An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 9

As we have said, momentum is critical in helping a struggling church move in a new direction. Momentum comes when there is a slowly rising ground swell of new thinking, even if that shift has yet to produce new results. When there are signs that church is beginning to think differently, it’s time to start reinforcing

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 8

Once you get a bit of momentum moving in the direction of new values, you can begin identifying places where the old ways aren’t contributing to your new values. Now, be careful here! Momentum doesn’t mean you preached it and they said “Amen” a lot (though that’s a good day). Momentum is seen when people

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 7

One of the mistakes that pastors in struggling churches often make is miscalculating the manner in which real culture change takes place. Now, by struggling church, I mean those that have been plateaued or in decline for a number of years, where the people may be kind to each other and even seem to enjoy

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 6

In the challenge of helping your congregation adopt some new values, you have to accept that preaching new thinking seldom can be a sufficient strategy on its own. We’ve been considering the path forward, especially for struggling churches, and usually the congregation’s values need some adjustment. Of course, we’re not speaking of the values that

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 5

Values are the building blocks of culture. In the local church, what we value (or prioritize) ultimately determines our effectiveness even more than great visions and plans. The best ideas will ultimately either be driven by or succumb to your values. As someone has wisely observed, “Culture eats vision for lunch.” In a struggling local

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An Important Look into Your Church’s Culture – Part 4

In our last blog in this series, we talked about finding a few specific targets that could potentially be within reach of your congregation. Now, before we unveil the next step, it’s important to verify that we’ve chosen targets that matter. If we were more friendly would that make a difference? If we truly began to love

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An Important Look into Your Church’s Culture – Part 3

In this series of blogs, we are focusing attention on the hardest places–churches that are seldom addressed in most of the church health literature. These are places where strong leaders seldom go, energetic people seldom stay, and new days simply don’t dawn. So, year after year, the pages of the church calendar find a way to

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An Important Look into Your Church’s Culture – Part 2

In this series of blogs, we are focusing attention on the hardest places–churches that are seldom addressed in most of the church health literature. These are places where strong leaders seldom go, energetic people seldom stay, and new days simply don’t dawn. So, year after year, the pages of the church calendar find a way to

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An Important Look Into Your Church’s Culture – Part 1

Someone has wisely observed that “culture eats vision for lunch.” Okay, that sounds a bit odd, but the idea conveyed is that in a place that needs change, you can’t just talk your way into a new future. There may be some significant reasons why your local church is in the shape it’s in–reasons that

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10 Signs of an Inward-Focused Church

For the past several years, I’ve been a part of a team that crisscrosses the nation to work with local churches–hundreds of them. At the same time, I spend a chunk of my summers poring over church attendance and ministry data, identifying metrics to measure health and real effectiveness, and looking for clues to what

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