Thom Rainer With Mark Clifton And Kevin Ezell public
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Mark and Thom delve into the painful issue of examining why churches died. They do so that future deaths might be prevented. They also show how churches today can move to health rather than death. Every church is moving either toward a more vibrant life or toward death. Most dying churches are in denial (an issue we will unpack in the next podcast)…
 
The common growth barrier for churches for over 50 years was 200 in average worship attendance. Thom and Mark argue that the new barrier is 50 to 100. But they not only tell you why it is the new growth barrier, they share how your church can burst through the barrier. 1. One-half of North American churches have an average worship attendance below …
 
In the previous episode, Thom and Mark addressed the issue of strategic patience in a revitalization, meaning that revitalization fruit may not be long-standing until five years have elapsed. But . . . the church can experience some encouraging moves forward with the concept called low-hanging fruit. 1. Low-cost paint or landscaping 2. New church s…
 
Leading a church in revitalization requires not only tactical patience but strategic patience as well. Thom and Mark describe strategic patience and why it the fruit of revitalization may not be evident for five years. 1. The Berry Bucket often takes that long. 2. The denial factor is often entrenched. 3. Trust in the pastor often begins after 5 ye…
 
It is cliche, but church revitalization is tough. Almost every revitalization leader has to deal with resentment toward people and situations at some point. In this episode, Thom and Mark offer some advice and encouragement about dealing with resentment. It depends. What is the issue? How important is it? Focus on the positive in a Philippians’ way…
 
Part 2 of Thom and Mark’s interview with Keith Getty on a wide range of thoughts, including: Keith’s recognition from the Queen of England and thoughts about her influence A new album. The incredible success of Sing! What’s in store for the future? How the Gettys have influenced the growth of hymnody in churches. Advice from Keith to church worship…
 
Part 1 of Thom and Mark’s interview with Keith Getty on a wide range of thoughts, including: Keith’s recognition from the Queen of England and thoughts about her influence A new album. The incredible success of Sing! What’s in store for the future? How the Gettys have influenced the growth of hymnody in churches. Advice from Keith to church worship…
 
Aging does have its advantages, such as wisdom and experience. Mark and Thom, taking the roles of older pastors, share five pieces of advice with their younger selves. 1. Consider the five-year perspective. 2. Make evangelism your personal priority. 3. Learn how to create healthy accountability. 4. Make your spouse and children your first-line chur…
 
More churches are combining worship services than at any point in recent history. Mark and Thom look at several issues you should first consider if this possibility is on the table. Make sure you know the “why.” Consider space psychology. What resources do you have available? Remember the “15% axiom.” Don’t forget the parking issue. Resources: “Fiv…
 
Some churches have moved out of their worship centers to another space such as a fellowship hall or a gym. Mark and Thom provide guidance on what to do with the sanctuary space you are no longer using. Take the opportunity to do a thorough evaluation of the physical condition of the sanctuary building. Welcome another church to use the space. Turn …
 
Many churches going through a revitalization have limited resources. Digital tools may seem to be a luxury they neither need nor can afford. But Kevin and Thom discuss five digital tools that are important without breaking the bank. 1. The church website can be simple and affordable. 2. Forget the complexity of social media. Choose one platform and…
 
Many churches have matriarchs or patriarchs, women or men with a great deal of influence and authority in the church. Mark and Thom suggest five key ways to engage these influencers for the good of the church. 1. Do not assume their motives are always bad for the church. 2. Get their opinions and buy-in on decisions and changes in the church. 3. Ex…
 
Some groundbreaking studies on effective discipleship show that daily Bible reading might be the most important discipline for your church members. It affects their prayer life, their giving, and their evangelistic hearts. Kevin and Thom look at five ways to encourage Bible reading among your church members. 1. The pastor’s Bible translation used i…
 
It is not unusual to think of longer-term members as adversarial during a revitalization. After all, they have been part of the church for the duration of the decline. But they can become important allies in a revitalization. Mark and Thom suggest that pastors and staff can engage these members in conversation in a positive way. Here are five quest…
 
The common metrics of worship attendance, conversions, and financial giving have not gone away. But there are other ways to look at church health. In this episode, Kevin and Thom look at five of those ways. 1. Church unity – tough to measure, but usually evident. 2. The number of guests – effectiveness of inviting people. 3. Resources allocated to …
 
For several decades, the larger church and the megachurch have received a lot of attention. We are now seeing a renewed focus on healthy smaller churches. Mark and Thom look at the reasons why this phenomenon is taking place. 1. COVID exacerbated the importance of the community and the neighborhood. 2. With digital and video tools available, many p…
 
One of the toughest parts of a pastor’s ministry is dealing with criticism. It is especially difficult when the critic hides behind the cowardly veil of “People are saying.” Kevin and Thom not only address the likely motive of the critic, but they also suggest ways to respond to the person. Understand that the person saying those words is a coward.…
 
It is cliche to say the world is changing. And it is cliche that churches are changing. But churches are indeed changing. Some of the changes were predictable, but some were not. Thom looks at three of the major changes most people did not see coming. In this third of three episodes, he looks at the dramatic decline of conversion growth in American…
 
It is cliche to say the world is changing. And it is cliche that churches are changing. But churches are indeed changing. Some of the changes were predictable, but some were not. Thom looks at three of the major changes most people did not see coming. In this second of three episodes, he looks at the rapid growth in the number of teaching pastors. …
 
It is cliche to say the world is changing. And it is cliche that churches are changing. But churches are indeed changing. Some of the changes were predictable, but some were not. Thom looks at three of the major changes most people did not see coming. In this first of three episodes, he looks at the surprising changes in church facilities. The mass…
 
In this episode, Thom and Kevin explore the issue every pastor and staff member will face at some point: leaving your church. This episode focuses largely on the steps and processes you need to take. Your type of departure determines how you should depart: retirement; resignation to go to another church; resignation but not going to another church,…
 
Kevin and Thom look five years into the future to project what good church leaders will look like then. They provide insights about some steps you can take now to be that great church leader. In part three, they remind church leaders that evangelism has waned in most churches, and it must return. Let the church know you personally prioritize evange…
 
Kevin and Thom look five years into the future to project what good church leaders will look like then. They provide insights about some steps you can take now to be that great church leader. In part two, they review the basics that have not changed, and why they must be the leader’s focus. Acts 6:4 is still the priority. Learn to lead your church …
 
Kevin and Thom look five years into the future to project what good church leaders will look like then. They provide insights about some steps you can take now to be that great church leader. In part one, they share what you need to know about this new culture to lead in it. It’s a post-cultural-Christian world. Your community or neighborhood must …
 
We often hear from church leaders who desire to know exactly what success looks like in a church revitalization. The word “success” is loaded and tends to evoke a lot of emotions. In this three-part series, Mark and Thom provide clarity and guidance about this term. In the third episode, they look at revitalization successes that cannot be precisel…
 
We often hear from church leaders who desire to know exactly what success looks like in a church revitalization. The word “success” is loaded and tends to evoke a lot of emotions. In this three-part series, Mark and Thom provide clarity and guidance about this term. In the second episode, they look at why numerical growth is not always a measure of…
 
We often hear from church leaders who desire to know exactly what success looks like in a church revitalization. The word “success” is loaded and tends to evoke a lot of emotions. In this three-part series, Mark and Thom provide clarity and guidance about this term. In the first episode, they look at myths of church revitalization success. 1. It’s …
 
In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at the new research from Church Answers detailing how churches are growing since the pandemic. In this third part, they provide an overview of five of the key actions churches are taking to grow in a post-COVID world. 1. Leading key church members to face reality 2. Developing a rhythm of conversion ou…
 
In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at new research from Church Answers detailing how churches are growing since the pandemic. In this second part, they provide insights into the attitudes of leaders among the growing churches. 1. The acceptance of reality 2. The focus on conversion growth 3. A renewed focus on the community 4. Walking a…
 
In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at new research from Church Answers detailing how churches are growing since the pandemic. In this first part, they provide an overview of the research and the primary characteristics of the “other” churches — churches that are declining. 1. The nature of the research. 2. A review of issues of accelera…
 
In this three-part series, Mark and Thom look at nine of the greatest fears of those leading church revitalization. These issues apply to those already leading revitalization and those considering revitalization. They will do a deep dive on three issues in this special series. Overcoming the Fears of Impatience, Finance, and Burnout 1. Overcoming t…
 
In this three-part series, Mark and Thom look at nine of the greatest fears of those leading church revitalization. These issues apply to those already leading revitalization and those considering revitalization. They will do a deep dive on three issues in this special series. Overcoming the Fears of Inadequacy, Conflict, and Misalignment 1. Overco…
 
In this three-part series, Mark and Thom look at nine of the greatest fears of those leading church revitalization. These issues apply to those already leading revitalization and those considering revitalization. They will do a deep dive on three issues in each of the next three episodes. Overcoming the Fears of Failure, Comparisons, and Loneliness…
 
One of the most common questions we get in church revitalization is: “How can we get extra funding to help our church? In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at three ways to get extra income that are not often utilized by churches. In part 3, they examine the idea of the church having a massive garage sale. 1. Usually one and done (but it …
 
One of the most common questions we get in church revitalization is: “How can we get extra funding to help our church? In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at three ways to get extra income that are not often utilized by churches. In part 2, they examine the idea of planned giving in the church. 1. Our definition of planned giving: from a…
 
One of the most common questions we get in church revitalization is: “How can we get extra funding to help our church? In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at three ways to get extra income that are not often utilized by churches. In part 1, they examine the idea of leasing part of the church facility. 1. Leasing to another church. 2. Lea…
 
There is a plethora of information about churches facing a new pace of change due to COVID. There are many conversations about attendance declines. In this episode, Kevin and Thom look at five consequences for churches that don’t get much attention. You might be surprised. 1. More leaders are leading from a posture of fear. 2. Programs and ministri…
 
Based on trends in 2021 and thus far in 2022, Kevin and Thom are able to pinpoint some key characteristics of churches that are in decline in 2022. 1. We are seeing a direct correlation to the length of time a church did not hold in-person services and attendance decline. 2. Simply stated, a declining church is often a church that ignores the Great…
 
Mark and Thom look at some of the unspoken but very real issues in church revitalization. They confront the reality of the issue and then offer a pathway to deal with it. In this third of three episodes, they examine the challenge of realizing you aren’t the leader you thought you were. Confession is good, but be wise who hears your confession. Mak…
 
Mark and Thom look at some of the unspoken but very real issues in church revitalization. They confront the reality of the issue and then offer a pathway to deal with it. In this second of three episodes, they examine the challenge a revitalization leader has when he thinks the denomination or network is not supportive. No denomination will ever gi…
 
Mark and Thom look at some of the unspoken but very real issues in church revitalization. They confront the reality of the issue and then offer a pathway to deal with it. In this first of three episodes, they examine the challenge when a spouse wants to leave a church but the pastor or staff member does not. The underlying issue or issues must be a…
 
Kevin and Thom look at a common issue facing many churches: low commitment of church members. They take you on a three-part journey that both explains the reasons for the low commitment and ways your church can move to higher commitments. In this third of three episodes, they explain how to move church members to higher commitment. 1. The process t…
 
Kevin and Thom look at a common issue facing many churches: low commitment of church members. They take you on a three-part journey that both explains the reasons for the low commitment and ways your church can move to higher commitments. In this second of three episodes, they explain how to move leaders to higher commitment. 1. Leaders must set an…
 
Kevin and Thom look at a common issue facing many churches: low commitment of church members. They take you on a three-part journey that both explains the reasons for the low commitment and ways your church can move to higher commitments. In this first of three episodes, they examine the background of how churches go this way. 1. The issue of imita…
 
Mark and Thom discuss the painful issue of depression among pastors and other church staff. In many ways, it has become an epidemic and must be addressed. In this third of three podcasts, Mark and Thom address pastors directly about this issue, urging them to get help even when it goes against their normal disposition. You are neither strange nor a…
 
Mark and Thom discuss the painful issue of depression among pastors and other church staff. In many ways, it has become an epidemic and must be addressed. In this second of three podcasts, Mark and Thom address church members directly about this issue, urging them to be proactive in helping their pastors and other church leaders. 1. Most pastors do…
 
Mark and Thom discuss the painful issue of depression among pastors and other church staff. In many ways, it has become an epidemic and must be addressed. In this first of three podcasts, they share why depression is a growing malady among these leaders. 1. Because more church leaders are willing to admit their struggles. 2. Because social media is…
 
Many churches are considering replanting or adopting churches as a strategy to reach a larger community or communities. In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at the more common topics and questions from church leaders who desire to move forward. In part three, they look at the issue of how your church can be better prepared to adopt or rep…
 
Many churches are considering replanting or adopting churches as a strategy to reach a larger community or communities. In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at the more common topics and questions from church leaders who desire to move forward. In part two, they look at some common questions you will hear from church members if they are c…
 
Many churches are considering replanting or adopting churches as a strategy to reach a larger community or communities. In this three-part series, Kevin and Thom look at the more common topics and questions from church leaders who desire to move forward. In part one, they look at perhaps the most common question: Where do we find a church that want…
 
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