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Just How Large Should a Local Church Be? Well…

I love small churches. I love medium-sized churches. And I love large churches and "megachurches" (typically defined as an evangelical congregation with 2,000 or more weekend service attenders). I also agree with a principle shared by Bailey Smith who once said, "There are no large churches. All churches are small, some are just smaller than others when compared to the surrounding lost population." I've pastored churches of 30 and I've served as a staff Pastor at a church …

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Defining Spiritual Maturity

How is it that some people can be born again, faithful church members for many decades and act so immaturely under pressure or in conflict while others who have been believers such a short time seem to reflect Christ so well? It's because spiritual maturity isn't defined chronologically. It doesn't matter so much how long you've been a Christian. It matters whether you've been growing while a Christian. I love the way Tony Evans states it his book Time To Get …

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God Is A Finisher

I have taken lessons in piano, guitar, trumpet, and karate. Does this make me a master of all of these abilities? No! Because I stopped each one after only a few months. I'm a master of starting things! God, however, is the Master of finishing. Consider this. In Genesis 3, sin entered the picture of humanity and by the end of the chapter, God had issued a permanent promise of redemption through the "seed" of the woman (Jesus, the Messiah). Then for thousands of years, that …

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Why Talking About Church Growth Matters

It's inevitable. Every single time we publish an article on pastors.com designed to help Pastors lead their churches to grow, people react with defensiveness and pseudo-spiritual comments. Everyone seems quick to point out that "it's not about numbers," "bigger doesn't mean better," and "my small church matters just as much as your big church." Yes. We know. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a small church. Small churches do awesome things for the kingdom and …

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You Can Have Growth, Or You Can Have Control

If Proverbs could have a 32nd chapter of nuggets of wisdom, David Chrzan would write it. In the five years or so that I've known and worked with David, he's repetitively dropped advice that has shaped my own philosophy of leadership. For example, in a recent conversation David said, "You can have growth or you can have control. And you have to decide how much of each you want." Wow. So true. David wasn't implying that control is a bad thing. In fact, some level of control …

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Fast, Fluid, Flexible… and Flourishing

Movement is life. I recently watched the blockbuster hit, World War Z. I had been anticipating it for a long time, and it didn't fail to impress me with it's non-stop intensity starting two minutes in and not ending until the credits roll. There is a moment when Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is trying to give advice to an Hispanic couple about their need to change locations often in order to stay alive rather than staying barricaded in one spot like sitting ducks. As he speaks …

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Eight Questions for Churches at a Life and Death Cultural Crossroads

One of our core values at Grace Hills is, "We stay fast, fluid, and flexible. There are no sacred cows. We embrace the pain of change for the win of seeing more people meeting Jesus." I wrote that one knowing that of all of our other core values, it would probably be the hardest to honor over the long haul. It addresses the crossroads where theology meets psychology, where truth, mission, and fear intermingle. Change is hard. The American evangelical church is in a rather …

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Why Grace Hills Church Is In Jeopardy

Grace Hills Church is eleven Sundays old, officially, and about eight months old, unofficially. And we're in trouble. If we don't do something, all of our effort will be in vain and all hope of planting the kind of church Jesus had in mind will be lost. No, we're not out of money. God has provided every step of the way. No, we're not losing people. In fact, we're seeing new attenders every week. And no, we're not losing our leaders. We're seeing new leaders emerge as each …

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Sacrifice Everything For Buried Treasure

Last night, I spent some time with the Association of Baptist Students at The Hedge, their Tuesday night gathering. I talked about going "all in for the kingdom" and shared from the parables Jesus told about the value of discovering the rule and reign of Christ over all things. The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the …

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Ordering the Priorities of Life

Priorities are a continuing struggle for most of us. For people in ministry leadership, this struggle usually doesn't result from a lack of commitment, but from a lack of clarity about our commitments. That is, we're either over-committed or we're committed to mutually exclusive priorities. We are all given 168 hours in a week, but some of us use those hours more effectively than others. So how do you order your priorities in such a way that major areas of your life don't …

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