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Created on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 / Personal Character
Tags: Brandon Cox, Rick Warren, doubt, risk, trigger-shy leader, confidence, fear, trying, failing, criticism, Saddleback Church, Decade of Destiny, big goals
... anyway is the other half. As leaders, we fight fear daily: The fear of trying and failing The fear of criticism The fear of doing something dumb and getting everyone hurt Way back in 2000-ish, the church ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 12 January 2015 / Growth
Tags: Brandon Cox, church planters, creativity, Grace Hills Church, Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, money, quality equipment, facility, advertising, launch, transferable principles
A quarter of a million dollars sounds like a whole lot of money to me. But that's the amount an expert in the field of church planting said I should have in the bank before attempting to plant Grace Hills ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 / Vision
Tags: Dr. Don Meyer, University of Valley Forge, advice, Roger Lane, be on time, promptness, integrity, diligence, courtesy, social graces
Roger Lane has been a great friend for over 25 years. Both of us grew up on a farm and farm boys always have lots of things in common. He raised hogs; we milked cows.  His home was in Nebraska; ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 06 January 2015 / Communication
Tags: Brandon Cox, articles, pastors, truth, Bible, Hobby Lobby, Supreme Court, church plant, social media, church growth, control, marriage, disciples, local churches, disappointment, give up
I loved 2014. It was crazy busy, but there has also been a sweet rhythm to life. I haven't blogged as regularly as I have in past years, but my posts have often been longer, more article-length, and at ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 / Preaching
Tags: Brandon Hilgemann, Christmas, sermon, church, attendance, opportunity, message, return, keep it short, Bible, A game, boring, jokes, hook, story, gospel
For a church, Christmas Eve services are typically one of the highest attended days of the year. A great message is absolutely essential on such a big day. This may be the only time many of these ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 08 December 2014 / Counseling
Tags: Brandon Cox, counselors, broken, atmosphere, life's hurts, healing, spiritual health, relationships, church members, Grace Hills Church, Saddleback Church, Rick Warren
Some of the spiritually healthiest people I know are in counseling. There seems to be some stigma around it, but getting help with our mental and emotional issues is really a matter of choosing to grow ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 / Community
Tags: Brandon Cox, growth, compromise, theology, megachurches, small churches, local, Leadership Network, worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship
I love small churches. I love medium-sized churches. And I love large churches and "megachurches" (typically defined as an evangelical congregation with 2,000 or more weekend service attenders). I also ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 / Youth
Tags: Kurt Johnston, Saddleback Church, youth, ministry, attractional ministry, magnetic ministry, faith, abandonment, intergenerational opportunities, missional strategies, methodology
Over the past several years, one of the hottest topics in the youth ministry world has been faith abandonment—specifically, when kids "graduate" from youth group. It's an important conversation to ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: pastor, extra-marital affair, Ron Edmondson, marriage vows, Dr. Jennifer Degler, lie, drug, distraction, narcissist, inappropriate relationship, revelation, secret, exposed, abandonment, abuse, self-absorbed, ...
This post is from a friend of mine, Dr. Jennifer Degler. Jennifer pulls no punches. But she's a difference-maker in the kingdom. I'm thankful for her influence. She writes: Dear Pastor, If you are a pastor ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 / Growth
Tags: Brandon Cox, control, growth, church, David Chrzan, leadership, theological framework, systems, Holy Spirit, commitment, congregation, discipleship
He may not be Solomon, but David Chrzan often drops nuggets of wisdom that sound as if they could have come from the book of Proverbs. In the five years or so that I've known and worked with David, he's ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 / Money
Tags: Pastor, Brandon Cox, money, apostle Paul, finances, churches, gift, manage, worship, need, generosity, justice, tyranny, missions
As a pastor, I'm well aware of how many people have the assumption that "all pastors want to talk about is money." The funny thing is, after twenty years in ministry and communicating regularly with thousands ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 27 May 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Convoy of Hope, Donaldson family, humanitarian aid, natural disasters, social media, basic needs, food, water, church, truth
Humanitarian Aid At the intersection of U.S. 65 and I-44, the crossroads of America connect in Springfield, Mo., a place where passion meets need and hope meets healing. This junction forms the ideal location ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 20 May 2014 / Ministry Leadership
Tags: Ron Edmondson, crises, trials, tribulations, response, leaders, George Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life, outset, slow down, don't panic, composure, plan, navigation, recovery
How do you respond when crisis comes to the team you lead? I love the leadership displayed during a scene in It's a Wonderful Life where George Bailey is about to leave for his honeymoon and panic ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 09 May 2014 / Money
Tags: Phil Cooke, financial crisis, church, survival, Mary Hutchinson, Mark Dreistadt, Dale Berkey, David Holland, donors, financial, Jesus, blanket appeal
I asked a distinguished panel of donor development and fundraising experts about the advice they would give churches and ministries during a financial crisis. The panel included Mary Hutchinson, Mark ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 / Preaching
Tags: Brandon Hilgemann, pastors, dynamics, preaching, levels, normal, quiet, loud, shouting, power, passion, urgency, control, sincerity, intimacy, tone
Did you know that for musical arrangements, composers write more than just the notes to be played? They also write the strength with which each note should be performed. These markings are referred to ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 / Worship
Tags: Don Chapman, worship, worshipideas.com, stale, rut, set, churches, Joel Houston, Hillsong United, Jared Barber, service, order, guitarist, drummer, keyboardist
As I’ve been visiting and playing in several churches over the past few months, I’ve noticed a few recurring problems that can easily be fixed to help the quality of your contemporary worship: ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 14 April 2014 / Social Media
Tags: Brandon Cox, pastors, social media, Facebook, Instagram, churches, gospel, Jesus, eggs, diversification, power, people, Grace Hills, money, advertising
The gospel did okay before Facebook and will do just fine without it. But plenty of churches and organizations like mine have found Facebook to be an incredibly useful tool for getting the word ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 27 March 2014 / Worship
Tags: Brandon Cox, worship, pastors, powerful, presence, God, Jeff Kennedy, Grace Hills, crying, praise, joy, fear, humility, anticipation
What does it mean to worship “in the presence of God”? Sometimes we take our terminology for granted. After all, isn’t God always present everywhere? And in reaction to our feel-good, experience-driven ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 24 March 2014 / Social Media
Tags: Brandon Cox, pastors, social media, Bible, social issues, brand, Loving Choices, pro-life, pro-choice, homosexuality, liberals
Christianity has a brand, like it or not. So does your church. And so do you, for that matter. That might make more sense if you define branding the way I do—as the story people are telling about a person, ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 24 March 2014 / Worship
Tags: Don Chapman, worship ideas, praise, songs, singable, professionals, congregation, music, songbook, frenzy, confidence, struggling, train wreck, vocal range
Do you ever wonder why your congregation isn’t singing louder, or singing at all? Your songs may be the culprit. Find a congregational praise song with a great melody and lyrics, and you’re set, right? ... [ +++ ]
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