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3 Tips for Prioritizing Rest as a Youth Pastor

When you work in ministry, you’re never really “off”. For every crisis, every life change, every tragedy, you’re the person people know, even if they don’t really know you. While it comes with the calling, it doesn’t get less exhausting. With youth, emotions are even higher, angst is off the charts, and prefrontal cortexes aren’t yet fully formed. For a lot of your students, you migh...

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Reasons Churches Become Insider-Focused

New churches don’t grow as a result of being insider-focused. The reason church plants often gain so much momentum in the early stages is due to an ambition to reach others for Christ. When a church first starts, everyone understands it’s time to kick everything into full throttle and focus on the community around you. But somewhere along the way, many churches start focusing inwardly on ta...

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Building a Volunteer Church Film Team

Every church knows that volunteers are the backbone of their activities. Volunteers are the reason the church is able to do so much, and no matter the size of your building and staff, every department will fall short without people volunteering their time to help the ministry. The same is absolutely the truth for film teams at churches. It’s common that video directors/tech directors at churc...

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Worship Ministry: Balancing Volunteer and Paid Musicians

There are several churches that rely entirely on volunteer worship teams, while others rely 100% on a paid contract musician structure. It’s pretty easy to keep everyone’s expectations similar when the whole team is comprised of all volunteers or all paid musicians, but once you start mixing them together, the balance can get difficult. Who should be paid and who should be a volunteer? Shou...

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5 Ways Your Church Is Losing Money

Managing finances in any organization is difficult. Each department/staff member has different expenditures happening at different times, and it can feel like money is constantly going out the door. Churches are no different. While some churches and small church plants have a good grasp on their finances, the truth is that most of us struggle to keep control of all expenses. If you are trying t...

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Lent 101: How Fasting Can Fill Us

It’s a new year. Thank goodness. And while we’re still in the heart of winter, the days are slowly but surely getting longer. In this season, the slow thaw of late winter into early spring, the liturgical calendar brings us Lent. Although often associated with the Catholic church or other liturgical denominations, these days, Lent is being observed by more and more church communities. If...

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4 Reasons Your Congregation is Disengaged from the Sermon

People in your congregation don’t think you can see them, but you know as well as anyone that you see everything they’re doing… all the time. And when eyes begin to wander about the room, thumbs twiddle, and for a few shameless congregants, phones light up their faces, what do you do? Call them out publicly from the stage. Kidding. Please don’t do that… But it’s so tough as a ...

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Children’s Ministry Directors: Getting Young Kids Excited About Church

Being a children’s pastor can be an incredibly enriching job (if you’re the right kind of person that is!) Kids are full of energy, and it’s such an important time of their life developmentally. Being a part of their journey means a lot to them and can be very fulfilling to watch them develop as they grow up. But anyone who works with kids knows there are pros and cons to the job. While k...

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How to Be Proactive About a Pastoral Transition

Pastoral transitions are never easy. There are a number of reasons they occur - your pastor is retiring, transitioning jobs, moving, or being asked to step down. Regardless of the purpose, the fact remains that pastoral transitions are tough on everyone; your congregation, your staff, and your volunteers. While you can’t avoid all of the challenges associated with a pastoral transition, there...

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4 Tips for Making Youth Group an Inviting Space for New Students

When you’re a teenager (and heck, even an adult!), putting yourself out there and stepping into a new environment full of people you don’t know is a pretty big deal. A little bit of preparation goes a long way to create a space that is welcoming to newcomers from the moment they enter the door. Let Students Lead the Way Let’s be honest, no matter how awesome your adult volunteers, hav...

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Church Musicians: Should You Pay Them?

As a freelance drummer in Minneapolis, MN, I’ve had the opportunity to play at several churches in the area. I have gotten the privilege to share the stage with volunteer musicians at new church plants meeting in high schools and theaters, as well as at megachurches. Playing at several churches has given me the chance to see how different worship pastors approach building worship teams, sched...

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5 Reasons Your Church May Not Be Growing

Paying attention to your church attendance is important for many reasons, but obviously it can be incredibly frustrating at times. Unless your church just happens to be exploding in attendance right now, the majority of churches struggle to grow their attendance – especially as church plants. Growing a church is a slow process, and while the chances are high that your ministry will expand just f...

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3 Strategies: Get Youth Ministry Students to Bring Friends

Youth pastors want for nothing more than to have students develop community with each other, build genuine loving relationships with God, and grow in their faith with one another. And I’d argue that you would be hard pressed to find any youth pastor where “growing the youth ministry” isn’t one of their top 5 priorities. But growing a youth ministry is tough. Usually, a youth ministry is...

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Hiring Church Staff: Tried and True Practices

Hiring the right church staff is incredibly important if you are actively working in ministry. It’s especially important in churches smaller than 500, as all staff are working closely with each other every day and weekend. Hiring a bad candidate doesn’t mean one department of the church suffers - it can drag down the efficiency, morale, and culture of all church staff. Unfortunately, many c...

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When is My Church Ready for a New Building?

Many church leaders dream of the day when their ministry grows enough for them to be able to move to a new building. It’s an exciting prospect! Having the chance to search for a place that will be the ideal building and location for your ministry is huge. But knowing when the day has arrived can be tough. You may be financially ready for the move, but is that the only thing that matters? If y...

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Getting Your Congregation Excited About Giving

Giving a sermon on tithing is difficult. Obviously, we all know it’s a Biblical teaching, and the church survives only as a result of people’s commitment to and generosity for her mission. But everyone tends to think of giving as a necessity. As a chore. Giving 10% of your income as a tithe to the church frequently feels like an obligation rather than a joy, and it seems that in the last sever...

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Reducing the Impact of Church Staff Turnover

Working in ministry can be one of the most demanding jobs. Aside from a few very large churches with hundreds of employees, most church jobs require you to be flexible and versatile in a variety of areas. Any church staff member will tell you how grateful they are for their fellow coworkers, as they recognize just how much each person carries on his or her plate when working in ministry. That b...

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4 Factors That Affect Church Attendance

Pastors are almost always in tune with the state of their church attendance. But getting down to what it is that truly controls your church attendance is a tricky task. There are so many varying factors that will affect church attendance and nearly every church will have unique aspects that differentiate them from others. So, while this certainly isn’t a fool-proof, all-inclusive list, it is ...

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Why is My Church’s Giving Decreasing?

Church giving is so important for your ministry to thrive. You know more than anyone how valuable congregational giving is for the growth of your church, and the investment in worship, youth, young adults, and other ministries. But giving isn’t always the easiest topic to deal with. Your church will almost certainly go through seasons where congregational giving is down. The question is - why is...

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Will a New Building Grow My Church Attendance

Being a church planter is one of the most difficult and demanding jobs you can have. You’re starting a ministry from scratch, and while you may have a solid idea on why your church needs to exist and what its long-term goals are, it can be really difficult to get people on board during the early stages of your church’s life. If you are trying to grow your ministry, and moving into a new bui...

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