Your Entire Church is Basically Dechurched. Now What?

When we think about the dechurched people in our community, we don’t think about our current congregation. But the pandemic made virtually everyone dechurched. And they’re behaving as such.

That means we need to adjust our expectations and approach.

No longer should we assume that people will join a small group, invite a friend, volunteer, or provide financial support.

We are all church planting now.

In this NEW POST, I outline the 4 specific areas of engagement churches need to rethink in light of the pandemic.

And as always, I love helping leaders make things better and make better things. Go to my site today and to sign up for a 15-minute conversation to see if working together works for you.

3 Temptations Pastors Experience as People Leave Their Church

Right now, people are leaving your church, and it hurts.

I’m guessing every pastor in every church has experienced some amount of congregational exodus during the pandemic. 

I get it. I’ve been there. Several years ago, I took the position of lead pastor at a struggling church. And almost immediately, a handful of families decided to leave the church.

And they all felt the need to tell me they were leaving the church. And why they were leaving the church.

Guess what? It hurt.

Even though I didn’t yet know these people, it still hurt.

When people leave your church, it’s a form of rejection, and rejection is painful.

This pain has a name: Loss. When a person leaves the church, they take something with them AND create a temptation inside of us.

In this NEW POST, I outline three specific temptations every pastor must reject when people leave the church.

This is a 5 – 6 minute read. In a season like this, I think it’s worth the time.

Can We Stop Equating Stage Charisma to Leadership Competency?

I recently listened to the Podcast “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.”

Have you heard it?

There is a LOT to take away, but toward the end of the second episode, one moment stopped me in my tracks.

You can read this NEW POST for the details, but in summary, it reminded me that we too easily equate stage charisma with leadership competency.

We need to stop this, like now.

Hear me out: I love my friends that are great on stage. Some of them are equally great leaders. Some aren’t. Some don’t even want to be. But because they are charismatic in front of people, we assume they’ll be competent at leading with people.

In this article, I discuss this difference and provide a simple solution.

Thanks, friends!

6 Strategies to Keep the Mission Ahead of Your Ambition

Like you, I was born with some ambition.

I feel like ambition gets a bad rap.

For a leader, personal ambition isn’t too problematic until it supplants the organizational mission.

That’s when selfish ambition takes control, dominating the organizational mission, hurting others in the organization, and imploding the leader over time.

In this NEW POST, I offer 6 strategies to help keep the mission ahead of your ambition. I also gave you a key question to ponder with each strategy.

I’d love to hear which strategy feels most helpful to you in your current season of leadership.

As I’m transitioning off our church staff, I’m heavily focused on strategy # 4.

As always, I’d love to help. That’s why I created Transformation Solutions.

Recently I’ve been helping churches with their:
1. Hybrid church strategies, and
2. Staff culture.

Both seem to be needed as we emerge from the pandemic.

2 Critical Leadership Questions for Organizational and Personal Health

I love this leadership posture: “Be content, not satisfied.”

I can’t remember when I first heard it. It sounds like something John Maxwell would say. It’s certainly not a new idea. For many leaders, learning to balance dissatisfaction and contentment opens us to innovations while keeping us grateful and emotionally healthier (not completely healthy, but healthier).

This of it this way:

Contentment is personal, where satisfaction is professional.

When we confuse contentment and satisfaction, we damage our emotions and limit the mission.

Over my years of marketplace and ministry leadership, I’ve fought to remain content, but not satisfied. I believe every leader should fight for personal contentment and professional dissatisfaction.

In this NEW ARTICLE, I discuss these two terms and provide two critical leadership questions that you and your team should consider as you attempt to move forward together.

HOW CAN I HELP?

If you aren’t satisfied, I’d love to help. Coaching ministry and marketplace leaders through change, transition, and transformation is why I created Transformation Solutions. Go right now to mytransformationsolutions.com and sign up for a free, 30-minute conversation to decide if working together works for you.

Why Getting People Back to Church is a Dangerous Goal

How many people are back at your church?

That seems like the predominate, post-COVID pastor question, doesn’t it?

We used to ask, “How many people attend each Sunday?” But not now. The question has changed. Neither question is a great question. Nevertheless, it’s the most frequently asked question.

Today, it seems how many people you previously had isn’t as relevant as how many of those have returned. Every pastor is concerned with attendance return.

In this post, I directly address this new post-COVID “returning” focus.

Here’s my big idea: Everyone’s focus seems to be “getting people back!” I’m not sure that’s the right goal, though. I’m afraid too much focus on “getting our people back” to church will permanently shift our plans, leadership, hiring, and budgets in the wrong direction.

Here’s why: The more focused we place on keeping people, the less energy we spend on reaching people.

A focus on re-attracting those who aren’t returning turns us into a “keeping-focused” church. Here’s what I’ve learned in my decades of church leadership:

You can focus on reaching people or keeping people, but not both.

Here are 5 strategies to keep a reaching heart in a keeping-focused season of church leadership:

1. Don’t “think” like a church planter; ACT as a church planter.
2. Resist the urge to adjust ministry offerings for the vocal and absent minority.
3. Admit that some people will never return, no matter what you do.
4. Start over by focusing on what the unchurched and dechurched in your community need.
5. Thinks steps, not programs.

You can read all the details in the full article.

I hope this helps us all retain the correct focus in this post-pandemic church experience.

If I can help, let me know.