in February!
Because if you apply and are accepted before THIS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, you’ll receive Over $1475.00 in Super Early Bird Bonus Resources
That’s right – THIS SUNDAY is the deadline to apply and receive these Super Early Bird Bonuses:
If you’re ready to take your leadership and your church to the next level, click the link below and APPLY NOW (Sunday is the deadline to apply for all these Super Early Bird Bonuses):
So, today I wanted to share some samples of the documents we’re using for our Christmas Offering at The Journey this year.
Here are the links to samples of:
- The Journey’s Special Offering Envelope Design
- The “Beyond the City” special offering logo
- The large-format envelope we’re using to send the info packet
- The letter and information packet we’re sending out
And if you haven’t already read my FREE “How to Plan & Conduct a Christmas Offering” E-book, here’s the link to download your copy now:
It hurts when people leave our churches . . . people who have been around for a long time; people who are relatively new; people who have experienced life change at our churches.
People leave church! It’s a reality of ministry. I live with it and so do you.
But can we do more than just live with the fact that people do leave?
For the last decade or so, I’ve been dealing with the personal pain of people leaving, the spiritual consequences of people leaving and the “failure feelings” that come when someone leaves.
So I started to humbly ask myself, ask our leaders and ask God, “Why are people leaving?”
And what I discovered amazed me.
I learned that about 95% of the time, people leave for SIX MAJOR reasons.
That was good news to me. I could identify and deal with six reasons (not six hundred – that would be too many – but six seemed manageable).
I began to teach these six reasons to the hundreds of pastors that I have coached and found over and over these reasons were behind 95% of the ‘losses’ in their church too.
But then I took it a step further, I asked: What can I do about it?
With God’s help and insight, I discovered that there were practical steps I could take to either prevent people from leaving before they walked out the door or steps I could take to keep the door open for their return.
Out of this learning process in my own ministry and now having tested these ideas with hundreds of my coaching alumni, I’m proud to present to you a BRAND NEW RESOURCE.
This NEW Resource is entitled:
WHY PEOPLE LEAVE CHURCH (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)
In this 3-CD, one-hundred-twenty-two minute resource, I describe in detail the six major reasons people leave.
But I go beyond just description . . . this resource focuses on prescription too.
Because I also show you six biblical ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE to either keep people from leaving in the first place or make sure the door remains open for their return.
I think this resource will be PERSONALLY VALUABLE AND BENEFICIAL to you for at least three reasons:
- This resource will give you peace of mind in knowing exactly why people are leaving your church (just identifying the reasons helped me feel like less of a failure).
- This NEW resource will give you ‘something to do’ that will help you keep hope alive while dealing with the pain of loss. Instead of feeling helpless and hopeless, you will now have some actions you can take. I will give you a track to run on.
- This resource will give you new insight as to why people REALLY leave (hint: the reason they tell you ain’t the actual reason they leave. No doubt you felt this way in your heart but I’ll prove it to you and spell it out for you in the resource).
Here’s what I’m trying to say: this resource isn’t just valuable for the material I cover, it’s valuable for the PEACE OF MIND it will bring to you. Does that make sense?
Listen, I’ll not only give you the specific nuts and bolts action steps that you’ve come to expect from me, this resource will relieve your heavy heart and help you gain a new healthy perspective.
How do I know this? Because that’s what putting the resource together and implementing it at The Journey Church did for me.
As I applied the actions steps, we begin to keep more people (yeah!).
But yet others would still leave from time to time. While I hated to see them go, it was no longer a heartbreaker for me because I knew two things: 1) The real reason they were leaving was different then what the told me and 2) that if I kept the door open for the reasons I discuss in the resource, they were more likely to return.
Frankly, I never planned for the material I share in this resource to be ‘public.’
I thought it would be material used only in my high-commitment coaching networks.
But as I taught the material to my networks, they encouraged me to put it together so that all pastors in the Church Leader Insights family could benefit.
Here’s just a sample of what I will teach you in this resource:
- The TOP SIX REASONS people leave your church, and what you can do about it.
- How THREE of these reasons are impossible to correct after the fact – but you can prevent them before they happen.
- How THREE of these reasons give you an opportunity for greater ministry.
- How to reduce the impact of all SIX reasons people leave (you can’t eliminate them, but you can minimize them).
- The BIGGEST MISTAKE you can make when someone leaves your church (there are RIGHT things to do when some one leaves and WRONG things, I’ll show you which ones work).
- How to make sure you don’t lose FOCUS when someone leaves.
- What growing churches do differently when it comes to people leaving church.
- What ONE THING will kill the chances of someone ever returning (its not what you thing – in fact, I bet you are doing it in some form or another in your church right now and its hurting you without you even knowing it).
- Why you should NEVER chase someone who leaves (really! I’ll show you why).
Plus so much more. It’s a packed resource!
In fact, I know this will be such a help to you that I’m offering a FULL 365 DAY NO-QUESTIONS-ASKED FULL SATISFACTION RETURN-FOR-ANY-REASON guarantee.
Pick up the resource, listen to it as much as you want and, for any reason, if you aren’t happy, return it for a 100% complete prompt courteous refund.
OK, so are you ready to pick up the resource, follow this link right now:
If you prefer to order by phone, give us a call today at 1-800-264-5129.
Your Partner in Ministry,
P.S. After I finished the ‘formal’ one-hundred-twenty-two minute presentation you’ll find in this resource, my team kept the recorders running and hit me with six additional ‘tough questions’ about why people leave church.
Because my answers were unscripted and straight from my heart (which I had just laid bare for the previous recording) I had to seriously consider what to do with this extra material.
My pain is your gain because we took the extra question and answer time and added it as a BONUS to the CDs or Downloads (over thirty additional minutes of bonus material).
This bonus material is in addition to a leaders guide, listeners guide and full transcript on the resource CD.
I want to do everything I can to help you with this key issue.
Once again, here’s the link to pick up the CDs or Download Now:
Issue #3: Leadership.
If you’re leading a turn-around church, you must be able to paint a constant verbal picture of your church’s preferred future, based in reality. You’re probably the only one who sees it, and that picture may be foggy to you. Nevertheless, there is a God-given picture, and you must hold on to it relentlessly.
Max De Pree says, “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” The pastor of a turn-around church needs the skill to tell the truth without discouraging their flock. His ability to encourage, recognize any progress and chart a manageable course is critical.
Issue #4: Pain.
The turn-around pastor will endure pain. That pain is often the emotional pain of rejection. The old saying, “No pain, no gain” could not be more applicable here.
Let me be painfully honest here. If the current way of doing things at your church fine, it wouldn’t need to turn-around. People own and do these “things”, so in order to change the way things are done, the people must change. Either they change internally or they are changed and new people do those things. This is incredibly painful for both pastor and people, but critically necessary to understand.
Imagine telling a faithful member, they need to change their way of leading a class or ministry. They may feel driven away by the pastor. It’s an emotional minefield and someone is going to get hurt, and it’s probably you.
The upside of pain is that it will not last forever and what grows out of pain is real ministry. Pain causes you to lay down your life for the mission of Christ, one moment at a time and God will give you grace to endure. You only experience the deep settled peace and grace of God during seasons of deep struggle.
I recall during my turn-around experience, my board decided to meet secretly in my absence to review my leadership. Half were loyal and half were not, and I was 3000 miles away teaching when I found out.
That night I read Acts 27. I was in a storm just like Paul. Jesus protected me and what came out of that time was an increased ability to trust Jesus to take care of His church and me. Great challenges produce great victories.
Issue #5: Urgency.
Urgency is the adrenaline of a turn-around church. Without it change cannot be made. Too much urgency and the church will become discouraged and give up. To little urgency and no change will happen.
John Kotter said, “Instilling urgency is critical to getting organizations to switch directions; arguing the case using facts alone won’t create that urgency.”
Most pastors are unwilling to inject urgency into the system because it will require painful decisions, but there is no other way. You can’t “nice guy” your way out of decline in a turn around church.
Someone has to say, “This ship is sinking!” and pastor that’s you! Urgency buys you permission to lead and make the needed changes.
Simply mentioning that the back half of the ship is having a few problems won’t get you what you need. You’re going to have to declare a state of emergency. Once you’ve done that you’ll see that urgency is your friend to help reverse the trend. Only the truth will set your church free.
For information on the Turn Around Church Coaching Network,
P.S. For a package of resources to help you evaluate and improve the Systems of your church, check out The Systems Seminars Package.
They say the early bird gets the worm….
Well, when it comes to my new Senior Pastor Tele-Coaching Network…
The Super Early Bird gets over $1475.00 in Bonus Resources
But the Super Early Bird deadline is just 10 days away – October 31st.
This network begins on February 24, 2011, but because so many of my coaching applications come in at the last minute, I’ve decided for the first time ever to offer this Super Early Bird bonus pack to everyone who applies and is accepted before Sunday, October 31:
Don’t delay – if you’re ready to take your leadership and your church to the next level, click the link below and download your application right now (or better yet, you can now Apply Online):
Obviously, Nietzsche and I don’t agree on everything, but on this statement we do.
And as a church leader, you need to learn this lesson well and repeatedly…
The most powerful word for leading change in your church is BECAUSE.
I brought this up in my Assimilation Coaching Network recently to help churches increase the number of people who complete Connection Cards in each service.
One of the members of that network, Matt Barnett (Connections Pastor at Solid Rock Community Church in Covington, Washington) and I emailed back and forth and he gave me permission to share a “Because” list that he and his team compiled.
Here’s Matt’s list of reasons why everyone should fill out a Connection Card at his church:
1. Because we are updating our database (specifically useful when people are getting back into routines, like the first of the year or when school starts in the fall).
2. We ask both you and your spouse to fill out a card individually because you each have an individual spiritual journey with Jesus, so your next steps are different too.
3. Because it makes our guests feel more comfortable completing their cards when they see you filling out yours.
4. Because, members and regular attenders, the next steps on this card are for you.
5. Because this card is how you sign up for a small group.
6. Because we all have friends that don’t yet have a relationship with Jesus, and by writing those names (as a next step), we as a staff will join you in praying for them!
Great work Matt!
Of course, the beauty of this principle is that it will work for just about anything you”re trying to lead yourself or other people to do – find enough reasons why and the how gets a lot easier…
It’s the power of BECAUSE!
P.S. Want to know more about how using this simple tool called a “Connection Card” can drastically increase the number of newcomers who get plugged in at your church? Check out The Assimilation Intensive.
As you might imagine, I get a lot of questions from pastors who are facing all sorts of ministry situations. That’s one of the reasons I write this blog – to provide some answers when you’re not sure of your next steps.
However, there are some issues that I haven’t faced personally or otherwise don’t feel as well-equipped to write about, and for those I like to connect you with guest bloggers who can speak to those issues.
Today’s issue is Church Revitalization (or Turn-Around Churches), and I’ve asked Don Ross to share a series of posts about the topic. Don is a Coaching Alum and the Lead Pastor of Creekside Church in the Seattle, Washington Area.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LEAD A TURN-AROUND CHURCH?
(Part 1 of 4)
by Dr. Donald E. Ross
What is a Turn-Around Church?
Turn-Around Churches experience a decline nearly impossible to reverse, but they do. Most churches in similar situations simply go out of business. What are the critical aspects of a church and pastor that see terminal decline turned into growth?
Let’s define a turn-around church. A turn-around church has recognized that, due to consistent decline, within a decade it will be out of business. This church has courageously decided to face the truth and make a series of extremely difficult and painful decisions to reverse that trend.
Issue #1: Mission.
I’d like to say that “Everything rises or falls on mission” but I think someone has already captured that sentiment. Regardless, mission is critical. Knowing that the leader and church are part of the Christ’s mission helps them embrace a turn-around.
Mission says, “This is not about me, it’s about Jesus”. In America, nearly 4000 churches each year go out of business, and we are not planting nearly enough churches to replace them. Now we can see why turning around declining churches, and planting new ones are all a part of Christ’s mission.
In many ways, the challenge of a turn-around church was written for us 2000 years ago in Revelation, 3:1-3.
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Most declining churches once had a reputation of being alive, but it is not alive now. It’s on life support and needs help.
Both the pastor and church leaders need to work together to “Strengthen what remains and is about to die.” This is hard work, but possible and needed, if the leaders and church are willing to pay the price to not only survive, but also learn to thrive.
Issue #2: Vision.
This turn-around is usually lead by a visionary leader, often brought in from outside the church’s current culture. The value of bringing in a new leader is that they are not stuck in the current thinking trends or bogged down by the church’s history.
The challenge of a new visionary leader is they must earn the right to lead a group of people, almost all of whom are stuck in current thinking trends and severely bogged by down the church’s history.
As one pastor put it, “God has called you to lead people to a place they don’t want to go, in a way they are uncomfortable with, following a leader they barely know.” Who would sign up for that job? You?
If you’re already living this scenario, Jesus will not leave you alone. It’s His church and you’re His servant. You can count on him to lead you through.
For information on Don’s Turn Around Church Coaching Network,
P.S. For a package of resources to help you evaluate and improve the Systems of your church, check out The Systems Seminars Package.
Between the hundreds of you who joined me for the webinars this week and the thousands who have downloaded my freshly updated “How to Plan and Conduct a Christmas Offering” E-Book (FREE Download), I’ve gotten lots of great questions that I’ve been trying to answer this week.
Here’s another one:
You recommend focusing the Christmas Offering on three or four causes, but wouldn’t it be more impactful and effective if we focused on one single cause?
This is a common question (and a good one), but it’s actually more effective to have multiple causes.
What I like about raising funds for three items is that it connects with more people.
Let’s say you focus on missions – it’s possible that some folks would connect with that item while others wouldn’t (and thereby not give). But if you did missions and children’s ministry – well, now you get the missions folks and those with a heart for kids. Three items – same principle.
I wouldn’t do more than three the first time out – definitely missions and then something that focuses on your city or region (Community Service/Feed the Poor maybe) and something internal (pave the parking lot, new sign, etc.).
Don’t spread yourself too thin AND don’t narrow your focus too tightly, and you can see a great result of funding for your church and spiritual growth in the people who call your church home!
P.S. If you’re ready to maximize your church’s stewardship efforts, check out my most comprehensive Stewardship resource, The Stewardship Intensive.
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