Ministry Today proudly presents Greenelines, a new blog from Dr. Steve Greene.
Dr. Greene writes on a wide range of topics important to leaders, church administrators and young leaders in development.
He has lead business organizations, served as a dean of a college of business and lead as a senior pastor. Greene's primary focus is to equip the leaders of saints.Read Greenelines
Part 2 of 5. Content is king.
A toxic character trait can take a ministry down very quickly. Here's how to rid yourself of it.
By James Korsmo
Here's why you should reconsider your approach to reading.
Believe it or not, you might actually hear these words on any given Sunday.
Part 1 of 5
According to God's Word, here's all we need to do.
By Dr. Steve Greene
So, why aren't you blogging? If you are, are you getting positive feedback?
Unless the church helps our society regain the biblical worldview regarding the nature of humanity and family, our culture will continue to drift into a world so bizarre that it will make Grimm's Fairy Tales look pedestrian.
Effective change comes in small packages.
It's the thing that most women are hungry and desperate for. And you can be God's delivery person.
We were created for worship and all people need to worship. But what is the key and the direction of our worship?
By Johnny Berguson
Here's how today's breakthrough technology can help bring your services into the 21st century.
Why "why" is a powerful tool for leaders.
Are you willing to make the sacrifices that these characteristics suggest?
By Christine M. Brimmer
Here's why access to an immigration lawyer is a must-have for your church.
Are we looking only at the "headlines" in our ministry, or are we getting down to the root of the issues in our congregations?
Be aware that your team may not be willing to learn today.
"It's my church home. I will never go anywhere else!" I smile when I read those words on our church's Facebook page, but I know differently.
Nobody stays forever. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only person not eventually leaving is my wife.
People come and people go often for all the wrong reasons.
They grow bored with your teaching. "I'm not getting fed any longer."
You're not new and exciting anymore. "We feel called to support a new pastor in town."
They don't like the music. "We don't do my favorite songs enough and the music is too loud."
They're struggling relationally. "I'm having some issues with Bob and feel it's best to just move on."
It seems like you're all about numbers and reaching new people. "What about me?"
Of course, there are a hundred other reasons given, but they always boil down to one: they don't love you anymore or at least not as much as they used to. Let's face it: people rarely leave what they truly love.
- They don't leave a dream job that they love.
- They don't leave a spouse whom they love.
- They don't leave a church that they love.
It just doesn't happen. We do what we want to do because we want to and because of our affections.
Sadly, when it comes to matters of the heart, we humans are a fickle lot (and I include me in that we). Driven by emotions, we tend to make a lot of our decisions based on the way we feel rather than on what's best for others or for God's kingdom.
I've been pastoring for nearly 35 years. I've been a church planter, a staff pastor and the senior pastor of both small and large churches. My point is, I've heard thousands of people show up at church and say, "Best church-evah!" That is, until it's not.
And the rejection used to shred my soul.
So how do you handle this reality of human fickleness?
Accept it. By that I mean embrace the truth that some things will never change. People are people. The history of mankind attests to the often erratic and self-centered nature of humans. We say one thing and do another. We make promises and break them as soon as they're inconvenient. On this side of eternity, even the greatest saint walks with a limp. I'm not cynical, but I am a realist. Everybody's leaving; even your most faithful member will eventually die. So stop fighting what you cannot control. You'll sleep better.
Get over it. Rather than fixate on the ones who leave, focus on the thousands in your community who have no relationship with Christ or His Church. I know it hurts when you've poured your life into a person, and they leave. I know your shepherd heart cares deeply for the sheep, and you worry when they wander. However, while you're bleeding out over shifting saints or wandering warriors, tens of thousands in your area are destined for a Christ-less eternity unless you reach them soon. The harvest is still ripe, and we still have a job to do.
Learn from it. They might be leaving for all the wrong reasons, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing wrong. Maybe there's a grain of truth in their parting shot, and you need to hear it. Filter-out the ugliness of any departing words often spoken in anger, and ask, "Is there something I need to see here?" By the way, there's always something you can learn.
For years, I read a passage in John 2:23-25 (NIV) and it baffled me. John wrote about Jesus, "Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."
People got excited about Jesus the miracle-worker. They wondered if He might be the Promised One. Jesus loved them, but He knew the nature of man. He would not entrust Himself to people. He knew what people are made of and the character of humanity.
Jesus wasn't cynical; He had realistic expectations, and His call was not dependent on our applause.
Love and serve people. Teach, challenge, inspire and correct your church with a hopeful heart. But when they leave, stay the course. Adjust your expectations, and entrust your heart to the One who promised never to leave or forsake you.
Kurt W. Bubna published his first book, Epic Grace—Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot, with Tyndale Momentum in 2013. Since then, Bubna has published three other books, including: Mr. & Mrs.: How to Thrive in a Perfectly Imperfect Marriage. He is an active blogger, itinerant speaker, regular radio and television personality, and the senior pastor of a large and community-focused church in Spokane Valley, Washington.
For the original article, visit pastors.com.
Beyond the baseline characteristics, here's what you should look for in a campus pastor.
By Tom Bradford
Here's how an app for your church can encourage fellowship and giving, among other benefits.
Leaders need help to know what they don't know.
One of the greatest mistakes a leader can make can lead to sabotaging vision.
Some may consider these to be "second-rate" pastors, but many in their congregations would beg to differ.
By AG Financial
To create a financially strong church, you'll need this tool.
Here's when good enough is all that's needed.
As leaders in the church we want our lives to be a testimony. We can't do that if we're trapped in this rut.
By Ministry Today
In it's special May-June issue, Ministry Today magazine honored 21 churches that are 'culturally diverse on purpose.'
As a pastor's wife, Carol McLeod is proud to take the opportunity to preach on Mother's Day each year. Motherhood, as she explains, is complicated.
Meet this merchant of hope.
Sadly, our society has become self-centered. Would it be great if we took an "others-ie" more than once in a while?
By Jessilyn Justice
Do you think Jesus' disciples could have ever envisioned that the Great Commission would be fulfilled digitally?
The coming church will look nothing like the church we know today. Here are some of the significant changes on the horizon.
Do it now or pause to consider?
The church is waking up and many are making an 'Appeal to Heaven.' Become a part of the revival many are praying for.
"The Lord said there is a greater shaking coming to America than anyone can imagine. I'm calling the leaders now."
In his own words, LifeWay Christian Resources President Thom Rainer describes some of the things that happened during his tenure as a pastor of which he isn't proud.
Millennial followers don't care about your title.
Here's how superior and vastly different God's kingdom is from any worldly economic or political system.
Here's the difference between your weekly scheduling chart and an organizational chart in children's ministry. They're both unique.
Should goals be set and chased, or is it all a divine mystery?
Success can be a breeding ground for failure.
Are you measuring your success by nickels and noses? There's a better way to do it.
How do you recognize such a challenging calling? Here how to make sure.
These traits would make it easy for congregation members to love and admire their pastor.
And don't expect a plow horse to speed up, either.
Many people who write about church growth recognize the importance of having trained greeters at the doors when guests arrive. But here's where they should be strategically placed.
If this is something that applies to you, then is it any wondering you're having trouble growing?
The true litmus test of the degree of kindness that exists in your heart happens behind closed doors.
Blind spots can be detrimental to your leadership.