Dan Reiland The Pastor's Coach – Developing Church Leaders

Category / Church

Pastors confide that they are frustrated because people “just won’t come forward” for the “altar call.”

But what is the reason for that? What is the bigger picture?

I asked Warren Bird, the Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development of the Leadership Network, if churches in general, and in particular megachurches, practice some form of an invitation. Here’s Warren’s response:

“I’ve visited literally hundreds of churches, and the clear pattern is that growing churches call for a response to their messages. The approach varies – some ask people to come forward in the traditional “altar call,” while others ask for a raised hand, a checkbox on a handout, or something specific to the Scripture of that day. For example, one church had a giant open door to walk through in response to the ‘open door’ reference from the Bible passage being taught.”

“Megachurches tend to do more altar calls and other invitations for a response than other churches. I suspect the reason is more because of outreach, which leads to growth, than due to size. Also, according to research, the larger the church, the more likely it is to have clarity of purpose – and an evangelistic purpose at that, which again would explain why larger churches expect, look for, and call for a response to God’s Word.”

An invitation of some kind, including the traditional altar call to come forward is still a relevant and effective practice.

So, the helpful question is – “How can we all do a better job with an invitation?

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No one wants to be part of a chaotic organization.

Unaddressed organizational problems lead to unhealthy and unproductive reactions. Over time this results in a breakdown of your culture and loss of momentum.

On the other side, however, too many churches suffer unnecessary frustration because they pursue perfection and a kind of “peaceful easy feeling” that will simply never be part of organizational life and ministry. These churches play it safe and therefore lose the edge that stimulates growth, momentum, risk and taking new territory.

Living in the middle tension (between chaos and perfection) is difficult, but it’s a skill that needs to be developed and practiced.

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Do you follow a leader who is younger than you are?

This reality is becoming more and more common and will continue as the Xer’s and Millennials rise into positions of leadership.

Perhaps you are a volunteer leader, and your pastor is young. As an older and more experienced leader, you have a powerful opportunity to impact that young leader, your church and the Kingdom of God in a big way.

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The intersection of faith and finance is never easy to navigate as a local church leader.

The topic of money is inescapable for anyone who leads a church, so while many of us would rather lead people toward Jesus, we must also embrace the truth that the functions of a local church do not operate for free.

In this post, I’ve listed ten big mistakes to avoid on the subject of finance. There are many more detailed issues involving numbers and percentages, but that’s for another post. Let me give you one example.

When you step into the realm of numbers, there are so many variables. For example, the majority of churches would hold 50% of their budget as a maximum investment for total compensation for all (staff) personnel. A church plant, however, would be a little higher. And in very large churches, approximately 10,000 and larger, that number drops to approximately 35-40%. There are also considerations of variables from the cost of living in the city you’re in, to your current ministry emphasis. That’s just one item of dozens.

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