Five Sermon Prep Myths I Believed

Next year, I will hit a sort of milestone in my life.  One that honestly, had slipped right up on me. This upcoming summer, I will have been preaching for 18 years.  I preached my first sermon (not sure you can really call it that however) when I was 17 years old.

Over the years, I have learned a TON from my experience prepping messages, studying the scripture, and how to deliver it.  I’d by lying if I said had nothing yet to learn.  I have a LOT left to learn.   Continue reading

Why I Choose Expository Preaching

I can remember back when I first got into ministry, there was this debate about what best; expository preaching or topical preaching.  I thought it was a dumb debate.  And further, I thought expository preaching was only for one type of preacher, and I wasn’t it.  I was wrong, at least about the latter.

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The debate part about which is best, is well, debatable.  I have preference, and it works for me, for several reasons.  The point of this post is not to tell you one way is better than the other or that you’re dumb for being a topical preacher.  I’m just going with what I know.   Continue reading

More Things To Consider When Adding a New Worship Service Time

Last week, I gave you 4 Things To Consider When Adding a New Worship Service Time.  This week, I want to continue that discussion by talking about a few MORE things to consider.

1.  What Is Your Plan To Advertise?

More service times means more opportunities for someone to come to your church.  But if they don’t know about those new times, they won’t come.  So what is your plan to get the word out? Let me suggest:

  • Facebook- You’ll get more bang for your buck in Facebook advertising
  • Power to the people- Put the power of the invite in the hands of people in your church by arming them with invites
  • Time- Give yourself at least 3-4 weeks to advertise to your people and community before pulling the trigger

2. What is Your Volunteer Plan?

If you want to add a new service time, it would be beneficial to also add to your volunteer base. Let’s be honest; it’s never a bad idea to ask people to serve.  In fact, it’s healthy.  If you are adding a second service, it’s a win/win because people can serve one, attend one.  If you are adding a third or more, it gets a little more difficult.  People can still serve one, attend one or even serve two and attend one.  Regardless, you’ll need more volunteers.

  • Start recruiting volunteers BEFORE you actually need them. There is not such thing as TOO many people serving
  • Every season is recruiting season
  • A tool like Volunteer Rocket can really help

3.  Timing Is Everything

When you are adding a service time, timing is everything.  There are certain times of year you want to take advantage of and other times of the year you should definitely NOT try to to add a service time.

  • You have two windows to operate in: Mid-January to early February or Mid-August to Early October.
  • Do not start a new service time the first Sunday in January
  • Do not start a new service time AFTER Easter
  • Never ever start a new service time during the summer (June-July)

There are lots of variables that play into when it’s a good time and if you’re ready to add a new worship service time.  Seek wise counsel, pray, and pray some more to get a clear direction on what you and your church should do.

4 Things To Consider When Adding a Worship Service Time

Let me know if this sounds familiar to you; You have one worship service time and by all accounts, it’s pretty full each Sunday.  There’s not much room for more people.  You’ve heard all the talk about “if it’s 70% full it’s full” talk and so in order to make room for new attenders, you want to add a new service time.

BUT….you’re scared.  You’re afraid your church will kick back because “we like to be able to know/see everyone” is being heard in the halls.  You also fear no one coming to the new service time, so you’ll be hearing crickets when you preach.  Trust me; these are real fears when contemplating adding a new service time.  But you don’t have to give in to them.  Continue reading

So You Want To Get Better?

When I was 16 years old, I decided I wanted to learn how to play the guitar, start a band and tour the world.  However, I had several problems; 1) I did not have a guitar 2) I could not play the guitar 3) I knew of no one that COULD play the guitar.

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I’m glad that I didn’t let any of that stop me.  That summer, I saved my money, went and purchased a used guitar and a chord book.  I couldn’t afford lessons, so I knew that I would have to teach myself how to play.

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Thoughts From The Double Conference: Perry Noble #double14

Two weeks ago, I was honored to spend some time at Newspring Church in Anderson South Carolina for the Double Conference.  Last week I posted a few thoughts on the conference in general.  Today, I’d like to share with you a few thoughts and quotes from Perry Noble.

Not that it needs to be said about pastor Perry, but let me say this; I love this guy.  I know he takes a lot of heat from people at times, but I would go to bat for him any day of the week.  I’ve had the honor to get know pastor Perry a bit and have him pour into me.  For those only watching from a distance and wonder if he’s who he portrays to be, he absolutely is.  What you see is what you get. And what many don’t get to see, is that he truly cares about pastors, their churches and the big C Church.

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Four Thoughts From The Double Conference Part 1 #double14

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Last week, I had the priviledge of taking some of our team to Newspring Church and the Double Conference.  It’s no secret if you read this blog, that I love Newspring Church.  They’ve been a HUGE help to me and our church since before we ever launched and so I am always willing and eager to learn from them and pastor Perry Noble any chance that I get.

The conference was last week, but I am just now getting an opportunity to really process all that we learned from Newspring last week.  I wanted to share a few of those thoughts in today’s post, and tomorrow, post a few quotes from pastor Perry that I think you’ll be able to gain some wisdom from.

Thoughts from the Double Conference

1.  Newspring has one of the best volunteer cultures around

If you’ve not experienced the volunteer culture at Newspring, you should plan a trip just to see this in action.  I’ve been to a lot of churches, but I have never experienced the joy and love from volunteers like I do at Newspring. You will literally not find a more welcoming and helpful environment.  Not only are they friendly and helpful, but they are EVERYWHERE.  You would not be able to sneeze without a volunteer being close enough to tell you “bless you”. I know; it happened to me.

2.  The staff makes themselves available

I’ve been to other conferences at other churches as well as big national conferences, and never once saw a staff member or speaker available to meet and chat with people.  At the Newspring, there were staff in the halls, lobby, etc between every session, willing and able to chat, answer questions or find answers.  And here’s my favorite part; if you email them, they WILL email you back within 24-48 hours to answer any questions you may have.

I attended one of the breakout sessions on worship, and after it was over, every musician, worship leader and production staff member stayed in the room to answer every question, meet and shake hands or pray for people.  That’s pretty cool.

3.  They smoke what they sale 

One of the things pastor Perry said in his talk was that “it’s only hype if you don’t believe it.”  At Newspring, they don’t hype anything.  They get excited about what God is doing and they really believe He’s going to do even greater things.  That excitement and passion rubs off on me.

4.  The Newspring Network is how it’s done

If you’ve not heard, check out newspringnetwork.com.  This, in my opinion is how churches should do it.  Everything they can give away, is given away for FREE on the network.  Graphics, sermon bumpers, chord charts, pdfs, sermon series, etc.  All for free.  There’s a lot of time, work and resources that go into creating these things, and Newspring wants to share them.  I’ll never complain about paying for things that are of quality and are useful; but to give something away that is both quality and useful, for free, is awesome.

Did you attend Double 14?  If so, what were some of your thoughts and observations?

Five Tips To Improve Your Church’s Facebook Reach

**The following will be part of a series I’d like to share with you on the Church and social media.  I see too many churches take social media for granted.  Our connections pastor at Ridge Church, Jonathan Haskell is pretty dang good at it.  So I’ve asked him to share a few tips with us.  Enjoy! 

by jonathan haskell

As I’m sure you are aware, Facebook can be a powerful tool both for connecting with those in your congregation, and for getting the word out about your ministry.

However, Facebook’s new policies for Pages – even nonprofit Pages – have made it increasingly difficult to push your content without paying to “boost” it. There are still some ways to effectively get your message out, though.

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Lead Pastor vs Worship Pastor

“This bout is scheduled for one fall. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!”

Does that phrase go through your head as you enter into your worship planning meeting every week?  It doesn’t have to.

The relationship between lead pastors and worship leaders is sometimes like a heavy weight prize fight- blows to the head, ego and someone gets beat down, you get it.

Someone is going down.

And there’s one place where lead pastors and worship leaders tangle every single week.

The Worship Service.

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Don’t Make This Mistake

Several years ago, our church had an idea to do a back-to-school supply drive.  Our idea was to fill an 8×12 tote trailer with school supplies for one of our local schools that we partner with.  We had even enlisted the help of our local Chik-Fil-A to help us out with free food for those that donated supplies.  The idea was great, however the execution was less than stellar.

Our problem wasn’t the idea, it was our marketing plan.  How were we going to get the word out to our community to let them know to come and donate supplies, get some great free chicken, and help a local school? Continue reading