Methods: Planning consistently happens in three areas, personal, ministry and organization and on three levels, strategic, tactical and operational

What’s Most Needed Now Is A Vision Process That Focuses On The Positive

It is at times when problems seem insurmountable that churches and organizations most need to focus on a positive vision for the future, rather than merely avoiding a negative one. Behavioral research has shown that when groups focus on solving problems, they soon become depressed and anxious, but when they formulate plans by working backward from a positive future they... Continue Reading

Why Do So Many Church Vision And Change Processes Fail To Inspire?

According to Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report, only 22% of U.S. employees strongly agree that their company’s leaders have a clear direction for their organization. My guess is those numbers are similar for churches as well. Certainly most church leaders spend significant time and resources defining and communicating their church’s vision. So, why then do so many... Continue Reading

Homogenous Or Cross Cultural Church?

When our church began considering a multi-site strategy, as Executive Pastor I was the point man in the research and implementation. One of the initial steps was to hire a religious researcher and statistician. He expertly provided insights into where to locate our campuses using a sophisticated demographic mapping tool. His contention was that “like reaches like.” His research showed... Continue Reading

The Church Requires Now, Near, and Far Focused Leaders

Ford Motor Company’s CEO, James Hackett, says he likes to think in the abstract and often considers problems along three time dimensions simultaneously, the “Now,” the “Near” and the “Far.” Likening the view to a bull’s-eye with those words in concentric circles his job, he says, is to manage and lead Ford in each of those circles to ensure success.... Continue Reading

Macro and Micro Church Paradigm Shifts

In the article, Understanding Paradigm Shifts As A Church Growth Strategy, we defined a paradigm shift “as a change in thinking and acting that results from a challenge to one’s underlying assumptions.”  And, we noted that not all church paradigm shifts are of equal value or impact. Some are micro-shifts, where the impact is localized and limited, while others are... Continue Reading

Understanding Paradigm Shifts As A Church Growth Strategy

Most significant changes in business, organizations, churches, and even individuals occurs through paradigm shifts. My favorite definition of a paradigm shift is “a change in thinking and acting that results from a challenge to one’s underlying assumptions.” This definition implies there is no paradigm shift unless it is accompanied by a change in the way we think and act. What... Continue Reading

A Key To Multi-Site DNA Replication: Defining and Standardizing Ministry Theology, Philosophy, Methodology, and Processes

One of the biggest challenges in implementing a multi-site strategy is ensuring the transference of the core attributes of the birthing church to its various sites. In most cases, this forces a church for the first time to think through what it really believes about how they “do” church. In an effective multi-site strategy, successful transference of the DNA of... Continue Reading

SWOT Analysis Strategic Planning Tool

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats originated by Albert S. Humphries in the 1960’s as a simple strategic planning tool for individuals and organizations. It is intended to identify internal and external factors that might influence an organization, objective, or decision. By definition, Strengths and Weaknesses are considered to be internal factors over which you have... Continue Reading

Should Your Church Engage In Social Ministry and Social Justice?

  “Matthew 25 scares the hell out me,” was the response of a pastor friend to the question of what he had learned during his recent sabbatical. Reading with new found clarity where Jesus thrice states we will be judged by our compassion towards “the least of these” had unnerved this seasoned pastor. And, observing social ministry and social justice... Continue Reading

A Flawed Map Is Better Than No Map

I am often asked to recount the history of the remarkable growth of Brentwood Baptist Church while I served as Executive Pastor. Inevitably I find myself describing a clear unfolding of a strategic plan moving seamlessly through various phases. When in reality we often had no clearly defined plan and our path was at times tortuous as we discovered right... Continue Reading

15 Approaches to Reach the Next Generations

 Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it – George Orwell Pastors and church leaders everywhere are seeking to better understand the Next Generations* and develop practical ways to reach them with the gospel. And for good reason. These emerging generations will impact the... Continue Reading