Four Keys to Better Church Hospitality

As my family visited churches upon moving to Nashville, we were blown away by the differences in hospitality to first time guests. In some churches we knew exactly where to park, were graciously welcomed, escorted to the children’s area to drop off our kids, and introduced to several helpful people. In other churches, we had […]

The Drain and Gain of Student Ministry

I am very grateful for the student pastors and volunteers that serve students in churches every single week. As Christ stepped into our culture to serve us, they step into the teenage world to love and lead students. Because of the responsibility to pass on the Christian faith to a new generation, churches must have […]

Sabbatical Insights for Churches

I know that the decision makers for giving pastors a sabbatical vary according to context. The ones responsible with the decision may be executive staff, elder team, deacon body, or personnel team. If you are on one of those teams, I encourage you to give your pastors a sabbatical for two reasons: (1) for the […]

Seven Sabbatical Insights for Pastors

The church I served as executive pastor for eight years (Christ Fellowship) graciously gives their pastors a sabbatical. Mine was scheduled for six weeks in the summer of 2010, but I was not quite sure I was going to make it until then. In January of 2010, some signs of exhaustion were clear. I was […]

Why Your Pastor Needs a Sabbatical

In a church I served years ago, I was in a committee meeting where some members were bemoaning the fact that my senior pastor was taking “a sabbatical.” One man boldly proclaimed, “The devil does not take a day off; if we want to make a difference in this community – how can our pastor […]

Burying a Program

Since writing Simple Church with my boss Thom Rainer, a common question has been, “How can we eliminate a program or an event?” Those who ask the question often know that a program on their church calendar accomplishes very little for the Kingdom and is not aligned to the mission of their church. But they […]

When Your Church Needs New Wineskins

The great folks at The Gospel Coalition recently asked me to write a few articles on church staffing. My latest article is below. One day a group of people approached Jesus, confused that his disciples were not fasting. After all, John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees were fasting. Why were Jesus’ disciples not […]

Church Finances 101: Strategic Budgeting

Often budgeting can digress into a time of mindless regurgitation of last year’s budgeted amount, when a pastor/director simply slides the amount in each line item over to a new budget or does some slight rearranging. However, it instead can be a time for robust discussion around mission and strategy. After all, your budget is […]

Church Finances 101

We are in budgeting season at LifeWay for our next fiscal year, which begins in October. This is my first time going through the budgeting process at LifeWay. And while there are more zeros involved, I am finding many of the same principles I learned in church ministry to be true in this environment. I […]

Choices and Unsatisfied Souls

Barry Schwartz is a psychologist and a compelling speaker. In his book The Paradox of Choice, he draws from research that for most people “more” really is “less”. He reasons that the more choices someone has, the more the person is set up for unmet expectations and regret. For example, imagine that you take your […]