5 Things I Want to Tell Everyone About to Pastor

5.  Work hard.  Don’t be that guy who is last to church, preaches, let’s everyone else take the slack, ducks out early.  Seriously – just don’t.  People will tell you pastoring is hard work, and it is – but don’t become a prima donna.  Get in there and help set up the sound desk, stay late and talk to everyone, even Mrs Jones who you are convinced is going senile, be at the prayer meeting first, learn how to set the church alarm system.  Just get involved.  Serve teas and coffees.  If you are joining a team in a larger church, don’t be the slacker.  Be the hard worker.  

4. Don’t be quick to accept a church that need a pastor.  Churches between 30-70 people are cats.  They are just like cats: they will wander to you, wander away from you, they will be independent.  Do some investigation – I know you want to preach, but that’s only 1 or 2 hours a week, and you have a lot more hours to fill and the kind of church it is will make a massive difference.  If they have run off the last 3 pastors in less than 2 years, you will be gone in two years.  You are not that good, No one is that good.  Find somewhere else.

3.  Your greatest asset in the church will be the dear old saints who have been walking with the Lord thirty or forty years, draw from their wisdom, find out their secrets about life in the Word and following Christ.  Your greatest liability in the church will be the dear old saints who have been not walking with the Lord thirty or forty years.  Enjoy!

2. Don’t let them mistreat your wife.  Never ever ever let them mistreat your wife.  Or children.  You will be in a greenhouse and people will be looking.  They can look, but if they throw stones, ensure they have no responsibility or future in the church until they can respect your family as an extension of you.

1. Don’t work too hard.  Pick a day of the week (I find Fridays best as it means I hit that weekend refreshed) and turn the phone off, turn the interwebs off, and enjoy.  Let nothing interrupt that day off.  If you want to read, read; if you want to watch a DVD, watch a DVD.  Go out for lunch, don’t cook.  Have a day off every week and rest.

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10 Great Quotes on Leadership

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10 Great Quotes on Leadership

10. You manage things; you lead people. —Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

9. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. —Max DePree

8. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. —Warren Bennis

7. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way. — General George Patton

6. Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch

5. A leader is a dealer in hope. —Napoleon

4. You don’t need a title to be a leader. –Multiple Attributions

3. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell

2. My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence. —General Montgomery

1. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. —Peter Drucker

5 Ways to Grow Your Church in 2014

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I am currently – yes, on New Year’s Day – completing our church’s charity return for 2011-2012.  I am currently compiling data from December 2011, which is two whole years ago.  We are now running at 3 times as many people, 4 times as much income, and 5 times as many volunteers.  That’s not bad.  If we manage that again in the next 2 years, by December 2015 we will be a church just under 400, with more than enough money to purchase our own building.  

Do I think I can reach that target?  Actually, I think I can smash it.  I know a lot more about church growth than I did 2 years ago, and I will know a lot more in 2 years time.  So this post is for church leaders looking to see growth in their churches in 2014.  5 simple steps anyone can take that will almost guarantee an increase in people.

1.  Start Counting How Many People You Have in Church every Sunday.

Don’t guess, don’t estimate.  Count.  Get a clicker if you have to (you could get one here).  Most pastors never count and never record.  When you get the numbers put them in a database of some sort.  We use Elvanto which I wholeheartedly recommend, but you could use Excel, or even a big  A board.  Knowing the numbers makes it easy to measure and notice growth.  It’s amazing but as soon as you start counting, that act of focus brings growth.

I know people will say “it’s not all about numbers”.  That depends on what you are counting.  If you are counting people who need the love and life of Jesus inside their hearts then it is all about numbers.  Each number is a person, each person is a story.

2. Throw a party.

We did this in September 2013 and it added 10 people a week to our Sunday morning services!  We just had a bring your friends to church party.  We did our best worship, I preached my best message (also the first in a series to bring people back in next week), and we had our best smilers on the doors.  Also the children’s church had a party as well, and in the service I raffled off a whole bunch of prizes.  It was a lot of fun.

It was our busiest service of the year, even Duane Sheriff and Wendell Parr did not attract the crowds that free food did.  After church we bought all the children in the service a happy meal (all 33!), and had a bring your own food but bring loads buffet after for the adults.  We just chatted and enjoyed fellowship.  That’s a simple thing to do and it works.  We are doing it again Feb 2014 and Easter 2014 and September 2014 and Christmas 2014.  Why?  It works.

3. Advertise.

We have had people come to Tree of LIfe this year due to billboards, newspaper adverts, leaflet drops and all sorts.  People criticise adverts and word-of-mouth is ALWAYS better, but it does bring people in and new people NO-ONE in the church know bring a real buzz to a Sunday assuming your church is disciples and loves new people… which brings me to point 4…

4. Create a Culture of Welcome

You can’t welcome everyone unless your church is less than 20.  Now we are running 130+ a Sunday (I know that because I counted see!), I don’t even know if anyone is new or not – it’s too many people.  So you train people to be welcoming, you have procedures to help and welcome people, you let everyone know we are family and we are expecting guests.

First impressions matter

5. Have a decent and up-to-date website and Facebook page.  No one under 35 will come to your church without going to your website and your Facebook page.  If they have animations from 15 years ago and are inviting people to a Carol Service in 2009, those people have made their mind up about you before they even go.  If you cannot do this pay someone to do the website (if you need a guy, I have a guy) and find someone in your church under 30 and ask them to set up a church Facebook page.  

There you have it.  It won’t solve all your problems but it’s a good kick up the backside to your church that will help you be all you can be in 2014