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Church leadership ideas, tips, and thoughts from Christian leaders. Learn about church leadership development to help you effectively manage and equip your ministry.

Top 10 Easter Outreach Ideas (Some Good and Some Bad)

Easter! What a tremendous time to think about different outreach ideas for our friends, families, and communities. Easter, as you probably know, is one of the highest attended services you’ll have this year (Mother’s Day and Christmas are the other two big ones). So it is well worth your time to devote some energy to this topic. As a side note, my desire is that we would be loving our friends, families, and neighbors with our lives, throughout the week, throughout the year…not just during Easter. But, Easter is indeed a tremendous time to think of different outreach ideas for how we can serve/love/share our faith with those around us.

Here is a list for you to present to your church as you consider the best approach for everyone to take this Easter season as it relates to outreach. I am, as you will see, opinionated on this matter. So forgive my leanings and see if you would agree or disagree with me.

1. Throw an easter egg hunt at your church (Great)
2. Invite a friend (Best)
3. Throw a BBQ at your church the day before Easter (Good)
4. Invite a friend (Best…again)
5. Rent some llamas and have a petting zoo (not bad, but not great)
6. Invite a friend (Still the best)
7. Blindly copy what really big churches are doing and hope for the best (horrible idea)
8. Invite a friend (See what I’m doing?)
9. Cross your fingers and hope someone else invites your friends (Not even going to comment on this one.)
10. Invite a friend (Will always be the best outreach idea for any day of the year.)

So there you have it! Ten ideas to get you thinking about outreach as you consider what you and your church will do this Easter season.

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4 Steps to Help When You Find Yourself Saying “Yikes! I Have to Fire a Volunteer.”

4 Steps to help when you find yourself saying (1)That dreaded moment is here. That motivated, excited person who loves God that you recruited for your worship team, tech team, sound team, etc. is not doing that well. It’s not that they just aren’t doing that well, they are also pulling others down, and monopolizing time that you don’t have. You love to train, disciple, and build into people, but there comes a time when enough is enough, and yes, you have to fire a volunteer. As a side note, if you have not experienced this before, then stick around in your position long enough, and trust me, you’ll get there. More than anything, this is a reality of working with people, and helping them grow in the Lord. As leaders, this is about learning how to best equip people and place them where they can best use their gifts in the church.

What do you do when you find yourself needing to fire someone who is willing to give their time, energy, and skills to serving the church? The last thing we want to do is to squash their passion for serving the church, right!? How do we tactfully handle these potentially messy situations? Fear not! We have some tips that will help you out:

1. Pray
We know this, but sometimes it’s the last thing we remember to do. We are all in the ministry to serve and to utilize the gifts God has given us to proclaim His glory to everyone, everywhere. No one has a monopoly on the best way to handle a situation or work with people. With humility, we should bathe this entire process in prayer. Let’s drop to our knees and ask God for the following:

– Wisdom (James 1:5)
– Understanding (Proverbs 2:3)
– Humility (Philippians 2:3-4)

2. Assess
Take some time to assess the situation and grab a trusted advisor to join you in this process (Proverbs 11:14). It is during this time that you need to take a 30,000 foot view of the ministry, this person’s role, and their shortcomings. Ask yourself the following questions:

– What are their expectations?
– Are they lacking the necessary equipment?
– Are they lacking the necessary training?

If you can come up with solutions here that could keep you from firing the volunteer, then by all means, create a strategy and implement the plan. If everything has been taken care of and the individual still needs to be fired, then continue on.

3. Meet
Get together with the individual. Don’t send a note. Don’t use sticky notes. Don’t email them. And for all things good, please, please, please do not use social media! Also, be wise: if it’s a person of the opposite sex, don’t meet behind closed doors. When you meet together, understand up front that each of you has a responsibility. You have a responsibility to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and they have a responsibility to humbly listen to criticism (Proverbs 15:31). With that as the foundation, have a meaningful conversation. Here are a few points to hit on while you are talking:

– Acknowledge their willingness to serve and show your appreciation
– Discuss vision and purpose of their role to ensure clarity
– Show where you are seeing discontinuity between their actions/attitudes and the role
– Acknowledge the gifting you are seeing in that individual
– Offer another way to utilize their talents, or if they do not know, then guide them to resources to help them find their talents

4. Critique
Now that you have fired the individual and helped them to know their strengths and get plugged in where they will thrive, it is time for you to critique your own volunteer management process. Start fresh. If someone volunteers for a position, then set the standard that they are agreeing to be trained, coached, and reviewed regularly to ensure they are utilizing their gifts. This is a structured, well thought out plan versus simply thanking God that you have a warm body to take care of a task. Having that mentality is sure to get you into a world of frustration and firings. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

– Could you have handled the situation better?
– Could you have provided better training/oversight?
– Did you rush to put someone into this position?
– What process will you utilize to place a new volunteer into this role?

It is never fun to fire volunteers, but in leadership, it is a necessary task. Stay encouraged! If you create a fresh, new, structured volunteer management process, then the number of firings will be greatly reduced.

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Don’t Miss the 2017 Worship Together Conference + 25% off Registration Code

Wanderlust (1)
Come on everyone! This is an event to check out! On February 2+3, the Church of the City in Franklin, TN will be hosting an exciting conference you may have heard about: Worship Together. Let me just put a little name drop in here on who will be leading and speaking:

  • Kari Jobe
  • Chris Tomlin
  • Cass Langton
  • Housefires
  • Chris McClarney
  • Brenton Brown
  • Christy Nockels
  • Aaron Keyes
  • Darren Whitehead

Need I say more? If that doesn’t get you pumped up, I don’t know what will. This is a unique conference bound to stretch and encourage your faith. There are no breakouts at this conference. Everyone will go through every moment together, experiencing what God has for everyone together, as one.

BONUS: We’ve got a code for you. When you go to register, be sure to use the code WHM to receive 25% off the conference price!

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Can Rejection Be a Good Thing?

rejectionWe’ve all experienced rejection before, and it’s never a pretty event. Whether you had a tremendous idea for your church, family, or business that was rejected, it can be a painful experience. It always results in hurt feelings, shattered dreams, and doubt. But after some time passes, conversations ensue, and clarity starts to set in. Somehow, it feels as though we can cope a better with the situation. To help speed that difficult process along, I found an article from Church Technical Leaders that I want to share with you. The article is written by Tim Cain, the Production Manager of Forest Hill Church in North Carolina. In this article, Tim helps us to see the truth behind rejection and practical ideas of how to deal with those times that we or our ideas are rejected.

Here’s a quote I particularly enjoyed:

Looking back to our friend King Solomon in Ecclesiastes, we can see a truth that we as ‘creatives’ often forget. There are no new ideas! Our way is not always the best way. If everything has been done before, then we should take the opportunity to learn from others and share the load with others. Galatians 6:2 tells us that clearly.

Enjoy the article, and let me know what you think!

Rejection is God’s Protection by Tim Cain

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Ebenezer. What’s That?

ebenezer

It’s a new year full of excitement and possibilities. We wrapped up 2016, and we are hopefully off to a wonderful start in 2017. If you haven’t already done a 2016 year-in-review, let me encourage you to go ahead and take some time to do just that. Review everything that God did in and through your ministry in 2016. Whether it’s the media team, the lighting team, the A/V team, the video team, the sound team, the worship team, the creative team, whatever team you are a part of, a review of 2016 can help your ministry thrive in 2017. Go through each month, each Sunday, each gathering, and reflect the ways in which God moved.

This exercise will reap many benefits. Here are some of those benefits:

  • You will have an inventory of what worked well and what did not
  • You will start recalling best practices as you approach similar events in the future
  • By doing this in a team setting (highly recommended), you will enjoy the benefits of team building through laughter and many aha moments
  • You will know to get a head start on those projects that may have taken a little longer than expected
  • Most importantly, you will be able to praise God for how He worked in 2016 that you may not have considered.
  • By remembering how God moved in the past, you and your team can have faith in God’s future grace and provision

There is a story in 1 Samuel where we get that wonderful word that often needs explaining when singing “Come Thou Fount.” That word is Ebenezer.

The word is found in 1 Samuel 7 verse 12. “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Till now the Lord has helped us.’” So what exactly is an Ebenezer? It’s a monument: a place of remembrance where future generations can look back and remember what the Lord has done.

What a great example for us! So when you are done looking back over 2016, you can ask your team what ways they have seen the Lord move. Hopefully, that will generate excitement and praise for God. Then, you may ask if there is a way that your team can set up your own Ebenezer so that future generations can know that the Lord has moved and therefore, can move forward in 2017 in faith and confidence. I hope you are able to take the time to reflect on how God moved in 2016. If you have any big moments you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.
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