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preacher

How Many Hours Does a Pastor Work Each Week?

It is one of the most unpredictable jobs one could have. There will be weeks when there won’t be much taking place out of the ordinary, and the pastor will work a “mere” 40 to 45 hours. There will be other weeks filled with meetings, emergency hospital calls, a wedding, two funerals, and line of members waiting to see the pastor. That workweek could total 80 hours.

So we surveyed pastors on Twitter and asked them a simple question: How many average hours do you work a week, including sermon preparation? Though we asked for an average, most responded with a range. We thus took the midpoint of the range they submitted. We also asked this question only of fulltime vocational pastors. Read more...

Tony-Morgan

35 Low-Risk Changes Churches Can Make

One of the reasons churches get stuck is that they’re unwilling to change. They don’t want to rock the boat. Leaders are afraid. People may leave. People may stop giving.

Over time, the culture becomes reticent to change. The status quo becomes the driving value.

When churches stop changing, people get comfortable. It’s impossible for Christ-followers to get comfortable and be sold-out to Jesus at the same time. Comfort is not the goal.

This is probably obvious, but let me offer this advice: If you want to be in a church that embraces change, you have to begin to make some changes. Read more...

Thom-Rainer-headshot

The 12 Biggest Challenges Pastors and Church Staff Face

In my latest non-scientific Twitter survey, I asked the following question of pastors and church staff: What is your biggest challenge in ministry?

Here are the top 12 responses with representative quotes. I’ve taken the liberty to expand most of the quotes from their abbreviated form in Twitter.

1. Apathy and internal focus. “I have been in ministry for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen church members more apathetic and internally focused.” Read more...

Tony-Morgan-candid

4 Bad Habits Developed by Teams With No Ministry Strategy

Habits impact churches much more than they realize. In fact, many churches are stuck because of bad habits.

Charles Duhigg writes in The Power of Habit“Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-consumed decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own ... over time the way we organize our thoughts and routines has enormous impacts.”

Lately, I have noticed four recurring bad habits developed by teams with no clear ministry strategy. Read more...

Dan-Reiland-Pastor-Coach

When Is It Smart to Create a New Position?

Feeling under pressure? Overworked? Are you and your team working hard but can’t seem to keep up, let alone get ahead?

You are not alone. This is a very common church staff scenario. What you do about it can be a game-changer.

In more than 20 years of creating new positions and hiring staff, I’ve lived with the tension of needing to know how many staff is the right number, what positions are the right positions and when is the right time to hire more people. The thing that increases the tension is that there are so many different opinions about the answers to those questions. Read more...

Tony-Morgan

4 Reasons Why Churches Don’t Have a Strategy for Life Change

Booz & Company just recently completed a study asking leaders about their business strategy. Based on their research, they found that most executives don’t believe their company’s strategy is understood by their employees and customers. Even more astonishing, 54 percent of executives do not believe their company’s strategy will lead to success.

Can you believe that? More than half of businesses are being led by executives who don’t believe their organizations have a plan to experience success. I can only assume these businesses are going through the motions today, hoping (and maybe praying) for better future results. Read more...

Tony-Morgan-candid

Should the Church Be Asking the Same 6 Questions as J. Crew?

Olan Hendrix once said, “Strategic thinking is like showering; you have to keep doing it.” Many churches are intentional about setting short and long-term goals. Unfortunately, because there is no ongoing process, they quickly get stuck and revert back to previous ways of thinking once goals are accomplished.

Strategic Operating Plans guide teams to clarify their mission, vision and core strategies—and then create the right structure and accountability to realize it through prioritized action initiatives. The process is a continual circle because strategic thinking must always be ongoing.

The May edition of Fast Company recently featured an article by Danielle Sacks that really demonstrates the importance of strategic planning. Read more...

I-am-the-boss

What Happens When Someone on Your Team Drops the Ball?

The power of accountability sets the tone in any organization.

So, what about when someone completely drops the ball? We all have experienced this as leaders. I know I have. How do you respond?

You give a big assignment or project to someone on your team, and they lay an egg—totally drop the ball and don’t get it done. We’ve all been there. I know I have, both as the goat who goofed up, as well as the one in charge trying to figure out how to handle the situation.

So, how do you handle it? Let’s look at this situation from both sides—both the one who dropped the ball and the one in charge. Read more...

Pastor-Rick-Warren-Purpose-Driven

17 Tips for Staying Productive in Ministry

Pastors, we tend to share a lot throughout the year. Some of you are preparing two or three messages and presentations every week. When you repeat that process 52 times in a year, life gets exhausting. How do you stay motivated to keep going?

Let me share with you how I’ve managed to motivate myself. Here are 17 things you can do to keep yourself motivated.

1. Put your plans on paper. Write out what you want to accomplish. Spell it out. Dawson Trotman said, ”Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” If I can say it and I can write it down, then it’s clear. If I haven’t written it down, then it’s vague. Read more...

Don’t Procrastinate on Fall Church-Event Planning

Autumn is coming before we know it! If your church staff is like most, you are gearing up to start your fall planning.

Here are some things to consider as you put your planning down on paper:

1. Why do you do what you do? For every event or series you put on the calendar, ask yourself “Why?” If you answer, “Because we always have the ladies' tea the second Saturday in November,” it might be time to change your traditions. Read more...

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