Tag Archives | planning

R. Callender, Wikimedia

When is the Right Time to Close Our Doors?

We live in anxious times, and one of the things that makes small congregations especially anxious is the fear that they might need to close. As members watch their Sunday morning worship attendance dwindle, someone usually starts “running the numbers,” trying to determine how long they can continue before the money runs out and they’re […]

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Planning Ahead … Way Ahead

In the church, we tend to think of strategic planning as involving a time frame of three to five years. That is a reasonable time frame for most plans. However, the church also needs an entirely different form of strategic planning that looks ahead 10, 20 or more years.

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Sustainability, Failure

Have We Failed?

We are living in an era where many things we have done in the name of Church are no longer sustainable. Does this mean we have failed?On some level, every organization must be sustainable. If we cannot afford to cover our overhead expenses over time, we will cease to exist and won’t be able to […]

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Chaos in the fall?

Priorities Lost in the Madness

It’s easy to prioritize short-term concerns at the expense of longer-term priorities. As pastors, we only have so much time. Our members only have so much time. If we don’t focus on the short term, we’ll have chaos in the fall. However, if we don’t focus on the long term, we’ll have difficulty realizing our […]

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Is the Era of the “Program Church” Over?

Everywhere I go, I hear complaints from congregational staff and lay leaders that their programs are not well attended. These leaders seek input about the kinds of programs members want. But then, too often, when programs are offered, attendance ranges between disappointing and none.

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The Default Congregation

Many things we do in congregations are default ministries. We worship God; engage in compassionate, active pastoral care; seek to help our members grow spiritually; and find faithful ways to serve our neighbors near and far in mission. These default ministries have been going on since the creation of congregations. If we aren’t doing these […]

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Living into a Both-And World

Time and time again in congregations, I encounter either-or thinking. People want to focuseither on church growth or mission to the world; maintain the building or give the staff much needed pay increases; focus on the number of people who attend worship or the number of people our ministry “touches” during the week; have classical […]

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