Posts Tagged ‘teaching series’



Is Your Church Ready for the Sunday After Easter?

Easter is often a wasted opportunity for churches. “Easter attendance looks good in the reports, but the extra people show up for that Sunday but they don’t come back until the next holiday” said the disappointed pastor on the other side of the table from me. Unfortunately, he was right. A lot of people come through the doors of churches during Easter who never return until next year, if they come back at all. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Over the years, I have seen churches of all sizes compel the “Easter Crowd” to return the following weekend and eventually become part of the congregation. With some pre-planning and strategic intent, you can improve your odds at getting back the people who, otherwise, you might not see again for another year. Most of the churches I work with will start a new teaching series the weekend after…

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Churches Often Miss the New Year’s Opportunity

In our culture, a new year still means a new opportunity for change, a new opportunity for new beginnings, new relationships, and a new search for a faith community. Unfortunately, most churches miss out on the first-of-the-year window because they are not prepared for the new people who will show up in the first few weeks of the year. Typically, churches put on their big Christmas musical by the second week in December and they shut down all but life support systems until after the holidays. So as new guests begin to arrive, they are met with less-than-well-put-together services, often scaled-down music programs and, most unfortunately, a three-week stewardship series. Every church needs to teach stewardship, but we must be sensitive to the growth patterns in our culture. The first of the year is one of the top windows to reach to those outside the faith. Think Ahead Let me…

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5 Characteristics of a Growing Church

I spent Sunday morning with my friends at the Church on The Eastern Shore in Fairhope, Alabama, a very eclectic artist community near Mobile. I rejoiced with them as hundreds of new faces visited the church on the opening Sunday of their new teaching series. That’s a part of my job that gives me  great satisfaction: watching God bless an entire team’s effort. COTE’s story is one that I have seen happen time and time again, but it never grows old. Here’s what I have seen in churches like COTES that succeed in reaching their community for the gospel. They learn. Growing churches are learning organizations. They are always asking “how can we be better?” They invest resources and in training and helping their staff and volunteers grow. I’m always humbled when I’m asked to consult with a church and help them to stretch beyond where they’ve been. They have…

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How Are You Wired for Creativity?

Part of my work at The A Group focus on helping leaders, speakers and authors with the creative part of their jobs. Several of my clients are pastors of large congregations and ministries and part of my work is to help them develop teaching series ideas, book topics, titles and creative concepts for their ministries. Some believe that the creative process is as mysterious as a muse who descends upon humans at her will to impart inspiration. I must say I’ve had a few inspirational moments over the years, but most of my best creative work comes through a process that is not as much magical, as it is intentional. I plan on writing more about the process in future posts, but before I can make any progress with a client, I need to understand his or her “creative style.” Usually most of my clients fit in one of or…

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Is the Creative Team Killing Good Preaching?

In the past few days I have heard from three different pastors the same story: my creative team has asked me to do something I’m not comfortable doing. One group had the Pastor repelling down from the rafters in a harness before delivering the sermon. But no matter the request, each of the men I talked with ended up arriving at the same conclusion: ultimately it’s not the creative team that has to preach this message, I am, and I’m not comfortable doing what they have asked me to do or say. Before you accuse me of being old school and not wanting to try new things, let me tell you I value creativity. My dad is an artist and I grew up in my parents’ art gallery. The A Group, a business I own, is built on creativity and filled with creatives. And beyond all of that, I consult…

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First of the Year Window Holds True

Historically, the first weekend of the New Year is a great opportunity to reach out to your community with a New Year series. 2008 was no exception. All of our clients who spent the time to plan, design, and promote a new teaching series saw a significant jump in their weekend attendance compared to previous years. Interestingly, those who did not promote their first-of-the year message series had marginal results. Easter is the next natural window for the unchurched to visit your congregation. And since Easter is early this year, March 23, churches should begin their creative planning now. Here are few tips: Create a 6-8 week teaching series that connects with your community’s concerns and issues. Promote it to your own people as a way to reach out to their network of friends and family Be creative. Develop a visually compelling, graphical representation of the teaching series. Make the…

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