All posts from “church growth”

Risky Business (Part 2)

March 14, 2012 12:00 AM

Read part 1. So what is the solution to the captivity of ministry leaders to business models? I've got a theory: to the extent that the church does not know its Bible, really know the Bible, the more it seeks...

Risky Business (Part 1)

March 12, 2012 12:00 AM

I first discovered Jim Gilmore when his book, The Experience Economy, was handed to me by a nationally known church consultant in 2002. If I wanted my church to grow, he explained, I had to employ the marketplace strategies in...

Skye Jethani: The Megachurch Bubble (Part 2)

November 22, 2011 12:00 AM

Read part 1 Finally, the chart shows that 85% of megachurch attenders are white. And I’m guessing that stat is probably equally true about megachurch leaders as congregations and leadership usually reflect one another. (Sorta the way owners resemble their...

Skye Jethani: The Megachurch Bubble (Part 1)

November 14, 2011 12:00 AM

Megachurches are predominantly white, suburban, conservative congregations led by baby-boomer pastors. This is what an infographic about floating around the web lately has revealed. It's based on research compiled by Forbes, The Christian Post, and Leadership Network. For the most...

Chuck Swindoll: Insecure Pastors Need a Crowd

May 3, 2011 12:00 AM

The Latest issue of Leadership Journal features an interview with Chuck Swindoll about the challenges and problems he sees in the American church. High on Swindoll's list is the infusion of entertainment values into our worship. Here's an excerpt from...

Out of Context: Brandon O'Brien

December 21, 2010 12:00 AM

"Over time, the experts have done for church what postcards and PBS specials have done for the Grand Canyon: they've made it difficult for us to appreciate our own experience apart from theirs. We have lost the ability to see...

Megachurches Just Fine Amid Recession

November 22, 2010 12:00 AM

In case you needed more evidence that Americans love all things BIG, Leadership Network has released a new report: North American Megachurches Are Holding Steady During the “Great Recession” According to the study, megachurches are continuing to see attendance and...

Dever, Driscoll, & MacDonald Debate Multi-Site

October 1, 2010 12:00 AM

The Gospel Coalition has released this fascinating conversation with Mark Dever, Mark Driscoll, and James MacDonald regarding multi-site church. Both Driscoll and MacDonald are proponents of multi-site churches utilizing video preaching. Dever is not. He sees more value in raising...

Ending Age-Segmented Worship

September 20, 2010 2:31 PM

Last month Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale ended its model of offering multiple worship services designed to appeal to different ages, likes, and styles. Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, said "The best...

Small Churches are the Next Big Thing

May 26, 2010 12:00 AM

In a conversation last week about the virtues of small churches, a pastor friend of mine, Chuck Warnock, quoted a passage from John Zogby’s 2008 book The Way We'll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream...

Defending Organic Church (Part 2)

May 17, 2010 12:00 AM

In the spring issue of Leadership journal, Brian Hofmeister wrote an article titled “The Dirt on Organic.” Neil Cole, also a Leadership journal contributor and the author of The Organic Church, was written a response to Hofmeister’s article. Part 1...

Defending Organic Church (Part 1)

May 10, 2010 12:00 AM

In the spring issue of Leadership journal, Brian Hofmeister wrote an article titled “The Dirt on Organic.” Hofmeister shared his experience as the pastor of a network of small, minimally structured, churches. While he celebrated the rich community and evangelistic...

Rick Warren on Radical Membership

February 10, 2010 10:48 AM

Does your church emphasize, encourage, and value membership? In many places the notion of church membership has fallen out of favor. Rick Warren thinks that is a “serious mistake.” Speaking this morning at the Radicalis conference at Saddleback Church, Pastor...

What's Changing, What's Not

January 27, 2010 12:00 AM

Dave Travis, managing director of Leadership Network, offers his state of the church in America, based on recent research and his own observations looking through the "keyhole" of large churches. Things That Are Changing 1. Multi-site churches. According to the...

Andy Stanley: System Failure

January 8, 2010 12:00 AM

What causes people to change? What creates behaviors? It may not be what you think. According to Andy Stanley, many church leaders assume that the right programs, great teaching, or really inspiring events will foster transformation. But they don't. Check...

Wrong About Church Buildings: 2

December 17, 2009 12:00 AM

A few weeks ago, pastor and author Dan Kimball posted an interesting entry here about church buildings. In the introduction, he notes that eight years ago he would have said, “Who needs a building? The early church didn’t have buildings,...

I Was Wrong About Church Buildings

December 2, 2009 12:00 AM

If you had asked me eight years ago what I thought about church buildings, I would have said, "Who needs a building? The early church didn't have buildings, and we don't need them either!" But I was wrong. My...

The Future of Church Facilities

November 13, 2009 12:00 AM

Until recently, churches responded to growing attendance by building larger facilities. But the faltering economy makes raising large sums for building projects harder to accomplish. And combined with the aversion of younger churchgoers to the bigger-is-better ministry philosophy, these tight-money...

Spiritual Formation and Counter-Formation

October 7, 2009 2:27 PM

Darren Whitehead, teaching pastor and leader of Next Gen Ministries at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, teamed with his fellow Aussie Jon Tyson, lead pastor of Trinity Grace Church in New York City, to discuss spiritual...

Church Rater or Church Hater?

September 21, 2009 12:00 AM

I love rotten tomatoes. Not the produce—the website. RottenTomatoes.com is a movie ranking website that aggregates reviews from hundreds of journalists and movie reviewers, and then charts how “fresh” a film is based on the percentage of positive reviews. If...

3 Myths about Preaching Today

September 16, 2009 12:00 AM

As I have traveled these past few years, I’ve heard the repetitive refrain from despondent pastors: “I always thought that if I preached a good sermon the church would grow.” I heard it again last week so I thought I’d...

Ur Video: Drive-In Church

September 1, 2009 12:00 AM

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Ur Video: Ministry Pornography

August 20, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Wrong Boogeyman (Part 2)

April 7, 2009 12:00 AM

How do we account for the dramatic doubling of the number of secular Americans over the last 18 years? And what are we to do about the exodus of young people from the church? These are important questions, and uncovering...

The Wrong Boogeyman (Part 1)

March 27, 2009 12:00 AM

Two weeks ago the American Religious Identification Survey [ARIS] released its findings and announced that "secular" Americans now account for 15 percent of the population. That is up from 8 percent in 1990 and just 2 percent in 1962. Among...

Ur Video: Frank Viola on Community

March 25, 2009 12:00 AM

This video comes from Lance Ford, one of our partners over at Shapevine.com. After Frank Viola's opening impression of Dirty Harry, he talks about the nature of Christian community. How important is proximity and frequency to fostering real community? And...

Missional vs. Attractional: Debating the Data

December 16, 2008 12:00 AM

by Url Scaramanga & Andy Rowell The debate continues. For the last two weeks, opinions have been fast and furious on the definition and validity of "missional" churches. It all began with Dan Kimball's post about his missional misgivings. He...

Alan Hirsch Responds to Kimball's "Missional Misgivings"

December 11, 2008 4:26 PM

Dan, As someone who comes out clearly for the missional reframing of church, I do share some concerns about reproduction (fruitfulness). Anyone concerned with Jesus' commission should be. The comments so far are excellent and so I will just add...

Megachurch Misinformation

December 4, 2008 12:00 AM

There are no studies that compare "seeker sensitive" megachurches to small "missional" churches, but I think Dan Kimball is right to question the self-described "missional" advocate who declares that "younger people in the city will not be drawn to larger,...

Dan Kimball's Missional Misgivings

December 2, 2008 12:00 AM

I hope I am wrong. For the past few years, I have been observing, listening, and asking questions about the missional movement. I have a suspicion that the missional model has not yet proven itself beyond the level of theory....

Cartoon: Image is Everything

December 1, 2008 12:00 AM

This image reminds me of something James Twitchell writes in Shopping for God: "Megachurches concentrate on what makes the brand powerful: growth. What you sell is the perception that whatever it is that you are selling is in demand."...

Live from REVEAL: Bill Hybels on Self-Centered Christians

October 14, 2008 9:27 AM

by Skye Jethani Last week it was Catalyst in Atlanta. This week's it's Willow Creek's REVEAL Conference in South Barrington, Illinois. (At least I'm closer to home.) I'll be here for the next two days with a number of updates...

What the Unchurched See in a Building

September 18, 2008 12:00 AM

On the heels of David Gibbons' interesting thoughts on the way many churches squander their resources on underutilized buildings, Matt Branaugh has this piece over at LeadershipJournal.net. Apparently, if you're going to throw your church's money into a building, make...

Multi-site the Low-tech Way

August 5, 2008 12:00 AM

Evergreen, our small church here in Portland, Oregon, has just gone multi-site. But not video venue. We started in a pub in southwest Portland, outgrew that space, and moved to another pub across town. Outgrowing that one, we moved...

Cartoon: Church Growth Addiction

July 28, 2008 12:00 AM

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Out of Context: Dave Gibbons

July 10, 2008 12:00 AM

"I love the church. It's God's vehicle for transformation. But I don't want the church to become so centralized that it can't reproduce, can't adopt multiple forms. And that works better when you're small, when you're on the verge,...

Audio Ur: From Top-Down to Team Leadership

May 21, 2008 12:00 AM

The theme for current issue of Leadership is "Teams," and that is the subject of our first Out of Ur podcast. Teams have always been a critical part of ministry going back to the 12 unlikely men Jesus assembled...

Church Celebrity Deathmatch

May 16, 2008 12:00 AM

I haven't seen MTV in years, with no regrets, but I recall a show on the network that impacted me like a train wreck. It was awful, gruesome, and terrible - but I couldn't look away. "Celebrity Deathmatch" featured clay-animated...

They Love the Church but Not the Institution (Part 2)

March 12, 2008 12:00 AM

In the first part of this post, I discussed my suspicion that we have confused the church (the community of God's people) with the church institution (the 501c3 tax-exempt organization). This leads to a myopic understanding of Christian mission and...

They Love the Church but Not the Institution

March 10, 2008 12:00 AM

Dan Kimball, a regular contributor to Leadership and Out of Ur, has written a book titled, They Like Jesus but Not the Church: Insights from emerging generations. The book chronicles the attitudes of younger seekers - they feel a strong...

McChurch: I'm Lovin' It

February 1, 2008 12:00 AM

"Church plants," "sister churches," and "satellite congregations" may be a thing of the past. In 2008, the language of missiology is changing, so look for "church franchises" in your town. Eddie Johnson, the lead pastor of Cumberland Church, espouses the...

Out of Context: Bryan Wilkerson

November 29, 2007 12:00 AM

"These days, people can get good teaching, wonderful music, and excellent writing, whether through iPods, TV, or online. They learn to shop around and pick and choose. Then they expect the same high quality in their local church. A generation...

Out of Context: Dot.TV Pastor

August 30, 2007 12:00 AM

"Next to a church's preaching pastor, the most important staff member in the shaping of the message is the media pastor...The second hire in most congregations should be the media pastor." -Eric Reed, managing editor of Leadership, reports this statement...

Lessons from St. Arbucks

August 16, 2007 12:00 AM

Once an article is published in Leadership one never knows the ripple effect it will have. Greg Asimakoupoulos, pastor of Mercer Island Covenant Church, wrote for Leadership about the community-forming power of Starbucks in his neighborhood. He confesses, "We like...

The Measure of a Ministry

July 6, 2007 12:00 AM

This week Americans are celebrating their independence by watching parades, enjoying backyard barbeques, and by not going to church. If your congregation is anything like mine you know that during the summer worship attendance slips noticeably, and the week of...

Out of Context: Mike Breen

June 1, 2007 12:00 AM

"In most evangelical environments, including mine, we have been overwhelmed with models and programs that are designed for local churches to grow bigger. Unfortunately, most really don't work...Many have also come to define Christianity by a set of beliefs. Churches...

Out of Context: Chad Hall

February 21, 2007 12:00 AM

"When a church focuses on trying to grow, the larger mission suffers and the church can actually become less attractional." -Chad Hall is a ministry coach living in Hickory, North Carolina, and the co-author of Coaching for Christian Leaders (Chalice...

Product Placement in the Pews—Part 2

December 22, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wharton School of Business has posted an article on their online journal, Knowledge@Wharton, about the growing trend of marketing products through churches. In part 2 of the article we hear from some critics of linking business practices and ministry...

What's In a (Church) Name?

December 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Gordon MacDonald told us a while back that the church he serves was considering changing its name. It has finally happened. His account of a 180-year-old congregation's year-long wrestling with its identity is amusing and instructive. Read on. About a...

Evangelical Immigration

October 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Regular Out of Ur contributor David Fitch is back to share his thoughts on church shopping, staying put, and ecumenism. And what's with all the evangelicals going high-church anyway? I'd like to say some things about the evangelicals going high...

Purpose-Driven Conflict: churches split over the popular ministry model

September 14, 2006 12:00 AM

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article discussing conflicts caused by pastors seeking to implement the popular Purpose-Driven Church model in their congregations. Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at North Park University in Chicago, and one of our...

Fallow Fields: 20 ways to waste time while not planting churches

August 10, 2006 12:00 AM

Sorry for the long delay between posts. Url has been away in the only patch of North America without internet access. I recently listened to a speaker praise the state of the church in America. He lauded the efforts of...

Radioactive Church Attendance: predicting your congregation’s half-life

June 23, 2006 12:00 AM

Some churches are more unstable than others. This may not be the result of impulsive leadership or poor planning, but rather the life stage of the congregation. Dave Terpstra pastors The Next Level Church in Denver, a community comprised primarily...

Is Church Growth the Highway to Hell?

June 9, 2006 12:00 AM

The summer issue of Leadership, arriving in mailboxes in July, focuses on the impact of consumerism on ministry. Some people have equated the church growth movement with the rise of "consumer Christianity." Others believe the church growth philosophy has brought...

Beyond Bodies, Bucks, and Bricks: Jim Collins on how churches should measure success

June 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Dallas Willard has said that most churches are not intending to produce disciples, but increase their ABC's - attendance, buildings, and cash. Dave Terpstra, pastor of The Next Level Church in Denver and regular contribut-Ur, believes many church leaders focus...

George Barna's New Book 2: Defining the Debate

January 16, 2006 12:00 AM

In my earlier post, I explained the thesis of George Barna's latest book, Revolution. I think it important, however, to offer 2 corrections to my review: The review's subtitle, "George Barna wants commitment to the local congregation to sink lower...

George Barna's New Book: Revolutionary or Revolting?

January 11, 2006 12:00 AM

The blogosphere has offered plenty o' chatter on George Barna's latest book, Revolution. For favorable comment, read my occasional-email-pal Andrew Jones (full disclosure: the Tall Skinny Kiwi once named me "Best Emerging Critic Ever"). For unfavorable comment, read Sam Storms...

Ministry Taxidermy: Don't Stuff the Dog

October 26, 2005 8:29 AM

(Our friend Angie Ward is a writer, mentor, and ministry leader in North Carolina. She is the founder of Forward Leadership, a ministry coaching ministry. She is also a regular contributor to Leadership journal and our e-newsletter, Leadership Weekly.) When...

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