Church Planters Need to Gather a Team of Missionaries

170215church-planting-newEver since I have been involved in church planting, I have heard you need to develop a core group, or in these days a launch team. These people come alongside you, help get your church plant going and help with various ministries in the church. Hundreds of church planters, myself included, had gathered a core group or team and used them to help start a church.

Well, today, I say, “Stop!”

If you think I have flipped, hear me out. When it comes to a core group or launch team, most church planters instantly start gathering Christian friends or acquaintances to be part of their group. They begin talking about the vision and the values of the new church. Continue reading “Church Planters Need to Gather a Team of Missionaries”

The Circus and Reaching Students with the Gospel?

161228circus-souvenirs-toysAs a kid, I always loved going to the circus! It was an annual event for my family. Now, even though I’m a “grown up,” it’s still fun!

Several years ago, I noticed something interesting about the circus and their intentional marketing efforts. They are really great at displaying and selling us their souvenirs. As soon as you arrive outside the arena, you are encouraged to buy a circus program. Just inside the doors, sales tables sparkle with toys, stuffed animals, illuminated swords and gadgets. Continue reading “The Circus and Reaching Students with the Gospel?”

Five Ways to Make Visitors Feel Welcome in Your Church

161221parking-lot-sign-church-welcomeIf you were to ask a longtime church member about his church, he would probably say his church is friendly, welcoming to guests and easy to find your way around.

I would have told you that about the church where I served as pastor for almost 23 years. Occasionally someone would say they visited our church and no one said anything to them. I would rationalize, “You must have come in late and left as soon as the final ‘Amen’ was said.” Continue reading “Five Ways to Make Visitors Feel Welcome in Your Church”

The Importance of Showing Up

Randy C. Davis
Randy C. Davis

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Churches charred. Businesses gone. Homes nothing but ash heaps and rubble. Some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen left a blackened wasteland.

A few hours of raging fire forever changed the lives of thousands.

One of those homes on top of one of those mountains belonged to the late Dr. Clyde Martin and his precious widow, Ruth. The families of their son, Mark, and their daughter, Debbie, also had homes there. Continue reading “The Importance of Showing Up”

Five Tips for Launching a Compassion Ministry

161123ministry-poverty-food-hungry-compassionIf lost people are going to be reached in our communities, it will require that the church must engage lost people. One of the most effective ways to interact with the lost is through compassion ministry.

Compassion ministry is an attempt to follow the model of Jesus. Just as he met human need, we are called to meet human need. One of the most alarming passages in all of Scripture is the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus speaks of a day of separation based upon doing ministry “unto the least of these.” Continue reading “Five Tips for Launching a Compassion Ministry”

Seven Steps to Enlisting Sunday School Leaders

161116light-bulb-hand-select-choose-new-ideaThe 2016 U.S. presidential election was quite a spectacle! During the primaries, the Republicans seemed to get a new candidate every day. Then there was the general election campaign to elect the new President!

You don’t want your process of selecting Sunday school leaders to look like that!

Sunday school leaders should be enlisted not elected. Nominating committees work diligently to enlist volunteers for various positions of leadership in the church. A few Sunday school classes actually elect their teacher. The teacher of these classes often accept the task of teaching, but will they cooperate with church leaders to understand Sunday school as a strategy for growing the church? Continue reading “Seven Steps to Enlisting Sunday School Leaders”

Does Your Congregation Need a Worship Rehearsal?

Editor’s note: This article was authored by Paul Clark authored shortly before he suffered a devastating stroke in November 2015. We wanted to pass it along to honor Paul’s commitment to ministry.

161109church-worship-serviceBy Paul Clark Jr.

Have you ever thought about proposing a church worship rehearsal? Yes, I mean a rehearsal for worship that involves the entire congregation.

What is a worship rehearsal? It’s a time of practicing together those aspects of corporate worship that you do regularly.

Just think about how you do other rehearsals. You break things down into separate components and rehearse them, so that when they go back together they are executed well. Continue reading “Does Your Congregation Need a Worship Rehearsal?”

Four Foundations to Grow a Great Sunday School

161102girl-hand-reading-open-bibleTony Evans told a story about lying in bed and noticing a crack in the ceiling. He calls a painter and the painter repairs the crack and repaints. A few months later, Tony looks up and notices the crack had reappeared. A little annoyed, he calls the painter and he once again repairs the crack and repaints. A few more months go by and the crack again reappears. This time Tony calls a different painter. The painter observes the damaged ceiling and says he can’t help. Tony asks him, “What do you mean? You’re a painter!” The painter replies that, of course, he could repair the crack and repaint, but that isn’t the problem. The problem is that the house’s foundations are shifting. Continue reading “Four Foundations to Grow a Great Sunday School”

God Loves Small Churches

161005small-church-building-model-hands-womanSomeone has said God must love small churches because he made so many of them. While some may argue with that logic, there is no doubt that most churches are small churches.

Our Tennessee Baptist Convention is primarily composed of smaller membership churches. Approximately 2,200 of our 3,000 TBC churches have fewer than 100 people in Sunday school and most of those are rural churches. Each one of them matter to our Heavenly Father, and all of them have the potential to make an impact on their community and the world for Christ. Continue reading “God Loves Small Churches”

Four Simple Ways to Bring Diversity to Your Church

160928hands-diversity-ethnic-group-circleDecades ago, Martin Luther King Jr. called the 11 a.m. hour on Sunday morning “the most segregated hour in America.”

Statistics show that it still is. A vast majority of American churches have congregations that are primarily made up of one racial group, rather than the diverse ethnicity of the general population. People still worship in white churches, black churches, Asian churches and Latino churches. Continue reading “Four Simple Ways to Bring Diversity to Your Church”