How NOT to hire a worship leader

This from

After repeated conflicts with his church board about the direction of Family Life Center, pastor Dave Chandler decided to leave the church. But on his way out he used a little-known clause in the bylaws to singlehandedly hire a new worship leader: Bill MacNerny who specializes in “alien folk music” and “tunes for chickens and other intelligent beings.” MacNerny was last employed as a street performer in Key West, Fla., and has made several albums of himself playing the ukelele and making barnyard sounds.

“We’re in a true bind,” says board member Jeff Garrety. “We couldn’t believe when this bozo showed up to lead worship.”

The quirk in the bylaws gave Chandler sole authority to hire and fire the worship leader and to define contract terms. The contract includes a severability clause of $150,000 if MacNerny is fired before two years. It also specifies that he must lead worship on Sunday mornings and any other time the church meets. Lawyers informed the board that the contract is legitimate and must be respected.

On a recent Sunday morning, MacNerny opened the service with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” in which he encouraged audience members to make “Martian noises.” Few people joined in. He then segued into “This Old Man, he played one, he played knick-knack on my thumb” and seemed unfazed by people’s non-participation.

Read more here…

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Being Comes Before Doing - For what we do is always determined by who we are




How churches clap

I think this should be pretty explanatory for most of us…




Three types of deadlines and why it might be ok to miss a deadline

Scott Belsky says there are really three types of deadlines:

1. Data-Driven Deadlines: You break an entire project down into concrete steps, each with a specified amount of time it takes to be completed. And then, when you add up the time for all of the steps, you get an estimate of time required for the project. After taking into account the number of people working on the project, you get an actual target date for completion – otherwise known as a deadline. Of course, if you miscalculated – or altogether miss – a step in the process, then you will miss your deadline. Upon reflection, you will learn why you underestimated the steps. And such knowledge, while painful to learn the hard way, will be valuable in future project planning.

2. Arbitrary Deadlines: You put your finger in the wind and attempt to feel, based on past experience or a wild guess, when something will be done. Or, you pick an upcoming event and arbitrarily make it a deadline. Often times, this practice has the sole purpose of just having a milestone in mind. Common in start-ups or in projects with client-imposed deadlines, you are relying on a lot of luck and hustle. An arbitrary deadline is certainly better than no deadline. No doubt, the mental benefits of a deadline are helpful in pacing the project. Arbitrary deadlines are most effective in an iterative project planning process. You must consistently reassess the deadline as more information reveals itself. Ideally, arbitrary deadlines evolve into data-driven deadlines as more information reveals itself.

3. Bureaucratic (Padded) Deadlines: When you’re tasked with creating a deadline and reporting it to the higher ups, you have incentive to “pad” the deadline with extra pockets of time. While it helps to manage expectations and protect your reputation, the practice of padding deadlines will compromise the learning. The causes of miscalculated projects and missed steps may pass unnoticed because of the margin of error providing by the padding. While the higher-ups may be pleased, in actuality your team is robbed of valuable learning.

Scott says that missing deadlines isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Find out why, here…

USA Today recognizes ‘Church in a box’

USA Today recently did an article about churches that have no buildings.

We’ve known about this trend for a long time… but this is totally new to many people.

A church without a building?  uh-huh.

Pretty good video, until the end with the screaming woman and mostly unfilled room.

Regardless, it is a very interesting article…


35 low-risk decisions you can make today…

Tony Morgan lists 35 low-risk changes that churches can make today.

I want to re-title that just a bit to correlate with my last post on making decisions.

Every change starts with a decision… and here are a few of the 35 that Tony and his team came up with that are a good start.

(Granted, some are actually riskier than others… but most of these decisions will show movement on your part, and empower you and your congregation for the future):

  1. Change service times.
  2. Empower a volunteer leader.
  3. Offer resources to help people engage Scripture outside of the Sunday service.
  4. Prioritize cross-cultural “missions” opportunities in the same region where your church is located.
  5. Challenge staff to invest 20% of their time in leadership development.
  6. Limit yourself to one, all-church announcement in every service.
  7. Develop a teaching team rather than relying on just one teacher.
  8. Add pictures or, better yet, video clips to your website to give people a taste of your teaching, worship and children’s ministry.
  9. Provide identical children’s ministry experiences at every weekend service so families aren’t limited in the services they can attend.
  10. Stop something.
  11. Create opportunities for students to serve and lead rather than just consuming experiences.
  12. Plan to spend less than you anticipate receiving from offerings.
  13. Create ways for people to share nuggets of teaching and worship content through social media.
  14. Launch a new weekend service.
  15. Start using online solutions (like Asana) to keep the team on the same page.
  16. Hire someone from the outside (staff or consultant) to bring fresh perspective and a new approach.

Read the other 20 or so here…


Get off the pot and make that decision today.

Ever feel stymied?

Ever have a big issue that you’ve needed to make a decision about for some time, but just haven’t?

You keep putting it on the back burner hoping the decision will make itself.

It won’t.

Maybe it’s a staff member that you need to release.  You’re hoping it will work its way out.  It probably won’t.

Maybe it’s a decision to shut down a ministry.  To start a new campus.  To start a new service.

Most of us don’t make hasty decisions… and that’s not what I’m asking you to do.

What I’m asking you to do, is get off the pot and make A decision.  On something.

We all probably have a decision that we’ve needed to make for some time now, but we’ve been putting it off.

Well… today’s the day!

Craig Jarrow, the Time Management Ninja shares ten reasons you should make that decision today.

  1. You May Not Get Another Chance – Sometimes opportunity only knocks once. Don’t let an option pass you by because you don’t make a timely decision.
  2. You Can Change Your Mind – Don’t let the fear of making a wrong choice paralyze you. There are very, very few decisions in life that are not changeable. Your degree, your job, where you live, even your relationships. You can choose again.
  3. It’s Not That Important – As well, there are very few decisions in life that are truly that important. Don’t let perceived importance scare you from choosing.
  4. Not Making A Choice is a Choice – When you don’t choose for yourself, life will choose for you. Ironically, too many people make their decisions by not choosing.
  5. A Good Decision Beats a Perfect One – To re-phrase a famous quote, a good decision now always beats a perfect one later. Don’t wait to make a choice that may pass you by.
  6. Choosing is a Privilege – It is the one thing that you control in your life. Make sure youchoose your own path.
  7. Other People’s Decisions Are Not Your Own – Make your own choices. Live your own life. Otherwise, you will look back and realize that you are living someone else’s life and priorities.
  8. Inaction Leads to a Boring Life – Some people choose not to make decisions because they think it is easier. They tell themselves that it is less stressful if they don’t choose. This may be true, but it is also boring. It is uneventful and lazy. Be bold in your decisions and live with the good and the bad.
  9. There is Never a Perfect Time – Don’t wait for the right time. There isn’t one. There is never a perfect time… just time.
  10. Today Always Beats Tomorrow – Today is the only day you have. Tomorrow is only a promise and may never come. Dream for tomorrow, but live for today. Make your choice and do it now.

Read more from Craig on this important subject here…


Rick Warren: The most overlooked key in growing a church is…

Drum roll please:

I believe the most overlooked key to growing a church is this: We must love unbelievers the way Jesus did. Without His passion for the lost, we will be unwilling to make the sacrifices necessary to reach them.

Love draws people in like a powerful magnet. A lack of love drives people away.

How loving is YOUR church?

How loving are YOU?


Read more here…

4 Mad Skills every church leader needs

According to Pastor Steve Murrell, there are four ‘mad skills’ that every pastor and church leader needs.

How are your MAD SKILLS?

1.  All pastors must develop theological skills:  Systematic theology, New and Old Testament survey, and hermeneutics.

2.  All pastors must develop relational skills:  forgiving people, asking for forgiveness, and encouraging the discouraged.

3.  All pastors must develop leadership skills:  strategic planning, communication, and branding/marketing

4.  All pastors must develop ministry skills:  preaching, making disciples (and, being charismatic, Murrell suggests ‘ministering the baptism in the Holy Spirit’).

OK… that’s a pretty mundane list, Todd.  Of course, all pastors and church leaders should have these MAD SKILLS.

But think about the other pastors and church leaders you know.

How many have honed those four skills?

How many do you know that you’d say… wow… they’re really missing #2; or #3?

There are many pastors I’ve met that have very little relational skill.

Some have really horrible ministry skills.

And some couldn’t lead their way out of a paper bag.

This isn’t a put down to pastors or church leaders.

Not at all.

The reason I bring this up is that these pastors usually don’t have a clue.

They think they’re great at leadership; or that vision and communication is a strongpoint in their ministry.

But everyone around would be quick to tell you otherwise.

How are YOU doing in these four areas?

And who do you have in your life that can give you a good assessment?

Read more here…


What is YOUR personal integrity?

Writer Donald Miller says that a therapist recently asked him to write a few lines about what integrity means to him.

He says it changed his life, and his thinking.

Because integrity… when it comes right down to it… is a very personal thing.

You can hide things from people, but not from yourself.

Here’s what Don came up with for himself:

Don has integrity when he:

      1. Doesn’t promise more than he can deliver.
      2. Stands in the authority God has given him.
      3. Consistently contributes something positive to the world.
        4. Accepts the idea that

to much has been given much is expected

      5. Allows God and trusted others to correct his path.
      6. Follows through on agreed upon tasks.
      7. Acknowledges God as his leader and Jesus as his friend.
      8. Keeps work and family in balance.
      9. Always keeps love at the core of his interactions with other people.
      10. Does not default to a victim mindset, but takes responsibility for what can be done.
      11. Does not people please.
      12. Sees people as the lost or tarnished masterpieces of Christ.
      13. Is strong.
      14. Is faithful to Betsy.
      15. Is true to his creative calling.

What does integrity mean to you?  I mean… PERSONALLY… mean to you?

Try this exercise.

Read more from Don here…



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