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Created on Monday, 21 July 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Ed Stetzer, evangelism, outreach, tools, witness, Christ, Billy Graham, My Hope, Evangelism Explosion, The Story, I am Second, training, resources, Life on Mission, Alpha courses, The God Test
Churches desire to make disciples and they want people to be actively sharing their faith and interacting with unchurched people. That's a good thing. Many believers would like to be bold about witnessing ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 11 July 2014 / Community
Tags: Thom Rainer, dysfunctional, church, symptoms, theological errors, eschatology, denials, pastor eater, severe conflict, community, worship, attendance, decline
If you want to hear about really sick churches, then stick with me on this post. If you are tired about many of us writing about the sordid state of congregations, I understand. Skip this article and I ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 / Adversity
Tags: Thom Rainer, adversity, dying, church, life, autopsy, hard data, health, help, significance, influence, guilt, dependence, community, love, control, miracle
I have written another article that presented the findings of my "autopsy" on a church that recently closed its doors and died. I knew the church well because I had been their leadership's consultant 10 ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 04 July 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Thom S. Rainer, church, revitalization, mirror, factors, hindering, Great Commission, priority, evangelism, laypersons, pastors, staff, excuse mentality, prayer, compassionate, Christ-like, intentionality, ...
There is no shortage of pundits who are providing to us the gloomy and dismal state of American congregations, and, indeed, of many churches around the world. For sure, I am among the guilty. While personal ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 03 July 2014 / Media
Tags: Phil Cooke, media ministry, success, Joel Osteen, Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Salvation Army, American Bible Society, whole package, production quality, creativity, response, training, media buying, ...
Pastors and ministry leaders come to me from time to time and ask an interesting question: "Do for me what you did for Joel Osteen." Apparently, they think it's easy. But whenever I've worked with ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 30 June 2014 / Money
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastor, salary, topic of discussion, congregation, contention, public information, humility, benefits, expenses, insurance, critics, leverage, misperception, overpaid, family members, ...
If you want a lively discussion, then the topic of the pastor's salary can usually meet that need. I have discussed this issue in the past on both my blog and my podcast. In both cases, the conversation ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 27 June 2014 / Youth
Tags: Greg Stier, full-time, ministry, youth leaders, stars, longevity, burn out, prayer, fitness, physical, mental, lifestyle, cardio, weight training, marathon, intentionality, mission, planning, excellence, ...
Over the last 25 years of full-time ministry (as a church planter, youth guy and para-church director), I have seen all sorts of youth leaders. Some are like falling stars; a bright streak of light that ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 24 June 2014 / Pastoring
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastors, church, tenure, mystery, third year, Breakout Churches, honeymoon, perspective, expectations, relationship, relationships, seasons, letdown, prayer, intentional
Pastors generally don't stay long at churches. The average tenure is between three and four years. But, as our research has shown consistently, longer tenure is needed for church health. Longer tenure ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 / Pastoring
Tags: Thom Rainer, productive, pastor, ministry, demanding, race, spiritually disciplined, pray, physically disciplined, appointments, sermon preparation, priorities, accomplishment, sleep
The work of pastoral ministry is a joy, but it's also demanding. Every pastor is on call 24/7. Expectations of members are high and sometimes unreasonable. Pastors are thus expected to "run the race" constantly. ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 / Vision
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay, church, autopsy, death, caution, pessimism, optimism, reality, leaders, prayer movements, church planting, revitalization, theology, practical ministry
I know. I have been a spokesman for gloom and doom of the local church. I've even written a book about church autopsies—not necessarily a topic of hope and joy. There have, however, been reasons ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 09 June 2014 / Church Growth
Tags: Kristy Rutter, Ed Stetzer, LifeWay, Thom Rainer, churches, multi-site, merger, strategy, success, The Chapel, Chicago, Kingdom, church plants
I have had the privilege of working with the Chapel, a multisite church in the Chicago land area for the last 4 years. I started with them in 2009 to spearhead this "experiment" to see if we could launch ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 06 June 2014 / Relationships
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay Christian Resources, pastors, church members, human, family member, criticize, bad days, sermons, home runs, sensitive, salary, church numbers, true friend, preaching, good people, ...
In a recent article, I noted nine things church members would like to say to their pastors. In this article, I represent the pastors. Please hear me clearly. Most pastors love church members dearly. They ... [ +++ ]
Created on Friday, 30 May 2014 / Communication
Tags: Thom Rainer, pastors, church members, LifeWay Christian Resources, care, visit, teach, Bible, Word, preaching, change
I am among the most blessed men in the world. God has graciously saved me and sustained me. I have an incredible family. The place and ministry where I serve vocationally is a gift from God. And then, ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 / Equipment
Tags: Thom Rainer, worship center, seating, churches, pews, chairs, stackable, mobile, theater seats, capacity, flexibility
One of the larger expenses of many churches, and often an area of contention, is the type of seating in the worship center. I have been amazed to hear stories of intense church arguments over seating in ... [ +++ ]
Created on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Youth With a Mission, Ministry Today 21, Loren Cunningham, missionaries, discipleship training, schools, Brazil, World Cup, Olympics
When Loren Cunningham launched Youth With a Mission in 1960, his inspiration came from a vision he had received four years earlier while on a college summer break. Cunningham found himself looking at a ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 12 May 2014 / Evangelism
Tags: Cityteam, movement, discipleship, Holy Spirit, Great Commission, converts, Muslims, church planting, Bible, iDisciple, training, seminars
... what He had in mind. Initiated in 2001, the ministry has helped plant almost 29,000 churches in 50 nations and has won almost 1 million converts—a third of them Muslims. With an international staff of ... [ +++ ]
Created on Thursday, 08 May 2014 / Worship
Tags: Thom Rainer, church, services, changes, objective research, National Congregations Study, Duke University, choirs, dress, casual, screens, preaching, longer, multi, attendees, diverse, conflict, ...
... If you, however, attended a church worship service in 2000 and then returned to that same church in 2010, there is a high likelihood you would see dramatic changes had taken place in only 10 years. What, ... [ +++ ]
Created on Monday, 05 May 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Jared Moore, pastor, realities, blessings, ministry, training, immature church, angry, failure, legalism, liberalism, ignorance, tradition, opposition, preaching, teaching
The blessings of ministry far outweigh the realities below; however, ministry is definitely not easy. Don’t waste your time and money going to seminary or college for pastoral training if you ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 / Administration
Tags: Thom Rainer, church names, trends, Bible study, denomination, affiliation, Baptist, Christ, Assembly, Community, unchurched, Internet, relationships
The call came from an eager young man starting a new church in Florida. He already had 50 people meeting in homes in Bible studies. They had secured a leased space to launch the church in just a few months. ... [ +++ ]
Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 / Personal Character
Tags: Thom Rainer, LifeWay, criticism, leadership, unrealistic expectations, ministry, blessed, calling, Jonah, love, unconditionally, eyes, resurrected Lord, gospel, focus
By my warped standards, it was not a good day. After nearly nine years serving as president and CEO of LifeWay, I have learned that criticisms are a part of the life and leadership I have. But the critics ... [ +++ ]
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