Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

Magnets Attract

Have you ever owned a magnet? During my growing up years I had several magnets. I would often set at our dining room table and experiment with them.

Here’s what I learned: MAGNETS ATTRACT!! They pull something in their direction!! Exert influence on outside objects! Specifically, they attract metal objects. A connection automatically happens.

Here’s another lesson I’ve learned about congregations: some of them attract. Others of them don’t attract. In other words, some congregations are magnetic, whereas, other congregations are non-magnetic.

Why the strong contrast? Why are some congregations influential and others not influential? Why do some congregations fill meeting places and others are more effective at emptying meeting places? Why are some church parking lots full, whereas other parking lots look like they’ve been deserted?

One major reason for the difference relates to what a church has become. In many instances today, congregations lack magnet power. The magnet draws from a power source that’s beyond it. Likewise, attractive congregations have a power at work inside that comes from beyond them: the Holy Spirit. Gods Spirit flows through them freely. And remember this: no church can give to others what it does not first possess.

Another reason some congregations attract more than others is because they care more about others than they do themselves. People are attracted by any organization that’s making genuine differences in the lives of others on the outside. For this to happen, however, congregations must first die to themselves before they can come alive to others.

A third reason some congregations are more magnetic than others is because they’re scratching where people around them are itching. Sermons and lessons that are taught will reveal Gods presence for meeting their needs. Ministries are in operation that give assistance and direction when suffering and struggling are present.

Reason number four as to why some congregations are magnetic is attached to people outside wanting to be part of their fellowship. In other words, when those outside see us, and realize they need and want what we have to offer. While Christians are often viewed by society as being weird and odd, they are really meant to be different. And it’s their difference that makes them warmly and contagiously magnetic.

Moving to a fifth reason why some congregations are magnetic: those outside see in these fellowships a liveliness and energy that’s literally enticing. Desirable. Greatly attractive. But while some congregations give continuous screaming evidence of their vitality, others are dead and have simply failed to realize it.

The biggest argument against God’s existence today by the world is the presence of an unattractive church. YOU hold an important key for having a church that’s attractive. But here’s the question: Will you be the vital key for personally portraying an attractive church in your community for this unhealthy age?? It must begin with YOU before the contagion can engulf others around YOU!!

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May 26, 2014 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

Church Challenges Within Culture

Some congregations enjoy successful ministries today, while many others do not. The successful ones draw people, others only repel them. These successful congregations enjoy growth. Other congregations only decline.

Why this radical contrast? The notable notable difference? Why are some churches effective and growing? Why are others congregations ineffective and non-growing? While there is no one answer to offer, there are a number of recognized symptoms that serve to block a congregations influence. Here are some of the notable symptoms that are often highlighted to portray struggling congregations.

  • These fellowships form a certain club mentality. In this context, certain members become the major focus and concern. Keeping these individuals happy and satisfied becomes the ultimate and ongoing goal.
  • Red tape decision making is followed. Nothing can be done unless it has passed numerous control procedures. Individuals in these congregations are afraid to do anything in lieu of the existing red tape. The leadership of the Holy Spirit is replaced by a lot of time-consuming and official decision making.
  • Internal fussing and feuding is ongoing. Sometimes this becomes so severe that members choose to leave. Even those who attend a church from outside will avoid it like the plague. This practice of fussing and feuding is fueled by focusing on us in place of God and others.
  • The unwillingness of a church to get out of ruts. Things are done the same way without any alterations. Any attempt at doing something different takes these congregations out of their comfort zone and they are avoided. They believe it isn’t of God if you change things. These congregations wish to grow, but are unwilling to change their ways in order to experience a turnaround and growth.
  • Public worship is more dead than upbeat. The music is traditional and overly ritualistic. The spirit and attitude in the services lacks enthusiasm. Formality is their posture. Most everything follows an order and is highly predictable from week to week. Such fellowships need to cease doing things because this is the way the church has always done them.
  • Members are more into sitting than they are serving. They become more of a number on the attendance board, than fulfilling a God-given ministry based on their abilities/gifts. When persons are not serving they will shrivel up and die. Congregations are often guilty of killing people spiritually by their dead and formal nature.
  • Congregations need to enlarge their base. Offer more opportunities that will enhance spiritual growth and development. When you widen your base of opportunities, an enlargement of  ministry takes place.
  • Move beyond simply fulfilling what is normally expected. Engage in going the second mile. Disarm the critics. Mobilize your church in an accelerated fashion. Add new things to your otherwise traditional schedule.
  • Create the biblical attitude of giving in place of receiving. Our consumer society has led to the thinking that the church exists to do the same cultural things. When this happens, congregations fall into the trap of entertainment in place of enlarging spiritual experiences on the Christian journey. When giving is replaced by receiving, we lose sight of kingdom actions.

Much in congregational practice today is guided more by churchianity than it is by Christianity. As a result, congregations will always seek to resemble their culture more than they do Christ. Spiritual health emerges and energizes a congregation when it moves toward freeing itself from the existing cultural forms of church practice that have been enslaving it and nullifying an effective ministry for Christ.

January 6, 2014 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

GOD AND THE ATTENDANCE BOARD

Most congregations I’m aware of today put great emphasis on their attendance board. To them the attendance board reflects the impact their congregation is making on their community. If the numbers are up, the congregation is doing well. If the numbers are down, weeping and gnashing of teeth is set in motion and can be heard throughout the congregation.

Additionally, the attendance board is predictably placed in a prominent spot. Congregations want everyone to see it. To view it carefully. For the attendance board will perhaps be a cause for current boasting and pride.  At other times it will set off an urgent alarm that calls for some immediate attention and remedial action. Something such as, another new church program to motivate church members and visitors to attend more regularly. Or, an effort to begin what I call the “blame game.” Penning the problem for declining attendance on someone such as the preacher or preachers.

In other words, concern with the attendance board enables congregations to incorrectly measure success or failure. Progress or retreat. Making headway or moving toward the cemetery. Knowing how many are present on any given Sunday is also joined to a concern with who’s there and who isn’t there.

It may sound like I’m making fun of the attendance board. Belittling it. Making it appear unnecessary. Making an urgent appeal to transport it to the junkyard. But that isn’t my position here at all. My concern is that we make more of the attendance board in a congregation’s success than we do anything else. It has become the reigning king. Yet, nowhere in the New Testament do I see any such over-emphasis and fanaticism.

A preacher of years past has made the following excellent statement: “Sometimes we are more concerned about the absence of the people than we are the presence of the Lord.” Was Vance Havner on target? Is what he’s saying true of your church? Does your church place the majority of its concern on the people who are there and who are not there? In the process, has your church overlooked the more most important reason for gathering: TO ENCOUNTER GOD IN THE PUBLIC WORSHIP TIME? HAS GOD BEEN INCLUDED ON YOUR ATTENDANCE BOARD?

Allow me to make a few observations at this juncture.

  • Could the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of congregations today be attributed to this wrong use of the attendance board? Have congregations given more attention to the people who are there than they have God?
  • Do congregations need to remove the attendance board from public view as a helpful means of getting the focus more on God than who is or who is not there?
  • Is it possible that our hearts have been positioned in the wrong place when we arrive at church gatherings? If the attendance board is our main concern and focus then this has happened.
  • Should we remove the attendance board, keep track of figures, but utilize the figures more in a wholistic way, as only one of many means of measuring a congregations success or failure? A congregations progress is not attached to the attendance board alone.

One church leader shared with me his concern and sense of guilt about using the attendance board as a lone measuring device. Thus, he indicated that when he counted attendance he would add the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to the number. Why? Because if God isn’t there, have we missed the major reason for why we’ve assembled and exist as a church body??

July 4, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality, The Devil | Leave a comment

Overcoming The Holy Huddle

With few exceptions congregations enjoy informing me that they are a friendly fellowship. And I must add here that they are friendly with me about highlighting their friendliness. They even go so far as to engage in bragging about being friendly. Yet, their friendliness is really all about the crowd with whom they’ve become familiar. They enjoy their private activities, like being together often, and eventually evolve into the assumption that friendliness isn’t a quality that’s lacking among them.

What’s amazing to these inside folks, however, is when they learn the feelings of those who enter their church for the first time from the outside.  These individuals see and experience a totally different picture than what the insiders experience. In place of friendliness they are aware of what I wish to designate as the operation of a “holy huddle.” This “holy huddle” group seldom ever breaks the huddle long enough to welcome newcomers who walk inside one of their congregations services. That is, those who are outside the normal crowd that the insiders are used to seeing.

Another thing that often happens in established congregations is small interest groups. They do form. And they enjoy being together. In fact, they stay together. Hang together. They enjoy doing things in which common interests pervade. They erect their own programs, establish marginal mindsets, and structure comfortable zones in which they seek to maintain and control their turf. But an outsider, even a member of the same congregation, cannot join their elitist group. They won’t let them. And anyone who endeavors to crack into their group will be ignored. They will even go so far as to try and exclude those who attempt to challenge their “holy huddle.”

Allow me to openly say here that nothing is more damaging and divisive to having a healthy congregation than that of the existence of a “holy huddle” mentality. It’s wrecking many congregations in this day. How do I know? I’ve witnessed it. Have even heard church visitors who are extremely unhappy with it.

I’ve described the problem. Tried to describe it vividly and genuinely. But it’s not good to present a problem and offer no corrective. No solution. How can congregations break the “holy huddle” practice?

  • By highlighting the problem. This practice often continues to raise its ugly head today because no positive efforts are ever put forward to identify and describe its evil presence. It becomes a vicious growing snowball as it continues rushing downhill.
  • By each member committing himself or herself to being a solution to this existing problem. This will happen as he or she rufuses to become a contributing member to this “holy huddle” mentality.
  • By the effort to prevent any marginalized or private group or groups from forming and creating divisive cells within the larger church body.
  • By a faithful teaching and preaching of the Scriptures that attempts to focus on the dangers of such groups forming and disrupting a congregations unity.
  • By faithfully loving all of God’s creation, everyone He’s created, regardless of their ages, appearances or backgrounds. The human body has various members, but these members must work together rather than work against each other. This important lesson needs to be continually learned within the body of Christ.

The next step involves YOU. Will YOU be a contributor to the “holy huddle” clan? Or, will YOU choose to be the problem solver by faithfully and responsibly huddling with all God’s people in God’s great work in YOUR larger community and world??

July 3, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Prayer, Preaching, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality, The Devil | Leave a comment

THE KEY TO UNLOCKING YOUR CONGREGATION’S LATENT POWER

Congregations I encouter today are often troubled. Deeply concerned and burdened. Overwrought. They try many things. Work extra hard. Give of themselves. Yet, they soon agonize and lament about arriving nowhere wothwhile through their efforts.

“What’s our problem, Bill? What do we need to do differently? How can we leap over numerous dead-end roads in our ministry?”

These are questions that express a persistent mindset. They are posed more than one would be led to believe. In fact, I’m hearing these concerns, expressed through these kind of questions, more often than any other concerns. So, here is my response which I’ve chosen to address through questions of my own.

  • Could it be that your congregation’s ministry has evolved into being more about you and what you want, than it is about God and what He wants? Congregations, I’m discovering, frequently have established their own agendas for operation. These agendas end up pushing out God’s agenda.
  • How much time do you spend in prayer as church leaders and as a congregation? Do you spend more time talking, planning, doing, rationalizing and agonizing that you do praying?
  • What does prayer do? Anything at all? Mainly, it gets you focused more on God’s agenda and His will, and less on your own will and agenda. I’ve been to numerous congregational settings where there is, more often than not, an opening and closing prayer, but seldom ever an extended time for persons to simply seek God’s face and His will.
  • Can you imagine the unlimited power God is ready to unleash in lives and congregations when limitless time is spent with Him and not upon ourselves?
  • Are you aware of the latent power that’s available through prayer when it’s tapped into? James reminds His readers: ” … The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 – NKJV). The Message renders the verse even more clearly: “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” If this happens to one person think how much more power is unleashed when an entire congregation is constantly bathing its life and ministry in prayer.
  • Have you read any of the great testimonies given regarding prayer’s power. A. W. Tozer comes quickly to mind. He lacked academic credentials, and formal training. Yet, prayer took this simple man as he was, and shaped him into a fit vessel to deeply impact his generation as he preached, taught, wrote, and provided leadership. One comment he made repeatedly was the following one, “As a man prays, so is he.” May I also add here that, “as a church prays, so is it!” Prayer is the key to unlocking your congregation’s latent power.
  • Additionally, do you want to become an individual with God’s kingdom eyes, in place of being merely one with culturally influenced religious eyes? It can happen. Right where you are. And it will happen as you grow closer to Him through extended periods of time in earnest prayer, and as you seek His face and will for the direction of your church. Over time, prayer will not only turn your life around but prayer in your church will permeate every crack and crevice in its life, and will enable your church to become something you had never even dreamed it could become.

Prayer is the available key to unlocking everything that God wishes to do and accomplish through His church. Will you unlock this door, and walk through it with your congregation? As Mother Teresa has reminded us, “Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself.”

April 16, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Prayer, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

THE PASTORAL ROLE IN A DIFFERENCE MAKING CHURCH

Growing congregations are led by visionary pastors. How do I know this? Through observing successful congregations. This doesn’t eliminate the role lay members must play in a church. But the excitement for growth and mission will start with having visionary pastors. For congregations look to their pastors to show them the way.

Sometimes pastoral leaders will have and demonstrate visionary congregational direction. At other times, however, pastors will lack this gift. But please note: You cannot turn congregations around if pastoral leaders do ministry only as pastors and shepherds. With these thoughts in mind, why are there so many congregations today that are stagnant and passive?

  • Because persons in past days grew up in a congregation where ministry was mainly pastoral. And many of today’s pastors grew up in these kinds of context. They were conditioned to think of the church as a place where you took care of the flock.
  • Even earlier college and seminary training portrayed the practice of ministry as being pastoral. Thus, the pastor graduated, was ordained, then accepted a local church ministry to care for the souls under his care. Church growth and church health were not even in his academic program of study. He may have taken a personal evangelism course, but that was somewhat of a sidelight to the larger and more important issue of general pastoral ministry.
  • It’s also true that some pastors graduated from college/seminary with a great flair for developing growing congregations. But their passion soon died as their excitement didn’t square with the thinking of a particular congregation and its leaders. Many established and comfortable congregations do not want to change. And they pour cold water on pastors who attempt to change them.
  • Another problem pastors will face when they walk into an established congregation is that it has performed a cultural form of church ministry for a long period of time. This established form has placed the congregation in a very familiar and comfortable rut. Thus, focusing on reaching those outside their walls is a function established congregations will find difficult, if not impossible, to accept.
  • What is most disconcerting is to recognize the amount of difference between the college and seminary’s thinking and that of local churches. The academic institution believes they train pastors to  go out and change the thinking of a passive church and its leaders. But zealous pastors will predictably encounter a major roadblock when they try. Why? Because the local church has operated too long in a traditional fashion. As a result, they will resent and barricade pastors efforts to  exert any change. Some way we need to begin building crossable bridges between the college/seminary and the local church, as they are often on huge divergent paths.
  • Allow me to also stress that pastoral leaders will go into a church with wrong mindsets. For example, they will do everything members wish in order to gain their admiration. Or, they will function in a way in which they do everything for the members. This continues until their health breaks and they can no longer minister. Pastors will even fall victim to thinking they can minister to everyone in a church. The only thing wrong with this kind of thinking is that it’s wrong!!
  • An important transition for pastoral leaders to be able to turn a church around today, is to learn the important fuction of ministry balance. Simply stated, they need to possess an inside and outside focus. In this way, they can balance the roles of inside ministry with that of outside mission. Making this transition will mean that pastors will need to grow through planning and delegating much more. They will do less “hands on” ministry. But they will not become so overwhelmed, as they will now be able to see the bigger picture, and secure the increased involvement of others with them.

I love pastoral ministers. I always have. And I always will. I know their hearts and concerns, as I’ve been in their moccasins. They wish to be effective channels for the Lord and His church. But they are often caught in that tense bind between what a congregation needs to be, and what it currently is.

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Shepherds, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

BECOMING A DIFFERENCE MAKING CONGREGATION

Over time congregations tend toward becoming lethargic and frozen stiff. In this condition they appear immovable. Unchangeable. They cannot seem to advance or progress. Too spiral out of their paralysis. Experience any real discernible sense of growth . Someone once told me they are best described as being, “sound asleep and frozen solid.”

The foregoing description could allow me to go on endlessly. Offer the reader tons of information and examples of the deadness of many of these congregations. And quite truthfully, many congregations are caught in the middle of this serious and discouraging dilemma.

An important question needs to be raised at this point: What important steps need to be taken for a stagnant and unhealthy congregation to become a difference making church?

The foregoing question is a crucial one. Most vital. In response, I wish to offer a few suggestions for being able to emerge out of this crisis. Notice that I emphasized suggestions. Being suggestions they need to be mobilized into life and out of the realm of being mere suggestions. Simply stated, they need to become deliberate action steps, that move a congregation beyond the mental level to experienced reality.

Here are my suggestions for taking active steps that will help bring about a difference in congregations:

  • Initially a congregation needs to become discontented with being content. Where contentment reigns there can be no attempts made toward becoming a difference making congregation.
  • It is also necessary for a congregation to maintain the connection to the timeless message of Scripture without being tied to forever following time-worn methods. In short, a congregation needs to be willing to change or alter their existing methods.
  • A third step is to have a vision and mission in clear sight that your congregation practices in every aspect of its life and ministry. This vision and mission must always be highly visible and in operation. What is seen must be consistently practiced.
  • Having a team concept is also a necessary step. Utilize the abilities/gifts of the congregation. Christianity is never a solo flight. It is a movement that involves everyone.
  • Do not lose sight of the community. Their needs. Where are they hurting? What makes the community happy? How can we become a magnet to draw them? Bring them aboard? Give them a reason to live and a reason to die.
  • Make sure you endeavor to do some things differently. Refuse to get into a rut. Keep anticipation and breath taking experiences high.
  • Stay current with the times. Step into the 21st century. Avoid the thought ~~~> “We’ve never done it that way before.” If you continue doing things the same way you will get the same results.
  • View your pastor/minister leader as a coach. If no one is directing – leading – showing the way – a congregation becomes locked in neutral. You can go nowhere without an alert voice with a compass showing the way.
  • It’s also advisable to follow the dictum ~~~~> Lead – Follow – Or get out of the way!!” Could it be possible that you are standing in the way of your congregation’s progress?
  • When you attempt small or great things with God, you need to anticipate incredible results. For God’s involvement with you will bring incredible results, when the results are viewed from the human perspective.

God is waiting to do wonderful things through your congregation. Will you give Him the necessary space? If so, then get yourself in step with HIM who only majors in doing the impossible!!

April 12, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Prayer, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | 1 Comment

DOING THE CONGREGATIONAL TURNAROUND

Being a turnaround congregation was my concern in the previous blog. I endeavored there to paint a word picture of the type of congregation that could be defined as a congregation being in need of turnaround.

But why was it necessary to spend considerable time focusing on the problem or problems? Because unless one sees a congregation’s problems clearly, it will be impossible to have the necessary information in place for knowing the positive steps that need to be taken by a plateaued or declining church body.

Becoming a turnaround congregation can be experienced, I suggest, through taking the following path:

  • By a congregation being able to see itself through the lens of the previous blog in which I endeavored to open a door through which a church body can see itself. Until this spark of seeing a church needing change is ignited, there can be no possible turnaround.
  • This turnaround process must begin at the congregational leadership level. This means that the minister or ministers, including the complete church leadership team, must catch a shared vision of the existing problem or problems needing to be resolved.
  • A considerable period of time needs to be spent by the leadership team in Scripture, identifying there the purposes of a congregation’s life and ministry. This process needs to be matched equally with prayer. The church leadership team needs to appeal to God in a continued and concentrated fashion to open their eyes to the important steps and actions they need to take.
  • Important reading resources should next be consulted that will help further highlight and inspire the leadership team to understand the many practical and important principles of a healthy and growth directed church. Two resource examples to consult are: Bob and Rusty Russell’s book, When God Builds A Church; and my own book, The Magnificent Church.
  • Identify two or three congregations that have achieved significant turnaround, as these become another important step. Congregations, that is, which have been on a plateau or have declined, and have reversed directions in a positive fashion. Being able to see a turnaround congregation functioning effectively, and drawing from their turnaround experiences, can become a rich resource from which to learn.
  • Secure the services of an outside church consultant/coach. Those inside are really too close to their problems. They need outside eyes to come inside and help them see what they are unable to clearly see. A consultant/coach needs to function with the spiritual body much like a medical doctor does with the human body. This means the church consultant/coach needs to have much experience and training to function as a spiritual physician.

The path suggested here for congregation’s in need of turnaround is not an armchair road to follow. Rather, it is the path many derailed congregations have followed to get themselves back on track.

Do you need get on track in your congregation? If so, the call is to begin, not tomorrow, but right now. You need to, “get off your donkey!!” Dismount from your current comfort zone, and get busy with what needs to begin immediately within your church.

April 6, 2013 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Prayer, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Shepherds, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

OPENING THE DOOR TO CONGREGATIONAL TURNAROUND

There are many established congregations today. Briefly described, these are congregations that have existed for a rather significant period of time. The duration of their existence has caused them, through a gradual process, to become sluggish and stagnant. Over time they have assumed this paralyzed posture, as they have evolved into a comfortable religious rut. Some of these congregations have simply become plateaued. Others have reversed themselves completely, and are on the slippery slope of decline.

Congregations in the category just described, have some identifiable characteristics or traits to be noted. Among these identifying marks are the following:

  • These congregations are in need of a serious turnaround. A need of being reinvigorated. Re-energized. This is due to their being at a standstill or going backwards. They lack a sense of direction and purpose.
  • They are heavily maintenance oriented organizations in place of being ministry oriented organisms. They are more about form than they are function.
  • Though they need to experience a spiritual turnaround, they’ve slowly evolved into a passive religious posture that has become their entrenched and accepted comfort zone.
  • Congregations that are in need of a turnaround are predictably bothered by perpetual warfare. Internal fussing and fighting. This internal disease has caused them to lose sight of their major purpose: Glorifying God through the process of making disciples.
  • Leaders in these congregations function more often as meeting executives, rather than intentionally moving themselves and the membership into active ministry. As a result, they are experiencing death by countless routine meetings in which they are being lulled to sleep.
  • Falling into deep established ruts is another issue for these congregations. Encouragements to emerge out of these ruts are not welcomed. In fact, they are more often than not avoided, or politely ignored.
  • Doing church is viewed as an inward function and lacks external expression. Church is about what members want, and is not about what is necessary to attract the unchurched who are outside their walls.
  • Discipleship is absent. Church is about attending and participating in all the scheduled meetings. Members are expected to participate in all the scheduled gatherings, but are not equipped to engage in making disciples, the ultimate function and ministry of the church.
  • Members are not enabled to serve the Lord and one another according to their God given abilities and gifts. They are assigned a church job, or simply end up doing nothing more than sitting on a church pew. Little do these congregations understand that turning members into pew sitters results in losing them to a congregation where their giftedness can find better expression.
  • Becoming a turnaround congregation though is not something achieved overnight. A congregation did not arrive in this negative posture overnight. Thus, turnarounds will require patience along with well understood and communicated intentions. Specifically, a passive congregation will need a mindset change that can only take place over time before they can function faithfully and responsibly as a turnaround fellowship.

More definitely needs to be offered here from the solution perspective. And this solution portion will be forthcoming in the next blog. Yet, before this healing step can emerge and be set in motion, a congregation needs to first see their present positioning clearly, before they can take steps tward being a turnaround church.

April 3, 2013 Posted by | Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CHRISTMAS GIFT?

The Magnificent Church     With Christmas and the New Year being just around the corner, you may be looking for that ideal gift for a family member or friend. Perhaps I can help solve your problem. I have written two books with specific ends in mind.

   The Magnificent Church has been written for those who are concerned with having a healthy church in these unhealthy times in which we live. This book grows out of my own experience in church ministry, along with considerable familiarity with the ever growing field of church health. Unhealthy congregations are in a state of existence in which they cannot progress, grow, and move ahead.

The Magnificent Life is written to assist those who are struggling with discovering direction for a meaningful and fulfilling life. It focuses attention on extraordinary living in an ordinary age. This book was written in response to specific struggles persons have brought to my attention during several years of church ministry. 

   The Magnificent Church retails for $15.99, and The Magnificent Life retails for $14.99. But you can secure either of these volumes online through Amazon at a reduced price.

The Magnificent Life

The Magnificent Life

December 15, 2012 Posted by | Celebration, Christian Life, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment