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Exploring Options Before Burnout

It happened again – a pastor resigned and gave burnout as the reason.  I got the news third-hand and immediately emailed the minister – no response.  I called his home – no response.  Called his cell and left a message – no response.   So I reached out to his church leaders and two days later we got together.  I re-introduced myself and within a few minutes it was obvious that this was an unusually sharp group of inexperienced, yet resolute leaders.  They were in control, despite the shock of their pastor leaving with absolutely no warning.  No last Sunday.  No goodbyes.  No “God bless you’s”.  Before I left that emergency meeting, I gathered everyone in a circle, we held hands and I prayed for God’s wisdom and blessings on this brave band of leaders as they began a journey they never wanted or anticipated.   Their expressed gratitude for my concern was so genuine and profuse that I could tell my visit was deeply appreciated and needed more than I first anticipated.  I drove into … [Read More...]

Churches and Change

With more than 80% of American churches declining or plateaued, almost all pastors pray that their churches will be healthy and growing. Discovering effective approaches to guiding a church back to life is a holy quest for many of today’s pastors, along with a growing number of church consultants. Gil Rendle is one of America’s premier church consultants who is retiring.  I have learned much from his book, “Leading Change in the Congregation.”  Here are a few sample insights that have … [Read More...]

Same Old Bad News – But Some Good News Too

For the ninth year in a row, Southern Baptists declined in membership.  The latest statistics were released last week and indicated that we lost more than 200,000 members in 2015. Having noted that, it is also a well-accepted fact that the mainline denominations started declining significantly in the 1960’s and 70’s and now more than 80% of all churches in America are plateaued or declining.   (That would also be true in Middle District.) In an attempt to be a resource of hope and help for … [Read More...]