show episodes
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibrant and growing church. You will also be encouraged by pastors who are leading revitalized churches. Learn more about church health and growth at: ...
 
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show series
 
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…
 
Racial tensions still exist in the United States, and there are certain demographic realities that must be addressed. The country is becoming more diverse and will continue to do so at an increasing rate. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss how demographic changes will impact all-white churches in America. What can we expect the happen to them in…
 
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…
 
If you think serving a church as a pastor is more difficult today than in recent years, you are not imagining things. Thom and Sam look at five of the reasons this change took place. Culture no longer honors the role of the pastor. The expectations of pastors by church members have grown significantly. Social media is more toxic than ever. Church p…
 
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…
 
The Christmas season is a time when guests are more likely to visit your church. Christmas Eve services, in particular, are popular with people from the community. Now is the time to start making plans. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss what will be different and what you can expect for Christmas this year. 1. Christmas Eve services will be as …
 
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…
 
Working in ministry can be demanding and stressful, but sometimes we forget to have fun in our callings. Perhaps you need a lighter season. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss some ways to restart the fun in your vocation. 1. Skip a few standing meetings and spend more time with your family. 2. Call an old friend and go on a weekend road trip tog…
 
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…
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth, we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibr…
 
Knowing and enjoying God should be integral to the Christian life. However, many of us struggle to grow in the means of grace and develop a deeper relationship with God. On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership Thom and Sam talk with Tim Challies about the daily spiritual disciplines that help Christians know and enjoy God more fully. Tim Challie…
 
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…
 
Thom and Sam look at the challenging issue of plagiarism in sermons. They suggest five things you can do to avoid this mistake. 1. Cite verbally and/or in writing every source that you used to write a sermon. 2. Be careful with sermon resource sites. If you copy their material you need to say so. 3. Remember it’s more than specific words that can b…
 
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 …
 
It’s time for the neighborhood church to make a comeback. The stigma of small churches is fading. Incredible potential is right around the corner. Imagine what could happen if neighborhood churches got healthy on a large scale. The neighborhood church movement is primed for a launch. If this comeback occurred, what might it look like? 1. The stigma…
 
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…
 
Church leaders should love their community as much as their churches. Love for a congregation mismatched with disdain for a community will cause you to retreat in an unhealthy church bubble. What are some ways church leaders can learn to love their communities more? Don’t travel away from the community at every opportunity you get. Celebrate with t…
 
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…
 
If a church member was at the main intersection in town with a bullhorn yelling at people, then you would want to know about it. Social media is the bullhorn, and there is a lot of noise out there. While you need to be aware of what church members say online, balance is key. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss how pastors and church leaders can s…
 
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…
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth, we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibr…
 
Pastoral succession is an important process many churches overlook. On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership Thom and Sam talk with William Vanderbloemen about why it is important for the future health of your church now more than ever. What is pastoral succession and why is it important for the health of the church? Why is pastoral succession mo…
 
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…
 
The concept of generosity is an important part of the Christian faith. However, many pastors and church leaders struggle to develop a culture of joyful giving in their congregations. On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership Thom and Sam talk with Michael Stadelmayer from Church Growth Services about how to develop a culture of generosity in your …
 
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…
 
Experienced pastors are not immune from mistakes. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss some common blindspots for mid-career pastors. These mistakes are not career killers, but they can set back a ministry. While all pastors can fall into these traps, those who are mid-career are particularly susceptible. 1. Going to a bigger or better church will…
 
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…
 
Imagine a church on life support one year that has moved to thriving within a few years. Though you’ve heard of church turnarounds, you’ve rarely heard a story this dramatic. Sam and Thom interview Jonathan Smith with Texas Baptists to hear about this God-sized story. Tell us the background of this church up to the point of its near-death experienc…
 
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. …
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth, we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibr…
 
One of the greatest challenges of parenting is navigating the crucial conversations that we must have with our kids. On today’s episode, Thom and Sam talk to Jimmy and Kristin Scroggins about having hard conversations with our kids that point them to Christ. 1. Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it? 2. Talk about the tough conv…
 
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…
 
Jonathan “The Voice” Howe returns for an episode. We find out what he’s been doing. What Jonathan is doing now. Some of our favorite memories of working and traveling with Jonathan. How Jonathan helped launch Rainer on Leadership. What has changed over the past ten years? Favorite restaurant meals over the years. Resources: SBC This Week with Jonat…
 
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…
 
On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the hymn, IN CHRIST ALONE. Thom and Sam discuss the song’s success with writer Keith Getty and learn what’s next for Getty Music. Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music today as preeminent modern hymn writers. In re-inventing the tradi…
 
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