Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday's Catch: "Church Mergers and Plants" and Much More

Church Mergers and Plants: Summer 2017

The latest issue of 9Marks Journal is now online. The focus of this issue is church mergers and plants. Lots of great articles. Check it out.

Why We Plant Churches

Sojourn Network must plant churches; this is our constitutional mandate—anything less represents willful disobedience.[1] For ‘church planting’ to be achieved, however, it must be understood. To be understood, it must be defined. To be defined, it must be clarified in writing. We chalk a line at that place, then, and mark it as our starting point. Read More

Five Big Problems for Small Churches Featuring Karl Vaters - Rainer on Leadership #338 [Podcast]

Karl Vaters joins Thom Rainer and Jonathan Howe to discuss issues found most often in small churches. However, these issues manifest themselves in any size church in any setting. Listen Now

3 Steps to Resurrect a Dying Church

If you focus on growth before depth, you’ll be tempted to adopt gimmicks, quick fixes and copycat tactics. Read More
I have some ambivalence about posting a link to this article. It is related to Brian Moss's third suggestion. While I agree that reassessing the church's ministry target group is important, I must point out focusing solely on "people like us" can be problematic. This is an application of the homogeneous unit church growth principle. Focusing only on "people like us" and not a more diverse segment of the local population, one more representative of the community or neighborhood's population, has also been identified as a major contributing factor to the plateauing and decline of churches. If a church's ministry target group is a small one, the church is not likely to experience much growth. If a church wishes to arrest its decline, it must expand its population base. One of the reasons churches plateau or decline is that they tie themselves to a stagnant or shrinking base.
9 Reasons to Connect Our Churches with the Cities

We are called to get the gospel to all peoples of the world (Matt. 28:18-20), and we will not do that if we shy away from the world’s cities. Please read on even if you’re not interested in urban settings, and pray about how your church might tackle a city (then come back tomorrow to hear my thoughts about rural areas and churches). Read More

Five Easy Ways to Pursue Excellence as a Church

Want to pursue excellence as a local church? Here’s how you do it. Read More

The 5 “R”s to Remembering Names of Everybody You Meet

Remembering a person’s name is important. You never know how such a small detail might have a profound impact on someone’s life. Read More

10 Ways Pastors Can Help Women in the Church

Pastors and leaders have a responsibility to shepherd their flock--the entirety of it. If you are a church leader, you have a unique opportunity to embrace the gifts women bring to your body. Read More

5 Myths That Keep You from Recognizing God at Work

As I have preached on people’s jobs over the years and researched my book Every Job a Parable: What Walmart Greeters, Nurses, and Astronauts Tell Us about God (NavPress, June 2017) I’ve encountered five vocational myths that keep people from more fully recognizing God at work. Read More

Is the ESV Literal and the NIV Gender Neutral?

There actually are five methods on translation with three sub-categories for the handling of gender language. Translations are all on a continuum, overlapping one another, and hence it is misleading to picture them as different points on a line. I am guessing, but for example, about eighty percent of the ESV and the NIV are the same, once you account for different translations of individual words. Read More

The Challenge of University Evangelism

Some believe, however, that the university may be entering a new era of opposition to student ministry, and particularly to evangelism. When weighing what seems to be the beginning of a shift or trend, it’s always hard to know whether it’ll be localized and temporary or sweeping and lasting. However, particularly in elite American universities, students are becoming highly sensitive, traumatized, and outraged by opposing viewpoints. Read More

Developing a Spirit of Acceptance When We Reach Out to the Unchurched [Podcast]

Rick Richardson, Professor at Wheaton College and head of academic programs and research at the Billy Graham Center, shares a story of a recent evangelism encounter. Rick explains that once unchurched people know they won’t feel judged or pressured by Christians, their hearts warm to the gospel and the opportunities for faith sharing are endless. Listen Now

Southern Baptists and the Alt-Right: On Being in the Room Where it Happened

Last week, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution “On the Anti-Gospel of Alt-Right Supremacy.” It was not without some controversy. Read More

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