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Mark and Thom look at the issue of perceived failure in ministry and share why failure is rarely final. In this first episode of three, they discuss the painful issue of being fired in ministry. You are among a large number of people if you get fired in ministry. The fault often resides with “preacher eater churches.” If you are at fault, seek to m…
 
You have been contacted by a church. They want to consider you as a candidate for pastor. How do you evaluate your fit for the church? Kevin and Thom offer seven practical steps to take. Get data on the church. Contact a pastor in the community? Contact a denominational leader familiar with the church. Get demographics and psychographics on the com…
 
You are the pastor of a church where you sense it’s time to leave. You are looking for another opportunity, and you hear of a church that seems like a great fit for you. How do get considered by that church? Kevin and Thom provide guidance to those pastors seeking to go to another church. 1. Make certain you are not succumbing to the green-grass sy…
 
In this episode, Kevin and Thom talk about the possible paths to take when an interim pastor decides he wants to be the pastor. They assume the church did not take a stand that the interim could not apply for the position. 1. You might just need to say no. 2. You could ask him to step down as interim pastor to apply for the position of pastor. 3. Y…
 
Revitalize and Replant looks at major pivots breakout churches are making today. In part three of this three-part series, Mark and Thom discuss what these church leaders are doing differently with personnel strategies. They are breaking out of the mold of traditional positions. They are hiring more part-time staff. They are often focusing on staff …
 
Revitalize and Replant looks at major pivots breakout churches are making today. In part two of this three-part series, Mark and Thom discuss what these church leaders are doing differently with their facilities. They are building smaller worship centers. They are asking questions about their community. They are sharing their facilities. They are r…
 
Revitalize and Replant looks at major pivots breakout churches are making today. In part one of this three-part series, Mark and Thom discuss what these church leaders are doing to reach more people with the gospel. They are creating an outward culture. They are increasing efforts and resources by 4X. They have at least one major emphasis a year. T…
 
It is a sad commentary, but congregations in North America are less evangelistic today than at any point in recent history. Kevin and Thom share what churches are doing that have turned around evangelistic apathy to evangelistic energy. This podcast is the third of a three-part series called “Five Ways to Revitalize in a COVID World.” 1. Begin or r…
 
Church unity has always been a key issue for congregations. In the COVID world of today, divided churches are more common than ever. In this podcast, Kevin and Thom address how a church can deal head-on with church unity issues. This podcast is the second of a three-part series called “Five Ways to Revitalize in a COVID World.” Acknowledge the elep…
 
By now, we thought we would be talking about church revitalization in a post-COVID world, but the Delta variant spike has brought new challenges. In this episode, Kevin and Thom unpack five key ways COVID is impacting the work of church revitalization today. This podcast is the first of a three-part series called “Five Ways to Revitalize in a COVID…
 
All other things being equal, longer pastoral tenure tends to enhance the health of a church. Kevin and Thom look at trends in pastoral tenure after COVID. 1. Median pastoral tenure is up to five years. 2. COVID extended pastoral tenure because few pastors left their churches during the pandemic. 3. Boomers are retiring or stepping down in much gre…
 
There will be times in a church revitalization or replant when you sense from God that it is time to leave. Mark and Thom discuss five steps pastors and other church staff should take to leave a church in a healthy manner. 1. Prayerfully make sure you have heard from God clearly about this call away from the church. 2. Decide who should be told and…
 
Kevin and Thom have been following the progress or lack of progress of revitalizing churches as they regather. After several months of regathering, these churches have six definitive trends. 1. Regathered worship attendance is about 20% lower. 2. A paradox of celebration and exhaustion is present among the members. 3. Lingering conflict over COVID …
 
There is often an intense pain when a church member comes to you with complaints about your spouse. Whether you are a pastor or any other person on ministry staff. Mark and Thom offer five responses you should make immediately. 1. Pray for calm and wisdom. 2. Let the church member know your spouse is someone you love dearly. You will defend them wi…
 
Approximately 10,000 Boomers turn 65 every day. At some point, they will consider retirement. Mark and Thom looked at six reasons why leading a revitalizing church could be a good option in the retirement years. 1. Your experience is invaluable. 2. You could work part-time since many revitalizing churches can’t afford full-time pay. 3. You could go…
 
Many pastors face that defining moment where they feel like they can’t lead their church because a power broker in the church opposes their leadership at almost every juncture. Kevin and Thom offer some wise counsel on leading (or not) in such tough scenarios. How do power brokers get their power? Go back to Cracker Barrel. Seek common ground. Deci…
 
We have heard and read countless discussions on “worship wars” in the church. Most of these wars were really generational wars. Thom and Kevin look at five ways to address and deal with these wars. 1. Try to understand the true reasons behind the conflict. 2. Get representatives of the different generations talking to each other. 3. Show examples o…
 
Some church members have unreasonable expectations about when pastors and staff should be in the office. This concern has been exacerbated by COVID. Mark and Thom look at some strategic ways to respond. Listen to them. Recognize that many members deal with old paradigms. Let them know what ministry responsibilities take you out of the office. Be wi…
 
Almost every week, the team at Church Answers gets one or more questions about bylaws. For many church leaders, bylaws seem to be, at best, a necessary evil. Thom and Kevin look at this issue from a few different angles with the guarded conclusion that, yes, church leaders do need to examine their bylaws. You need to look at your bylaws to make cer…
 
It is one of the most difficult meetings a leader will have. The time has come to tell a team member that he or she is being let go. On today’s episode, Thom shares some insights to guide you through this process. Show the compassion of Christ. Remember you are dealing with a person, not a budgetary burden. They have hopes and dreams and families. …
 
This question seems to be more frequent since churches started regathering after the pandemic. Kevin and Thom answer the question with a “yes,” but the affirmative answer does have some caveats. Counting is scriptural . . . if it is done with the right motive. Counting helps us to know how to use our resources. Counting for competitive reasons is n…
 
Does a pastor have either a right or an obligation to address issues caused by a staff member’s spouse or children? Thom and Mark look at ways to navigate this tricky issue. 1. Discern the nature and the severity of the problem before talking to the staff member. 2. Don’t try to solve other church members’ interpersonal issues with the person. 3. L…
 
Most church websites are seldom used and often neglected. Thom and Kevin discuss how a church’s website can be used for the Great Commission without much cost. A church’s website is the most common front door for guests. Non-members, including lost people, are much more likely to visit your website than church members. Non-members will visit your c…
 
Many church leaders in revitalizing churches bring someone on staff from within the congregation. Mark and Thom examine the reasons why this move can be problematic. Be sure to listen to episode #201 where they look at the opposite perspective, the reasons why you should hire from within. 1. Working with someone can bring out a totally different pe…
 
For many years, congregations have watched as their facilities become dated, costly, and less-used. Kevin and Thom discuss this issue and offer insights about churches that have seen their facilities become much more Kingdom-efficient. Do a thorough evaluation of your facility. Look at the community demographics and psychographics. Find ways to use…
 
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