The Internet's Best Practices for Ministry

Welcome to our site. Our mission and dedication is to equip leaders for innovative ministry. Look. Explore. Share.

Welcoming Guests and First Impressions

The sermon starts in the parking lot, and the impression you make for your guests on Sunday morning during the first 10 minutes will be indelible.

Technology and The Church

Leveraging technology for ministry can be an incredible asset and blessing. But it can also be fraught with problems and pitfalls. Learn how to use tech well.

Vision and Leadership

Our God longs for leaders to request of Him to do that which they cannot. Faith filled vision is a key and essential ingredient for ministry.

Preaching and Communication

You know and understand how challenging it is to communicate. It is hard to get and capture people's attention. Learn how to communicate effectively.

Creativity and Innovation

Being creative means asking the right questions and making new associations. Discover new and creative ideas.

16 Leadership Lessons From A 4-Star General

Excerpted life and leadership lessons from General Stanley McChrystal's memoir: My Share of the Task.

Here is a sample (from Farnam Street Blog):

4. Leaders take us to where we’d otherwise not go.

Although Englishmen rushing into the breach behind Henry V is a familiar image, leaders whose personal example or patient persuasion causes dramatic changes in otherwise inertia-bound organizations or societies are far more significant. The teacher who awakens and encourages in students a sense of possibility and responsibility is, to me, the ultimate leader.

5. Success is rarely the work of a single leader.

… leaders work best in partnership with other leaders. In Iraq in 2004, I received specific direction to track Zarqawi and bring him to justice. But it was the collaboration of leaders below me, inside TF 714, that built the teams, relentlessly hunted, and ultimately destroyed his lethal network.

6. Leaders are empathetic.

The best leaders I’ve seen have an uncanny ability to understand, empathize, and communicate with those they lead. They need not agree or share the same background or status in society as their followers, but they understand their hopes, fears, and passions. Great leaders intuitively sense, or simply ask, how people feel and what resonates with them. At their worst, demigods like Adolf Hitler manipulate the passions of frustrated populations into misguided forces. But empathy can be remarkably positive when a Nelson Mandela reshapes and redirects the energy of a movement away from violence and into constructive nation-building.

7. Leadership is not popularity.

For soldiers, the choice between popularity and effectiveness is ultimately no choice at all. Soldiers want to win; their survival depends upon it. They will accept, and even take pride in, the quirks and shortcomings of a leader if they believe he or she can produce success.

8. The best leaders are genuine.

I found soldiers would tolerate my being less of a leader than I hoped to be, but they would not forgive me being less than I claimed to be. Simple honesty matters.

Can't help think that these and many other's of General McChrystal's leadership lessons are not only transferable but needed in today's church and for today's ministry leader.

Son Of Man

“Son of Man” is a wordless film that connects scenes of Christ's life, death and resurrection in order to immerse the viewer in the beauty and single-mindedness of Christ’s work on earth. A beautifully crafted and inspiring film to use this Passion Week in your church. (link to purchase)

5 Things To Pray For Your Congregation

from GoodBook blog:

I don't wish to make you squirm. I certainly don't want to make you feel guilty. But let me ask you a question: When was the last time you prayed for your congregation? I don't mean praying for specific individuals or events within the congregation but prayed for the congregation as a whole? If you're anything like me, it's the sort of thing that can easily fall off our prayer-lists ... or not even make it on to them in the first place. But our congregation is our family. It's full of the people who the Father has deliberately chosen - the people who God is using to make us more like Jesus. We are called to learn together, share together, encourage together and grow together. And they, without doubt, need prayer! So, why not take a moment now to pray for your congregation as a whole? You might like to use the wonderful words of Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians as a basis:

1. Thank God for your brothers and sisters - for their faith, their love, their work and their perseverance.
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labour prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Thess 1:2-3)

2. Thank God that he is at work and will remain at work in your brothers and sisters - through his word.And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.. (1 Thess 2:13)

3. Ask God to help your brothers and sisters to keep growing - in their faith, wisdom, their love for one another, their love for unbelievers and their holiness.How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1Thess 3:9-13)

4. Ask God to help your brothers and sisters to keep their eyes on the peace brought by the cross and the hope of Jesus' return and to live faithfully in the light of both those things.May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thess 5:23-24)

5. Ask God to help your congregation remember that Jesus' grace is all they need - today and every day.The grace of our Lord Jesus Church be with you (1 Thess 5:28)

Passion Week Infographic

from ChurchMag:

Passion Week is the week starting on Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday when Christ arose from the grave.

Josh Byers has put together this cool infographic, cross-referencing each event during Passion Week with scripture — including major location changes “as well as the relative possible timing of the Last Supper, Trial and Crucifixion.”

(click on graphic for larger view)

Grab the high-res printable file for printing or purchase a physical copy on Josh’s website.

A Powerful Easter Illustration

On the morning that Jesus rose from the dead, the angels asked a profound question that can still be asked of us today. In this motion graphics piece, we are reminded that Jesus is no longer in the grave- He is here with us! Used as a service opener or part of the worship set, this will be a great part of your Easter service.

Empty - Redefined!

While empty may be perceived as a burden in our lives, empty is what gives us promise for the days ahead. For all who believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, empty is redefined.

A thought provoking video to use this Easter Sunday. Go to this link to purchase this video.

E-Book Deals You Can't Miss

Exalting Jesus in Matthew a commentary by David Platt—$2.99
Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler—$2.99
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper—$2.99
HCSB Study Bible—$2.99
The Measure of Success by Carolyn McCulley—$2.99
Manhood Restored by Eric Mason—$2.99
Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax—$2.99
Truth Matters by Andreas Kostenberger—$4.99

Stop Asking Jesus into your Heart by J.D. Greear—$2.99
Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary by J.D. Greear—$2.99
Gray Matters by Brett McCracken—$1.99
The Faithful Preacher by Thabiti Anyabwile—$3.99
A Passion for Faithfulness by J.I. Packer—$3.99
Proclaiming a Cross-Centered Theology (various authors)—$3.99
Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem—$1.99
The Message of the New Testamentby Mark Dever–99¢
Stand by John Piper & Justin Taylor—$3.99

Youth Ministry Burnout

Did you know?

40% of youth workers are burnt out right now!
80% of youth workers believe their work contributes to unhealthy diet and exercise habits

More important information in the infographic below from Smarter Youth Ministry

(ht: Smarter Youth Ministry)

Beware Of Being Alone

From a man who died alone and yet not alone:

Let him who cannot be alone beware of community.
He will only do harm to himself and to the community. Alone you stood before God when he called you; alone you had to answer that call; alone you had to struggle and pray; and alone you will die and given an account to God. You cannot escape from yourself; for God has singled you out. If you refused to be alone you are rejecting God’s call to you, and you can have no part in the community of those who are called. “The challenge of death comes to us all, and no one can die for another. Everyone must fight his own battle with death by himself, alone. . . . I will not be with you then, nor you with me” (Luther).

But the reverse is also true: Let him who is not in community beware of being alone. Into the community you were called, the call was not meant for you alone; in the community of the called you bear your cross, you struggle, you pray. You are not alone, even in death, and on the Last Day you will be only one member of the great congregation of Jesus Christ. If you scorn the fellowship of the brethren, you reject the call of Jesus Christ, and thus your solitude can only be hurtful to you. “If I die, then I am not alone in death; if I suffer, they [the fellowship] suffer with me” (Luther).

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together  [italics and ellipses original].

(ht: Justin)

The Myth That Small Churches Are Extinct

from NewSmallChurch

Church leaders have a lot of ideas about what the numerical growth of a church – and therefore its size – says about that church’s success and value. Unfortunately, many of those perceptions don’t match reality. This infographic below illustrates some of those misperceptions.

(ht: NewSmallChurch)

Seven Reasons Very Active Church Members Drop Out

from Thom Rainer

  1. Moral failure. The most common scenario is a sexual affair. The member who was once revered becomes intensely embarrassed and ashamed, so much so that he or she cannot face the members and friends at church.
  2. Dropping out of a group. The church member stops his or her regular attendance in a small group or Sunday school class. It is almost inevitable that, without the accountability and fellowship a small group brings, that person is headed to be a complete church dropout.
  3. Burnout. The church member is asked to do many things because he or she tackles them with such passion and faithfulness. But some of these very active members don’t know how to say no. They burnout and leave church completely.
  4. Traumatic event. A painful loss or some similar pain can cause many church members to lean on fellow Christians even more. But some react in an opposite fashion and leave the fellowship.
  5. Dropping out of a ministry. The church member’s primary point of reference and connection with the church is a particular ministry. If he or she leaves that ministry (or in a few cases was asked to leave), it is not unusual for them to see no reason to continue with the church at all.
  6. Major interpersonal conflict. Marginal church members tend to drop out at the first hint of even minor interpersonal conflict. Very active members are more resilient, recognizing that no church members are perfect. But if the conflict becomes severe, some of the very active church members will leave as well.
  7. Gradual withdrawal. Most of the time a very active church member will drop out rather suddenly. But, on a few occasions, they just gradually withdraw from involvement in the church. These dropouts had trouble articulating to me why they left, or why they slowly withdrew from involvement. As one lady told me, “It’s like I woke up one morning, and I was no longer involved in the church.”

11 Ways To Empower Your Volunteers

from Michael Bayne:

Here are a few lessons I have learned over the years …

  • Let Them Lead—Don’t ask a high impact volunteer to join your team if you’re not ready to let them lead. Make room for your team to actually lead with you!
  • Take Time to Listen—If you have a high impact team around you, create time to really listen to what they are experiencing.
  • Be Patient—Volunteers have limited time, so remember to breathe and be a little more patient.
  • Share Clear Expectations—Make sure your team knows exactly what you need from them and what they are responsible for.
  • Continually Cast Vision—Our teams need us to continually point them back to the mission and vision … not just to their ministry to-do list!
  • Say Thanks—Everyone needs to hear it. Find many different ways to say it.
  • Communicate Consistently—Keep them in the loop with what you are thinking. Keep your team up to speed.
  • Work Together—Take time to work on projects with the different people on your team! Time working together is great time to train.
  • Be a Problem Solver—Work to remove obstacles that are in your team’s way!
  • Celebrate Wins—Slow down and take time to celebrate with your team.
  • Find Creative Rewards—You may not be able to pay all your team, but find small ways to reward them.

3 Important Facts About Mobile You Shouldn't Ignore

Did you know that?:
  • According to Forbes, “87% of connected devices sales by 2017 will be tablets and smartphones.”
  • The average person checks his or her phone 150 times a day. That’s once every 6.5 minutes!
  • The Flurry report states that Americans are spending 2 hours and 7 minutes per day using apps.
Given these facts:
  • Is your church website mobile friendly? Is it responsive to mobile?
  • Can those in your ministry give through their mobile device?
  • Given that the open/read rate of text messages are over 90% are you using effectively leveraging text messages to communicate with your church?
  • Are you leveraging mobile apps to encourage spiritual formation in your church - bible apps, prayer apps & listening to sermons?
(ht: CMS)

The High Co$t Of Multitasking

Although too often we believe in the power of multitasking..more evidence has been shown that multitasking doesn't help but rather it hurts. It will cost us in productivity, will increase errors and decrease the quality of our work. This infographic below illustrates the dangers of multitasking.

6 Reasons Churches Should Practice Church Discipline

from Jonathan Leeman’s book, Church Discipline: How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus 

Here are 6 Reasons Churches Should Practice Church Discipline:
  • Church discipline is biblical.
  • Church discipline is an implication of the gospel.
  • Church discipline promotes the health of the church.
  • Church discipline clarifies and burnishes the church’s witness before the nations.
  • Church discipline warns sinners of an even greater judgment to come.
  • Most importantly, church discipline protects the name and reputation of Jesus Christ on earth.

Productive Or Distracted

We have more gadgets in our life that made the promise that they would make us more productive. Yet less than half of Americans (42%) feel satisfied with their work/life balance, and even fewer are content with their relationship boundaries (38%), their levels of overall stress (28%) and their practice of rest (39%). And while nearly everyone is plugged in nonstop, only about one in five say they spend eight to 12 hours a day being truly productive. And an overwhelming 55% say they wish they had accomplished more the day before.

(ht: Barna)