Is Your Church “Swifting” When it Comes to Staffing?

Spivey says that many churches also have a track record of quick breakups… with staff turnover about every 18 months.

Tim says that “swifting” churches are characterized by two things usually:

1.  They hire poorly

2.  They have power issues

Tim adds: If you are looking for a place to serve, be very cautious in considering a church with high record of turnover. I know of a church that had three senior pastors in the same year. They also blamed each of those three for the transition based on “wanting a new direction.” They are right … they need a new direction. They can start by taking responsibility for either poor hiring or a quick trigger finger in personnel matters — or both.

Have you ever worked for a ‘swifting’ church?  Or maybe your on the leadership team of one.

Stop it. It does the Kingdom no good.

If you’re a church… hire well.

If you’re a potential staff member, do your due diligence as well. Talk to a past staff member or two.  (Ask permission of course).  And ask about the work environment… who the current staff are… and how long they’ve been there.

… because once that break up happens, you probably are ‘never ever ever getting back together’.

Todd

Read more from Tim here…

If you’re looking for a new staff member, or a new place to serve… check out my new staffing website at ChurchJobs.tv.  You’ll find a lot of resources to help you with your search!

Pray for Community Bible Church

Bad news from the weekend in High Point, NC.  42-year-old Pastor Robert McKeehan took his own life last Friday.  The church he served, Community Bible Church, and it’s multiple locations, are reeling in pain.

There were no public tell-tale signs of Robert’s inner struggles.  In fact, the church’s website still have a link to Robert’s last sermon, preached just five days before his suicide.  I watched a little of it, and there he hides it well. But something changed between Sunday and Friday.

My heart and prayers go out to the congregation and leadership at Community Bible.  Would you take a moment to pray for them as well today.  (And for Robert’s wife and two kids).

A lot happens in the life of leaders that go on behind the scenes.  Let’s pray for the hundreds and thousands of Robert’s out there that are on the edge and not sure what to do.  And if you have no where to turn, please feel free to contact me, and we’ll see if we can’t find someone that might be able to help.

John Hagee: Something ‘world-shaking’ is about to happen.

John Hagee says that something big is about to happen.

And it’s not good.

Not good at all.

Sometime between Now (April 15, 2014) and October of next year, we will experience a world-shaking event.

That is because the world is about to see four ‘blood moons’.

A ‘blood moon’ is actually a total lunar eclipse that turns the moon a coppery-red color.

And we’re set to see four of them.

Hagee cites Acts 2:19-20: “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

Hagee says all of these ‘blood moons’ happen on spiritually significant days:

The April 15 event happens during Passover. On Oct. 8, the blood moon will occur during the Feast of Tabernacles. Another blood moon will occur during Passover on April 4, 2015. The last will happen on Sept. 28, 2015, another Feast ot the Tabernacles.

And that these ‘tetrads’ in the past have coincided with important events in the life of the Jewish people:

In 1493, a tetrad occurred while the Jews were being expelled from Spain. Another tetrad occurred in 1949, soon after the state of Israel was founded. The last tetrad happened in 1967, during the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis.

I know you might find this hard to believe, but John also has a book coming out.

And yes, it’s all about blood moons. Here’s the premise:

“Just as in biblical times, God is controlling the sun, the moon, and the stars to send our generation a signal that something big is about to happen. The question is: Are we watching and listening to His message?” 

So… are YOU ready for the blood moons?

What do you do when you read things like this? Laugh? Cry? or take them semi-seriously?

Todd

Read more here…

The 20 Most Influential Evangelicals in America

Recently, LifeWay President Thom Rainer compiled a list of 20 of what he thinks are the most influential evangelicals in America.  The list, he says, is subjective (he just asked about 30 friends for input).

Here were the criteria:

–They had to be American

–They had to be living

–They had to be ‘evangelical’ (whatever that means)

–The nominees had to be influential (not necessarily those whom the person agreed with).

Here are the results… see what you think.  (These are in alphabetical order):

  1. Matt Chandler
  2. Wilfredo De Jesus (Pastor Choco)
  3. Ross Douthat
  4. Tony Evans
  5. Louie Giglio
  6. Franklin Graham
  7. Craig Groeschel
  8. Bill Hybels
  9. T. D. Jakes
  10. Tim Keller
  11. Lecrae
  12. Albert Mohler
  13. Beth Moore
  14. Joyce Meyer
  15. Joel Osteen
  16. John Piper
  17. Dave Ramsey
  18. Priscilla Shirer
  19. Any Stanley
  20. Rick Warren

The only one I was not familiar with was Ross Douthat, who is an author and New York Times columnist.

Interesting that Lecrae made the list.

3 women. That will get some fired up.

1 hispanic. 4 African Americans.

Not on the list:  Mark Driscoll (although I wonder if his current woes kept him off this list for a time).

Also not on the list:  James Dobson, Pat Robertson.

No John MacArthur or John Piper either.  (Oops… correction… Piper IS on the list).

And no nod to younger pastors like Perry Noble or Steven Furtick (who also may have been knocked off by controversy).

More notably… no Francis Chan.

A couple of charismatic/pentecostals on the list, but not many.

What do YOU think?  Who else SHOULD have been on the list?

And who should have NOT been on the list?

Are lists like these helpful, hurtful, or just interesting (I fall into the ‘just interesting’ camp myself).

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Todd

Read Thom Rainer’s original post here…

Pray for Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

My heart hurts whenever I hear stories like this. (And it seems to be quite often).

Many of you have probably heard about Pastor Bob Coy’s resignation from Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale within the past week for ‘moral failures’. Bob Coy was the founding pastor of CCFL.  It’s a huge church (20,000+ attendees, 10 campuses).  His impact has been huge in the Calvary Chapel movement, in Fort Lauderdale, and really all over the country through his radio and TV ministry.

I always hate to hear stories of moral failure.  This one, for me, hit a little more at home.  My oldest son has been attending CCFL’s School of Worship for the past year. It was an especially tough weekend for him and his community. I have many feelings on the subject (and the full range of emotions, as I usually do… anger, sadness, etc.).  My friend Ron Edmondson does a great job of summing up my thoughts here (We think alike, Ron).

Would you do me a favor?  Would you pray for CCFL today?  Pray that the church would remain strong and follow Jesus (I have every hope that they will.  CCFL is a great church).  Pray for Bob. that there will be full repentance and longing for restoration.  Pray for his wife Diane, who has to be under extreme duress during this time, and for their teenage kids (I can’t imagine).  Pray for the nearly 1,000 employees of CCFL who have been sucker punched and last their pastor of nearly 30 years.

And if you have time to pray even more specifically, pray for the teachers and students at the school of worship. Many are preparing for full-time places of ministry.  While this is a horrible thing, it’s also a practical thing that they will have a front-seat for… (I realize that sounds very academic… but they will see first-hand the power of sin, and how a very large organization (or even a small one) has to deal with the consequences of such sin.  And pray for my son in particular as he sorts out all of this mess.

God truly is in control.  But that doesn’t make news like this any easier to bear. Ever.

Todd

Ministry Briefing for April 27: Westboro Founder Dies, Cohabitation, Driscoll, and 47 other stories you need to know!

The new edition of Ministry Briefing is just out, and you can get this weeks (and next week’s) editions absolutely free.

Each week, Matt Steen and I search high and low for the top things that (we think) every church leader should be reading.  Then we write a short ‘just the facts’ paragraph; include a link to the full resource, and package it in a beautiful PDF (or MOBI or ePUB for your Kindle, iPad, or Tablet).

Right now, you can try the next two issues (including this week’s) free.  And if you don’t like it, you can always cancel your subscription at any time.

This week, we have some fascinating stories.

For example… did you know that the length of a relationship before cohabitation is linked as a key factor in divorce?

Or that 20 former pastors from Mars Hill are asking for formal mediation with Pastor Mark Driscoll?

And how about the large megachurch whose staff said they would work for free if they needed to.  (And why would they do that?)

And if you’re looking for new ideas:  one church is doing a new sermon series on the gospels centered around a ‘detective’ theme.

Another church is expanding to 10 locations.  And one denomination is now offering ‘gluten-free’ communion options.

We think you’ll find all of it interesting.

But even more, we think you’ll find something each week that will encourage you, train you, spur on a great idea.  Plus there will usually be at least one story to make you angry; one to make you cry; and one to make you laugh out loud.

Just ’cause that’s how we roll.

Here’s what you’ll read THIS WEEK in Ministry Briefing.

Subscribe and get your free copy download in less than two minutes!

 

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How to Strategically Hype Without Embarrassing Yourself

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“The best thing about comedy is that no matter how bad your show is, it’s only 30 minutes, and never exists again. The worst thing is no matter how good your show is, it’s only 30 minutes, and never exists again.” ­ -Mick Napier

Comedians have the luxury of coasting because people love to laugh and will seek out comedy. Churches cannot coast because people are looking for a reason to mentally check out and never return. If you blow it on Sunday with a person far from God, they will quickly become far from your church.

In today’s world, it is still culturally­ assumed that if you have questions about faith, your best bet is to walk into a church on a Sunday morning. The culture assumes Sunday is going to meet their needs. If you want to reach lost people, your church needs to reduce the clutter of mid­week programming and echo the Monster Truck commercials: “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!”

How do we best grab people’s attention?

Hype that lives up to the hype is GREAT. Delivering on big promises can build a reputation and momentum. However, when you promise something great yet deliver a subpar product, you stain your credibility and empty seats.

And let’s be honest, this happens a LOT in church world.

If you’re going to jump on Twitter on Saturday night and promise that this coming Sunday will be the best Sunday ever, you’d better deliver big time. And there is a time and a place for those tweets. Just remember, leaders shape expectations.

A key principle used by comedians is to reverse­hype. Comedians thrive when they underpromise and overdeliver:

Overpromise + Underdeliver = Reputation Stainer + Momentum Killer (church world)

Underpromise + Overdeliver = Spontaneous Buzz + Authentic Growth (comedy world)

Surprise + Delight

Comedy teacher Martin de Maat once gave a great exercise in one of my comedy courses. He gave each person in our class a secret before we started improvising our scene. We weren’t supposed to talk about it; each person’s secret was to be their motivation.

The exercise was incredible as great comedy erupted in those improvised scenes. At the end, we found out the big reveal: Martin had told each of us the same thing, “It’s your partner’s birthday.”

Because we didn’t know it was our birthday in the scene, we were given an underpromise; we assumed it would be a normal day. The scene’s comedy was heightened because each person was acting like it was the other’s birthday… without actually saying, “Hey, Happy Birthday!” This made every word and action an overdelivery of pure joy.

When you choose to underpromise and overdeliver, it will lead to spontaneous buzz and authentic growth. In leadership, you have a hand in shaping the future. If you keep expectations low and raise the bar for execution high, you shape a future of surprise and delight. When looking at your next big event or message series, underpromise what is to come and then work your tail off to overdeliver the results!

As comedy director Del Close once observed, “A scene is almost never about what the players think it’s going to be about!” When you underpromise as a leader, you actually free yourself to enjoy the journey. If the expectations are low, the freedom is available to explore and fly higher!

Jonathan Herron studied comedy under Tina Fey (SNL, 30 Rock) before entering ministry. An experienced church start​up strategist, Jonathan is now the founding pastor of Life Church Michigan and this excerpt is from his just ​­released book, Comedy​­Driven Leadership.

This is a sponsored post of ToddRhoades.com

The urgency of your day. What happens after death?

You have the most urgent job in the world today.  In fact, we all do.

Watch this short video shot in Columbia, MO, asking people what happens after they die…

Thoughts?

Todd

Sam Chand on ‘skinny jeans and spiked hair’ & why your church’s culture needs to change

For the last twenty to thirty years church leaders have heard about the importance of vision.

We have gone to conferences about vision, lectured on vision, and encouraged our congregations to buy into vision for years. While many times all a church needs is a clearer understanding of their vision, many times vision just isn’t enough. There is something missing: a healthy church culture.

Let’s be brutally honest: an unhealthy church culture will eat your church’s vision for lunch.

Enter Sam Chand.

Sam’s book Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code goes after that piece that eludes us: church culture. Sam sat down with Todd and Matt yesterday to talk a little bit about the book, why culture is so important for churches, and how to start developing a healthy church culture:

You can track Sam down at his website and on twitter, and you can find Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code on Amazon.

What are you, nuts?

If you’re using the same communication methods, technology, music, delivery style, and format that you did five years ago… you’re nuts.

In fact, if you’re not constantly changing the way you communicate the gospel to people in your community, you’re in big, big trouble.

Here’s a case in point.  In 1984, kids were asked to explain computers on Sesame Street.  (Mind you… in 1984 I was a sophomore in college).  Here’s what they said:

Fast forward 30 years.  Now watch this from 2014:

In just 30 years, we’ve watched a generation totally evolve in the way they communicate.

People ten years younger than I am were using computers to make pictures (pretty bad ones).

Today’s kids don’t know what a dial tone or a busy signal is.

Bottom line:  If you’re stuck in 1984, chances are you’re finished.  Your effectiveness will be with the 50+ crowd spending your remaining years looking at carpet samples and fighting off the few of the younger folks you have left.  Your church and ministry will die a slow and agonizing death only as your people literally start dying.

Many churches in my town are stuck in 1984.

Some are stuck in 1994.

Others in 2004.

But just as bad (though not as easy to identify) are the churches stuck in 2010 or 2011.

I’m not saying that the church needs to take on every new technology or cultural advance (many can be very detrimental to the church).  But if your church is debating whether or not you should have a tweeter account, you’re probably out of touch.

With culture so enamored with technology and celebrity, it’s kind of important that you know what a wrecking ball is or who the heck Pharrell is (and why Arby’s paid $44,000 for his hat).

Never compromised on the message.  Always change the method and delivery.

If you don’t make those adjustments consistently, you’re nuts.

So there’s that.

Todd

 

HT: Mental Floss here and here.

 

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