Monday, September 20, 2010

Celebrity Box Office Hit!

Cheeze Whiz Church is happy to announce the appearance of  [insert Christian celebrity here] at our sanctuary on Tuesday night. We are hosting the [Your celebrity here] Simulcast at 6:30 pm!!! Check out this video of [your favorite celebrity] speaking in his/her very own voice all about it. It is going to be an incredible event and we can hardly wait to see what God will do! 

Make sure your church gets involved with this if you are in the area! Be sure to speak to your [youth, men's, women’s ] ministry leader about registering for this simulcast, or find a church near you that is offering the same simulcast. Can you believe it? All over the country, all at the same time, words coming from the very lips of [Celebrity] will inspire and lift up millions of dreary lives. Believers all over the nation will be looking into the Word and [Celebrity]'s face together on this one glorious day, and that means the power of God will be here. Amen? And only for 25 bucks a pop! How cheap can we make God for you? The worship time alone is going to be amazing and worth at least 15 bucks of the cost. Be there! And bring your Bible, your wallet, and your friends!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Leverage social media to work for you

It's a new day, a new time. If you want to exert influence, and influence is what it's all about, you need to get up to date with social media.
Churches shouldn't be the last to embrace new technology; they should be leading the charge. Pastors who step ahead and grab social media by the horns will see fruit in the field of influence and be able to manipulate customers more efficiently than those who sit back and cling to their Bibles and hymn books.
We need to intentionally go out and give intentional pithy maxims on Facebook, post some intentional cool church photos on an intentional My Space page, twitter what we are intentionally doing every fifteen minutes and start REAPING!
Get with it, people!
Only by mastering social media will you be able to rub shoulders with other super leaders. How can you know what other leaders are doing if you're not twitting them and reading their twit feeds? You need to be able to learn what works and what doesn't from other business-driven church leaders, especially the big ones. So, it's time to get out there and connect!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

New way to boost numbers: Watch for it!

The main thing is the main thing, we all know, and the main thing is growth. We want to grow, both in numbers and in spiritual fa├žade, and that means bringing in the sheaves: the young, healthy, financially and organizationally stable members that will help us build from the ground up.
So, how do we ensure that upwardly mobile couples flow into our worship centers and decrepit oldsters file out? One popular way – and we are beginning to see it everywhere now – is to talk about SEX. We need to show that we are cool with SEXand not like those uptight, arthritic fundamentalists of days gone by.
No more keeping sex between a man and his wife, secretly celebrating the beauty of male and female in the confines of the marriage bed. NO! We will now smear SEX, in great, big, bold fonts on our web pages and church marquees, because we know it will hit home and draw crowds, especially the crowds of young couples with spending money who watch crude TV shows anyway.
We’ll throw in a bare minimum of scripture to make it a bit different from Oprah, and we’ll hold off on the lingerie shows at women's prayer group and Viagra spots in the church bulletins for a few months. We might not perform the Vagina Monologues for a year or so, but we’ll make it clear that we are not like your parents and that we are as open about SEX as the strippers down the street.
   When the congregation is ready, we might introduce a pole dance or two with our interpretive dancers on a Wednesday evening to make it clear just how relevant we are.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sermon on the Move

We all know Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Heh. No, we don’t. Well, sort of we do, but don’t quiz us on it, okay? Because our God is a creative God, and he wants us to be like Him, we should be coming up with our own sermons on the mounts. And because this is a new age and a new day, our ideas need to be new, too. His ideas were radical for his time, and ours need to be, too.
What’s YOUR sermon on the mount? Here’s ours, gathered from the best and most relevant and missional church sites available today.

1. Be Willing to Risk Time, Energy, Manpower and Money to an Idea (especially manpower) as long as you risk other people in making good ideas come to life, no problem.

2. We must exercise our responsibility to tend our own souls. It’s important to tend our own souls because if we don’t, who will?

3. To show honor to leaders is to treat them as being special because in reality that’s what they are. God has placed them in a unique position over you. Jesus honored Caiaphas and Annas, and we should likewise honor our superiors.

4. As the modern church strives to be relevant to a modern generation, I think it is important to remain focused on God and His spirit as the Decider-in-Chief of our collective mission. This is a great point. We should let the Holy Spirit have some say every once in a while, between leadership conferences.

5. All church starts with a very small group of people - sometimes even just a person - with a vision - and then should go global as fast as possible. Don’t forget the vision part. The vision part is THE most important part.

6. You never know when a game-changing blip will appear on the radar screen of your life. No. The game could change at any moment and we gotta be ready. My radar screen is showing a cold front moving in from the west. What does yours show?

7. Too many people both in and out of the church seem to have a vision that is unmovable. Movable vision. That’s what it’s all about. Do you have a fixed stare? The disciples didn’t. Their vision was moving all the time. Get a move on with that vision!

Feeling pumped? Time to be creative. Climb a mountain, or skate park hill, and come up with your own. It's easy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

When things go wrong

In the culturally relevant church, when a  team member exits, it's not just a matter of leaving the 90 and 9 and working to reconcile the brother. If the stray lamb doesn't return, you can't just shake off the dust from your feet and move on. No. In the relevant church, things are a little more complicated than that.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The hyphen-driven leader

Though some leaders are gifted with natural abilities to encourage a team and inspire those below them, for others, it takes mastering a challenging skill set. Among skills relevant church leaders need is the ability to craft hyphenated terms that jump-start compliance and enthusiasm. Some leaders are better at this than others.
To excel at this skill, an artist-leader should read Gerard Manley Hopkins poems whenever possible, until the hyphens begin flowing naturally.

Common words to end hyphenated terms with are -powered, -driven, -energized, -focused. But don't stop there. Gifted leaders will combine innovative words into unique terms. Faith-enriched, team-minded, leader-energized, player-centric, attribute-plastered, performance-focused. Once you get started, it's hard to stop, so you have to be careful.
If you can combine two terms from the megachurch dictionary, it's a bonus. Soon your awe-generated presentation will be admired by faith-mechanized servant-leaders all over the region. What's more, you will inspire others to reach the same hyphenated heights!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Interview with a leader’s leader

Rich Klerrick is the pastor of the multi-campus, explosively-growing church in suburban Oakes. Klerrick brought his group from a small, traditional, non-denominational body to the successful, vibrant church it is now in just a few years using the five BBQ-HOT! principles outlined in his latest blockbuster: KNOW your GROW: Formula Faith and Today’s Hungry Church.

CHEEZEWHIZ: So, Rich, pastors who want to expand their vision and take the next step are looking to executive pastors with a success record like yours and asking, How do they do it? Rich, how DID you do it?

RICH KLERRICK: [Scriptural reference of some kind here, yada, yada, Great Commission, yada, yada, vision, purpose, yada, insight, yada] And, of course, purposeful missional organization. We started as a small, family operation, uh, fellowship, just kind of struggling, never gaining much ground, hovering around 150 or so for years. Then, one day, I was [prayer type of reference here, seeking, asking, yada, but not too Jesus-specific, yada, yada, keep the unchurched in mind. Questioning God, yada, yada]. I felt led to the best-selling book, Living the Creative Missional Life, with Intent and Enthusiasm. While browsing the shelves of our local Christian bookstore, it, well, it jumped out at me and changed my life, my outlook, and eventually the whole fellowship.

CHEEZEWHIZ: That’s powerful.

RICH KLERRICK: Yeah. After reading the book, I realized immediately that things had to change, that I had to change.

CHEEZEWHIZ: So, what did you do?

RICH KLERRICK: For one, I had to start speaking in numbered lists. For two, I had to stop relying on random, haphazard ways of getting things done, like prayer groups . For three, I needed to adopt a whole missional approach to things.

CHEEZEWHIZ: What does that mean, exactly?

RICH KLERRICK:That means putting the program ahead of individuals, not letting distractions get in the way. Sometimes, distractions seem like a good use of your time, but you must constantly remind yourself that the mission is the most important thing. Growing the church comes before any individual need, no matter how important some people try to make you think it is.


RICH KLERRICK: Well, like a sick mother, for instance. Soooo many times some member wanted me to come pray for their sick mother in the hospital. And my brother even wanted me to come down and pray for my mother when she had bypass surgery. What good is that going to do, I’d ask? If God wants to heal her, great! If not, nothing I could do would matter, and certainly hanging around a hospital room with crying relatives wasn’t going to do anything. My being there isn’t going to change anything at all. But my attending the 4th Annual North Central Power Ministry Leaders Conference actually was going to make a difference to my congregation.


RICH KLERRICK: So, I had to learn to stay on task.

CHEEZEWHIZ: So what are your secrets, Rich?

RICH KLERRICK: Well, after I read the book, I had to start putting into practice the utilitarian maxims I found in it. Then, things started changing fast. We canvassed the neighborhoods surrounding the church, handing out surveys and asking people what they would want to see in a church. We looked over the results and put together a team.

CHEEZEWHIZ: Was that hard?

RICH KLERRICK: Not after I read the book. I looked at it like this. It’s about the same as getting ready for a barbecue. First, I had to get rid of all the broken, dirty old tools.

CHEEZEWHIZ: How did you do that?

RICH KLERRICK: (chuckling) It’s easier than it sounds. You just have to realize that old, broken tools aren’t going to do the job and that, hard as it is to get rid of them, you’re going to have to do it if you want to keep to the mission, and the mission is what’s important. So, we’d ask people who’d been there too long to step down. If they didn’t, we’d find ways to make them uncomfortable enough to leave.


RICH KLERRICK: Read my next book and you’ll find out.

CHEEZEWHIZ: I can’t wait.

RICH KLERRICK:: So you get rid of the old tools and you choose new ones. You need new coals, good lighter fluid, a decent fire-starter, and new implements. You weed out the old and put in place the new. You want tools that will help you get the mission done. That’s it. It’s kind of fun taking out the old ones and finding people who agree with everything you say and do. and who are always there for you.

CHEEZEWHIZ: Got it. So what did the team do?

RICH KLERRICK: We looked at what the survey results said and discovered that what people really wanted in a church was not a bunch of boring sermons and scripture and songs from the dark ages. No, what people wanted was a lot of bright colored lights, repetitive songs with super simple lyrics -- light on theology and heavy on mixed metaphors. They wanted coffee available, pastors in Hawaiian shirts, a quality performance and as little demand on their lives as possible. They wanted to check in, check out and get on with their lives, and we were there to help them do just that.

CHEEZEWHIZ: Amazing. You say things happened fast. How fast? 

RICH KLERRICK: Really fast. We did the survey in May and by the following September we had check-in kiosks in the lobby. We call it a lobby, not a foyer.

CHEEZEWHIZ:  Why is that?

RICH KLERRICK: The unchurched don’t know what a foyer is. That’s a churchy word and we try hard to get rid of churchy words and anything else that might make the unchurched uncomfortable. The unchurched is our mission field, not cushy, “church people” who can list off the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Four Spiritual Laws. No. Gotta keep to the mission.

CHEEZEWHIZ: So what is the main difference between how you did things then and how you do things now?

RICH KLERRICK: We used to be inward focused. The main thing then was piddly, little pathetic acts like taking baskets to new families and sick people, praying for each other in these sad little prayer groups on Wednesdays, and holding potlucks and picnics. Now, we have a huge budget for audiovisual equipment, have the latest and best programs, purchase video clips to show during the sermon and we host leadership conferences. Now THAT’s outward thinking.

CHEEZEWHIZ: How much do you rake in from the leadership conference?

RICH KLERRICK: Thousands! I mean, well, we have these huge overhead costs, of course, so we do it as a service. There is enough left over, though, that we can use as seed money for bigger and even more profitable conferences down the road.

CHEEZEWHIZ: Sweet deal

.RICH KLERRICK: It really is, but that’s off the record. [Scripture reference here, yada, yada, something about the importance of good leadership and a servant’s heart, followed by pithy maxim].

CHEEZEWHIZ:: For those pastors ready to take the next step, what do you recommend? 

RICH KLERRICK: Well, my book, for starters. It’s now in its sixth printing.Then, start rethinking a lot of your assumptions.


RICH KLERRICK: Don’t assume that just because Jesus would do something, it’s automatically the right thing to do. You gotta break a few eggs to get things done, you know? You can’t be all, Well, we’ve always done it this way, so it’s right. You have to question why you do things. Then, take risks. Moving from boring old hymns and choruses to fast-paced songs with two chords and emotional words, might seem like a risk, but it’s what people want. Do it! Do it now! You won’t regret it.

CHEEZEWHIZ: Any other thoughts?

RICH KLERRICK: It’s not easy being a servant-leader, choosing your team, working 24/7 on the mission, attending national conferences and promoting books. But it’s well worth it.

CHEEZEWHIZ: Thanks, Rich. We appreciate your openness. This is really exciting stuff.

RICH KLERRICK: God is awesome!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The results are in

If church marketing groups had targeted Jesus and his disciples, this might be one result:

Jesus, your associate Jude Iscariot asked us to implement a survey to see how your group was perceived, both internally and in the larger community. We put together some focus groups, did some informal surveys and crunched the numbers. Your results are in.

Among disciples, your group shows high marks. Most disciples believed your group was on the right track. Most were excited about your mission, although a fair number weren’t sure just what the mission was. A majority liked how you related to the unchurched and minorities. A few thought you needed to emphasize scripture more and a few thought you needed to provide better child care services.

External surveys showed a wide divergence of opinion on your group. Most thought you were dangerous (half because of stirring up disfavor of Roman authorities; and half because they thought your religious ideas bordered on blasphemy). Most had a favorable view of your miracles, but the parables and teachings received low marks.

Our recommendation is that you seek to implement a strategy to modify your group culture, in order to help you attain the reputation you are seeking to build. You need to do more to impact your community in a positive way, to get some public relations help and to use available media to your advantage.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

If it's creative, edgy and original, it must be of God

Of course, to be creative, edgy and original, you have to avoid using phrases like "of God." We'll just say, "cool" and that pretty much means the same thing, right? God is cool, so if our stuff is unique and imaginative, it's cool and kind of like God's stuff. We can rap, we can use the right fonts, we can paste together relevant-looking video montages and edit them with the coolest techno-gadgets, so of course we're Kingdom-minded and approved. We'll ride the borders, turning off the traditionalists - who will sit there, clucking in their pews at our tattoos or headgear - and we'll know we're in the center of His wil-- Well, the center of What's Happening Now.

Friday, July 2, 2010

You don't have to wait for inspiration: You can buy it!

If preparing sermons is becoming drudgery, and you'd much rather be meeting with movers and shakers, honing your golf game or hosting a creative conference on leadership, don't worry. No longer must you take time to dig into scripture or try to discover what God is saying to you or your congregation. It's all done for you at very reasonable prices.
Online sermon sharing sites, as well as sermon purchasing sites, are at the ready.

  • My Sermon Vault helps when your "well runs dry" and provides 10,000 sermons that will "blow you away" Don't forget to check out the Pastor's MegaPack
  • Sermon Central offers a free newsletter and pastors devotional as well as messages to buy.
  • Sermons on the Cheap? ifindsermons says, Why pay five bucks for sermons when you can get them for a buck seventy five? Why indeed?
  • At the Redeemer Sermon Store, the first four in the list are about money, so you know this resource is going to be a winner! The site should probably be called the Sermon Redeemer store, but this works, too.
  • Want to preach Saddleback Sermons and be just like Rick Warren? For about four bucks each, you can get transcripts, and even study guides are available for some of the messages. Hey, if it worked for Rick, it can work for YOU
  • Sermon Series: Here you can purchase inspiration by the sermon OR the series. You can be inspired and empowered for only two fifty. You can use the content "in full or in part." If you use it in full, think of the time you save!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You're not ordinary, you're a Creative

You are artistic. You don't think; you create. God has gifted you with extraordinary powers of imagination, and that's why your gifts are in such demand. You have a knack for design, or music, or social networking, or blogging, or expressive thinking. You are one of the inner circle the leaders depend on. You possess a hotline to the Holy Spirit's most important endeavors.
Because of this, your church values your input. It sends you to creative conferences and pays your way. You are among the church elite. You gather with other creatives at brainstorming events. You move the church to embrace new technologies and avenues of ministry, outside the box. In short, you are not like other Christians. You are a step above and you should make this plain to all who don't share your gift.
You should post artsy and relevent comments on Twitter several times a day to let followers know that you are the one to follow. You should quote the right people and develop a persona that screams: Baluga! Or something equally mystifying and esoteric. After all, you're not just an average Joe.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to make room for humility

Because the most important trait in Christianity is LEADERSHIP, top experts on leadership issues worry about balancing heady issues on managing people with the Christian call to meekness and humility. This can be a fearsome task because of the immense leadership vacuum in the church and the strong call to many otherwise ordinary folks called to do monumental tasks of a superior caliber. Fortunately, leadership leaders are up to the task and have come up with more handy lists (also here and here and here) to make even humility easy.  List-making is the key. It always is. Effective leaders know it and practice it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The big thing is to be big

Jesus was big. We all know that. Everywhere he went, crowds followed, right? Well, he's called us to be like him, and that means we should be seeking ways to attract crowds. How can you attract crowds if you don't keep up a blog, write hot-selling books or hold sway over a mega-church? The missing ingredient is influence! We need to develop circles of influence! according to leadership expert Brad Lomenick.
How do you know that you are making an impact and having a little influence? When you are "invited to gatherings" or have a widely read blog, that's how. Or you could be a mayor, but that's harder.

The main thing is to work at those circles. You need to direct all your energies into influencing people because that's the focus today of real, missional Christians. Time to add more friends on Facebook and write that blockbuster on how to use the church as a building block to success.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thanks for Boosting our Numbers

Thanks to all those who got the word out about our new bestseller, Living the Creative Missional Life, with Intent and Enthusiasm and a sense of Purposeful Imagination. We have seen tremendous sales and believe that this book will result in many, many churches taking themselves to the next level, and then the next and the next. We grew from a little pastoral counseling group, to a huge, multi-million dollar concern in just a few years, and you can too - using the 7 Godly principles of Marketing and Exploitation that LCMLIEPI explores. We'll show you how to play off your expert status and attract pastor-clients from all over your area. LCMLIEPI is now in its sixth printing and  - there is no end in sight. A big THANK YOU for those of you who have made our success possible.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The big guys can help

Is your church struggling? Have you tried to make it grow without success? Have you wondered WHEN God would finally help your congregation become a towering megachurch like you know it is destined to be? You can relax and stop worrying now, because the big guys are here to help.

If you think the problem might be with you, you can order a pastor personality profile to see if your personality, communication skills and leadership style are helping or hurting your congregation. This is what you get:

1.  A report on your general personality characteristics
2.  Do's and don't on communicating 
3.  Graphs of your leadership style
4.  Trends on how well you fit in your environment

This all comes from "renown (sic) authors" so it must be worth the $27 per profile, $95 if you want coaching with it.

If you don't think the problem is you, never fear. The problem might be with your volunteers, or lack of them. Famous big, superpastor Ed Young, who is so successful he leases a jet, even for short trips, offers a CD kit on  pivotal principles for developing a strong volunteer force. Your church can learn Ed's secrets for a mere $299.00

It may just be that your congregants need training in how to be more sacrificial. A capital campaign might be all you need. Successful box store church pastors who've done it themselves will kindly show you how to raise money in a capital campaign. For a fee.
For slightly less than $700.00 you can purchase this product from a multi-campus pastor in New York. It promises to help you Learn how to challenge every person to make a significant and sacrificial contribution and to exceed your goal and maximize contributions. The testimonial at the end goes on and on, so it must be effective. And it's only $695.95

 With so much help from fellow Christian brothers, it won't be long before your church is bursting at the seams. Then, you can charge the little guys for your help by packaging seminars and kits, packages and conference products. And you can write a best selling book about it, too.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Keeping track of the givers and the disenchanted

You want your church to grow, right? So you need a way to butter up the ones who give and who help in the nursery, while marginalizing the stubborn traditionalists who won't get with the vision. How can you keep track of who is who in your church without taking the trouble to get to know people? You want to be able to track and categorize your members, get familiar with their habits, know who they bank with, know their hobbies, their weaknesses (which might come in handy if they make trouble down the road), their social security numbers and their TV viewing habits.
Luckily, you are not left alone to do these monumental tasks, you have help  when using programs such as this one, with.its "robust contribution model" and its attendance tracking features. Or this one With its donor management and pledge tracking, or Servant Keeper (think Mason Jar)  whose motto is  Organizing God's people." Or maybe "ChurchTrac" that lets you "keep track of your members and prospects." Or any of dozens of other easy-to-use programs.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Church environment and Jesus

When you look at the New Testament, you see that Jesus was interested in leadership philosophies, rebranding and quality audiovisual environments. He told his disciples to go out and lead, he rebranded his disciples with new names, and he'd often go onto mountaintops to create just the right environment for his message: a clear concern with both auditory and visual elements of His presentation.

So when you come across sites like this one, you know that despite the materialistic emphasis, there is core Bibllical truth here.
Can't you just imagine Jesus telling his listeners to "Be holistic, stay current and respect the context"? Just like the beatitudes. If Jesus walked among us today, he'd be the sound guy. Or, maybe not.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Criticize churches and make $$$

What a SWEET DEAL! Only $750 for small churches. Hire yourself out as a church "secret shopper." I know some guys who would gladly give you some Hawaiian Punch, too. And charge only twenty bucks or so.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fill-in-the-blank Christianity

The sure sign of a devoted Christ follower is a sheet of paper in one hand and a pencil in the other. Committed Christ-followers realize that there is much more to learn in their fellowship walk than they know at the moment. The ones to learn it from are leaders. If you think you can read scripture, pray and follow Christ, without filling in blanks, you are sadly mistaken.
What many novice believers miss is that the blanks matter. The lists matter. The notes matter. The seven ways to, and the three signs of, and the five steps to -- as well as the four ways to, the six rules of, and the three mistakes of.

Baptism doesn't matter much. How you take communion doesn't make a whole lot of difference. Last times doctrines, spiritual gifts and worship style -- all debatable. Church government, ehhhh!
But what matters more than anything else is that you fill in the blanks when you listen, that you look up to your leader with eyes filled with devotion and that you take copious notes. These are the three marks of a sold-out Christ follower.

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's all about what it's all about!

And it's all about this:

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.
Found on the Be Deviant church site:

This video really hits home. This IS the heart of contemporvant worship!

Well, it did until its makers removed it, but somehow, it's back again.
Here is a post about  the initial removal, which is almost as good because of the comments about "planning worship."

A commenter on a CT blog provided the new link, so it's back!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The awesome power of trite phrases

Servant-leaders aren't powerless when it comes to finding themes for messages, not in this day of the practical and culturally cool! The trite phrase is the most cutting-edge tool in a relevant pastor's toolbox today, and it can be a time of deep discovery to invent and hone these phrases.
First, a pastor must come up with something that will make a listener nod and smile. Movement phrases are often effective here. "Let's move forward," though overused, still captures attention. No one wants to be accused of moving backwards or staying still.
For variety, you can add a little oomph by changing that one to "Let's push forward."

Climbing mountaintops, leaving the dock, launching a new something, venturing toward the unknown, taking a leap of faith, diving into something: all these work well as movement-based trite phrases.And don't forget "driven." Anything can drive, just about. Just watch out if you're in the bike lane.

Here are some current trite phrases you can adapt to your own needs:  _______________(passion, purpose, leadership, organization, outlook) is essential, ________________ (creativity, leadership, missional outreach, exponential giving) fires me up, embrace the ________________(something generally thought to be negative: trouble, tension, stress, conflict, hardship), maximize your ____________(something good), are you afraid to ______________(take risks, lead, move forward, be creative, make a plan?

The power of stating the obvious should never be overlooked. Put one foot in front of the other; Together, we can ___________; Never shift in reverse without looking behind you; Breathe deeply and carry a big stick; When pulling weeds, don't pluck up the geraniums; Hot beverages can burn you; Don't fall asleep on the journey; You can only wear one pair of shoes at a time... Any blatantly obvious statement can become a powerful trite phrase.

The advantage of shallow tidbits of advice is that you don't have to spend long hours musing over scripture. You don't even have to spend five minutes reviewing the scripture you once knew. You don't need scripture at all! People will nod knowingly and grin broadly as you throw out little platitudes, and they'll leave the worship center convinced you've brought them closer to God, all with very little prep time! Best of all, they'll come back for more next week. So give it a try. Make up a trite phrase of your own, or borrow some of these.

Always put air in your tires before a long journey, stop worrying about past mistakes; if you wait until the pool is warm enough, you'll never get in; lather, rinse, repeat; don't dive headfirst into a river without knowing what's under the water; if you throw rocks at a bear, you better be prepared to run...

Take a risk, journey forward, take a journey-driven step and make up your own.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Greatest Commandment

Forget love, forgiveness, charity, faith, discipleship, holiness, service, worship, prayer. The most important aspect of the Christian life today is -- Leadership. We can't be true Christ-followers until we can lead, and until we can lead with vision and purpose.
Next Level Leadership!
Injoy Leadership
Leadership Summit!
Leveraging Leadership Conference!
Innovative Leadership
Equipping Leadership
Echo Leadership (Only $269)
Catalyst Leadership
Adventurous Leadership
Chick-fil-A Leadership
Exponential Leadership

Abandon dull readings of "passages," forsake outdated ideas such as communion, or fellowship, turn your back on such quaint concepts as sacrifice, struggle, seeking God's face or humility. Esteemed church experts now see that the most striking lack in the church is an absence of LEADERSHIP.

Because of the great number of leadership events now available, however, the problem is well in hand and we can breathe a sigh of relief that the church is no longer in peril.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Don't miss this one!

The leadership conference to end all leadership conferences!

Church Leader Alive!
April 31 - May 6
in Spectacular South Dakota!

You will never lead the same after this week!

  • A host of powerful, dynamic speakers present on topics guaranteed to bring effectiveness and life to your leadership ministry
  • Scores of break-out sessions every leader will find relevant and engaging
  • Deluxe accommodations packed with every amenity that leading leaders could want - in luxurious, prairie surroundings
Church Leader Alive! 2010 shows you how you can be empowered for dynamic and active outreach through lots of words. More words than ever before. Best-selling words and top-expert words.

This information-rich conference will empower leaders with the very best resources available from leading churches and speakers. And LEADING is what it's all about. Jesus emphasized leadership more than any other topic, in the Greek, and in the Latin, too.

Leaders will learn how to recharge their congregations - even their youth groups - by challenging them to renew heart, mind, body and spirit through sitting and listening to words.

Learn how to boost efficiency, effectiveness and growth of your church by filling in the blanks on a genuine, preprinted notebook with our logo on it. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to expand your congregation’s capacity for serving the needs of your faith community and surrounding unchurched population.

Discover how you can effectively access a learning-driven, online community of leaders to develop your unique leadership voice. With purpose.

You will be given an entire supply of relationship-building tools and helps, all for a very low price, just as Jesus provided for his leadership followers.

Enjoy the variety of dynamic presenters: Renowned multi-campus pastor John Worshipmonger speaks on profiting from the gospel; Glen Blather, Leadership-Mentoring expert, challenges leaders to increase giving by offering more goodies; Mark Salesemann, pastor of Laodocean Worship Center - a thriving, 15,000 member fellowship - shows how to turn an electronic presence into piles of cash; Blockbuster author Ben Doindat, gives pointers on writing best selling church leadership books; Rich Klerrick, youth group coordinator for the explosive CrashCrunch Hollow Church in Ellendale, ND, gives timely pointers on growing your youth investment; and Josh Joaching, senior pastor of Watch-us-Grow Believer's Fellowship Association, demonstrates how you, too, can organize a pastor conference and profit wildly in just months.

During the week you will see how building strategic alliances can effect change in your congregation, resulting in wholeness, success and overflowing offering plates.

  • You will be given tools to strengthen the culture of leadership among decision makers on your leadership team as you scribble furiously during the breakout sessions.
  • You will learn how to turn complaints into flattery, shortages into healthy balances both spiritually and financially by hearing how expert superpastors have done it.
  • Your growth team will learn 14 ways to make tough decisions by tapping into spiritual reserves and charging up elements of faith - as well as shutting up or kicking out (we call it weed control) those who won't get with the vision.
  • Leaders will explore ways to journey into undiscovered, knowledge-rich territory while mapping their gifts and building a championship crew of advisers, partners, co-leaders and mentors.
The 2010 Church Leader Alive! Conference will show you how to build awareness and how to reap spiritual returns. Be so aware that nothing, nothing at all, gets past your gaze.Together with top leadership giants, we will examine relevant, missional ministry strategies, from the inside out, while encouraging authentic, interactive, engaging approaches to the whole church growth process. Through hands-on partnering with experts in growth ministries, and big pledge campaigns, you will begin, very slowly, to become one of the select few top leaders yourself.

There will be refreshing times of training for church worship staff, young and old alike, to discover out-of-the-box methods of reviving an authentic spirit of worship in your services. Empty boxes will virtually litter the foyer!

Every half hour, break-out sessions are available to help leaders learn to recruit and equip ministries -everything from youth outreach to worship team service - focusing on the needs of a new generation needed to fill a growing leadership vacuum, and other challenges today's ministry leaders face.

The conference features leading voices, as well as voice-activated leaders, who will educate and inspire churches to boldly impact their ministries through dynamic tools - and will make learning experiences much more valuable after the conference is over if they can get out of the crowded parking lot.

This conference will provide more than just knowledge. It empowers and recharges! For your conference pack, simply send a $500 deposit to Luxury Pastor Resorts c/o Judas Jeffries, 666 College Park Circle, Gehenna, SD 57666

Monday, April 5, 2010

That pesky cross

Why do Christians focus on the cross all the time? Can't we just fast forward to the resurrection and skip all that bloody, icky stuff? That's pretty much what this post says on the Jesus Hates Papyrus site. (The original post was titled "Take down the cross" but the name has now been changed to "Raise the Resurrection" for some reason.) In the enlightened 21st century, surely we can get past sin and death and skip right to the part where Jesus wants to help you get your oil changed.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Standing in worship is more missional than dressing up

 If you are new to Church Growth Movement fellowships, you might find it strange to see us standing all through worship. We do this for a couple of reasons. First, it shows respect for God. When an important person comes into the room, it's right to stand as a sign of respect.

  Second, it weeds out older people. Only the strong and young can manage to endure long periods of standing, so this assures us of a congregation in line with our vision. If you get a whole worship center filled with old geezers, that's not going to shout out RELEVANT to a newcomer. So we use standing worship and loud music to shape our congregation into more of what God is looking for.

 Third, it makes up for our casual dress. The small churches are filled with people who somehow think that dressing up impresses God. We don't do that. But because they think we are less respectful of God by wearing our Hawaiian shirts and shorts, we can retort, "Well, yeah, but we stand and you SIT for worship!" and that generally puts them in their place.

Standing in worship also has the advantage of making newbies think worship is kind of like a rock concert. Our light shows and audio systems contribute to that effect, and it makes even the most hardened unchurched visitor stand up and take notice. Well, they kind of have to stand up, but it makes them take notice.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dump The Message version for something more cutting edge

Does The Message seem a bit old now? Reminding you of the old Authorized Version? That's because it IS! Cutting edge Christians, pastors and lay people alike, are digging into the latest, most culturally relevant translation yet -- the LOLcats version. Here is a sample from Luke 2: Sheep-doodz n Angels

8 Then there wuz sheep-doods in teh field, an they wuz watchin teh sheep in teh dark. Iz vry vry boring. srsly.9 An suddenly, visible angel! An glory! O noez!!10 But teh angel sed, "DONT AFRAID OF ENYTHING! it r ok, you can has gud news for all teh doodz!11 Todai in da city ov David, you can has sayvur! is Christ da Lord! w00t!12 Iz sign fer u, find da kitteh wrapd like brrito in a big fud dish."13 An suddenly, moar angelz! They sez, 14 "w00t to teh Ceiling Cat! An peace fer doodz he luffs! Kthxbai."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why pay for a pastor when you can employ a hologram?

Pipe in your favorite celeb preacher in 3-D, front and center in your sanctuary! No more boring local guy now. You get a real expert, someone who's been tried and tested in front of a multiplex church, with real, bonafide leadership expertise! Hologram pastors are THE latest thing for culturally relevent worship centers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's easy to play the church market

So you want to sell your widget to the hundreds of thousands of young, upwardly mobile church members out there? It's a huge market and it's never been easier to exploit it.

Simply create a web site with edgy, brash colors and images and start posting about leadership. It's often good to include a list. Eight Signs of an Effective Leader, 7 Strategies for Leading with Courage, A Leader knows The Flock: Here's How, 10 Ways to Lead Gently but Confidently, Leaders Who Really Matter... anything like that.

Link to and post articles that will attract attention of wannabe megachurch stars, as if you really know the score and they can learn it all from you. You want to convey the idea that if they listen to you they will be successful, either in ministry or in finances or in numbers. Best is if you can make them think you can do all three.

To make your site look authoritative, you need to quote Christian authors and personalities, advertise the best-selling pastor books and leadership books. Quote from giants of the faith every once in a while, but throw in mostly your own common sense advice tips.

Use a lot of popular references to cult icons: musicians, TV personalities, artists, writers, and not always church ones either.

You want your pastor/future-customer to think that by reading your blog and, later, by buying your widgets, he is on the path to sure-fire, spiritual and material success. You want him to know that by following your tips and tricks, he will be above the sorry little pastors who don't know these tricks of the trade. You want him to feel superior without him catching on that you are buttering him up to become a future customer.

You want your site to have many short and sweet advice bits that sound good and contemporary and "relevant." You want many colorful graphics and you want a lot of testimonials that don't look like testimonials. You want success stories disguised as posts and comments to posts.

Include many video clips, reviews of Christian products, music reviews, books, conferences. Promote big Christian events often and make as much exciting noise as you can about them.

You don't have to actually be religious to make these sites. Pastors are hungry to become the next big spiritual voice on the horizon and they will salivate at anything that makes them think you have the means to make them big.

Coin many words and invent terms along the way. Jargon makes them feel in the know and they will not want to be left out.

If you can post an interview or two with a Christian icon or artist, do it. That increases your sense of authority in the eyes of these groupie/pastors.

Advertise discount tickets to events, link to the most relevant Christian and pop sites.

After a few months you can start introducing your widget as a must-have. Plug it often, provide comments from satisfied, enthusiastic "customers" and make it seem like a necessity for any leader who wants to make it big. You're on your way to record sales.


Friday, February 12, 2010

It only matters that you worship

Eliab: Nate, good to see you. Have you seen our colorful, snazzy new tabernacle? Purple, blue and red. Beautiful set-up. You should come worship with us sometime.

Nathan-melech: Worship? What? Who?

Eliab: Well, we don’t get into all the details of who you worship and that kind of thing. The main thing is that you worship!

Nathan-melech: That’s cool, I guess. Worship. That’s just singing, right?

Eliab: Mostly, yeah. Lots of cool songs. We have trumpets and psalteries and timbrels, all the very best. You’d like it.

Nathan-melech: I don’t sing too well.

Eliab: That’s fine. You can just sit and listen.

Nathan-melech: So, you’re saying that worship is coming and listening to music?

Eliab: Well, you should think good thoughts at the same time.

Nathan-melech: No talk about sin and sacrifices and unclean and clean stuff?

Eliab: No, none of that. That’s the old way of doing things. We’re beyond that now. What’s important is the relationship.

Nathan-melech: What relationship?

Eliab: Between you and God.

Nathan-melech: I thought you didn’t have to worship God.

Eliab: Well, you do, kind of. But we emphasize the worship part, not the God part, except for the relationship.

Nathan-melech: I don’t know. I’m comfortable with Baal-peor. I don’t want to give up parties and feasts.

Eliab: That’s okay. We don’t ask about that stuff. We talk about donkey care and thatch-roof repair.

Nathan-melech: Really? Donkey-care and thatch-repair? That sounds interesting.

Eliab: We have all kinds of culturally-relevant stuff. Best mule-shodding practices, how to make your kids work harder, destination city shortcuts: lots of helpful, interesting topics.

Nathan-melech: Well, can I bring my images, too? You know. Ashtoreth, Baal.

Eliab: Well, we’d prefer that you turned your whole attention to worship when you’re here.

Nathan-melech: Well, that’s what I worship. Hey! I thought you were culturally relevant!

Eliab: Oh, we are! We are!

Nathan-melech: But I like my gods. I’ve worshiped Baal and Ashteroth for a long time now and I like all the buzz I get from the fertility parts, you know. Hey and I’m onto THE most up and coming practices
now. You’ve heard of Molech?

Eliab: Yeah, a little. What’s so cool about Molech-worship?

Nathan-melech: The sacrifices! It’s awesome! I thought you liked to be on the cutting edge. What’s really on the cutting edge is Molech-worship.

Eliab: I’m sure we can incorporate some of those practices in our worship services, too, sometime. We have our ears to the ground. Have you seen our tabernacle coffee lounge?

Nathan-melech: Not really, no. I’m not really into hot drinks. When will you put in an ale bar?

Eliab: Well, we’re working on that, but we have to get some bylaw changes and they are hard to maneuver with our older members frowning on all that, but we have a few aces up our sleeves. We’ll do
anything to get more people in to worship.

Nathan-melech: So, you just sing and play music.

Eliab: And have messages on important, useful topics.

Nathan-melech: Yeah. Well, I don’t know.

Eliab: The music is really good!

Nathan-melech: Uh huh. You need a little more enticement. What you need is to work in a little more sin.

Eliab: We’re working on it. We’re working on it. Won't be long now.

Photo credit:

Esteem, honor and perks, perks, perks

So, you want to be a mega-church pastor? You want the crowds lapping up your every word. You want to mentor and write and teach others how to be just as big and bad as you, flying here on a rented jet, staying there in luxury resorts, driving sleek and shiny cars and living in an executive mansion, while everyone looks at you as a spiritual icon. A whole world of stardom awaits. When you've finally reached the top, here's the esteem you'll find waiting for you. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Write your own scripture, with these 7 easy rules

1. Prepare the way by experimenting with a variety of Bible translations

Before you start producing your own scripture, you need to practice some actualization with traditional scripture. And you need to prepare your congregants for the transition.

When preaching on Bible passages, it's best to vary translations. This serves a couple of purposes. First, no one will be able to pin you down if your message seems to contradict their translation. Sure, it looks like it might say that in the NIV, but here in the New Living, it says something quite different! Citing a variety of translations keeps potential critics off balance and allows you to get away with much more. Second, it is easier to mold scripture to your own purposes if you can use a broad selection of versions. If you don’t find that the New King James supports your point, you can always use the Amplified or the Message to drive it home.

2. Quote an equal number of cultural authorities along with the Bible. If you use three verses from the Old Testament, throw in three quotes from Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks or Bill Gates. This conditions your congregation to place less weight on ancient scripture and more weight on culturally relevant materials.

3. Ramp it up. After your congregation has become accustomed to other “scriptural” references besides the Bible, ramp it up. Use slightly more quotations from popular personalities and slightly less scripture.

4. Make sure to throw in lots of statistics. Statistics lend authority to what you say. They support your word and make you look reliable and knowledgeable. Use survey results, polls, marketing reports or whatever else seems authoritative. Sprinkle statistics liberally in each message, replacing verses of scripture with hard facts whenever possible.

5. Use the words and ideas of popular, current experts and church leaders. By quoting Rick Warren or Joel Osteen, you  consistently highlight those voices that Jesus-followers should look to for information and understanding. They, in turn, will quote you or your fellow leaders from time to time. When leaders quote each other and offer respect and fidelity to each other, your congregants will look to both them and you for answers, and that’s right where you want them.

6. Elevate your own words. Once you have broken down the expectation of scripture-laden messages by introducing other authorities, you can begin to elevate your own messages or parts of messages as scripture. You do this by introducing your points and ideas with phrases like “God says that…” or “God wants us to know that…” or similar constructions. Experiment. Be daring. After all, we are no longer bound by convention. It's a new day. Be bold, and behold!

7. Try publishing a how-to book or a fill-in-the-blank workbook. Jesus-followers are first and foremost followers. They don’t just follow Jesus. We are the leaders; they are the followers. If you write a decent, Christian how-to book, they will be hanging on your every word, Twittering you, posting links to your blog, coming to hear you at conferences and buying the next dozen books you produce. They will FOLLOW you. They will scribble notes about what you say and – well – they will treat what you say just about the same way they used to treat scripture. When you've published a couple of books for the masses, then you can take the next step and start publishing books on leadership for those also wanting to get in the game.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Use scripture to accessorize your message

New Paradigm leaders face a weekly challenge: how to preach an engaging message without letting old memes, like scripture-reading, detract from the relevant impression.
Churchy people expect dry, old passages from the Bible to inform the sermon. But the unchurched, who we must put above all else, are turned off by chapters, verses and anything that sounds like you are telling them what to do.
Still, the Bible does sound authoritative and can lend credibility to your message. So you do have to use it from time to time. The challenge, then, is to put the cart of relevance before the horse of scripture. It is not that difficult to do.
First, you must preach to the “felt” needs of your congregation, or rather, of your unchurched and unchurchy congregation. These needs can be as varied as child discipline tips, menu suggestions or budgeting help – the meaty issues of today’s upwardly-mobile couples.
Once you have identified a need, you can come up with engaging and humorous examples to illustrate your solutions and advice. Every once in a while, you can toss in a scripture to lend authority to your pronouncements on the “felt” need of the week.
Scripture is great as occasional seasoning. Sprinkle a little here and there for effect. Not too many passages, of course -- just one or two. The main thing is to be so radically different from the old churchy ways that your service won’t be recognized as “church.” That means you need to limit scripture.
Remember, scripture is window dressing, accessorizing. It’s a seasoning, not the main course. It helps accentuate the more important points that YOU want to bring out.

Friday, January 1, 2010

God's Seven Hair Care Tips

Relevant leaders don't want to preach dry, boring messages straight from scripture. It's important that they identify "felt" needs and appeal to those. Later, after the unchurched seekers become regular attenders, you can hit them with the gospel, or not.

The important things is to focus on felt needs. And what is felt more than hair? Face it. You're always touching your hair. You always leave the house wondering if your hair looks okay. Hair care is one of the TOP felt needs.

So, how does God want us to care for our hair?

1. First, God wants us to HAVE hair, even if it's just a little. He's got the number of our hairs counted. That means, he expects us to have hair, enough to count anyway.

2. The fact that he cares about something as seemingly insignificant as hair means that little things are important to him. Yes, even hair care and hair style.

3. Is it okay for men to have long hair? Yes. Some of the greatest Bible heroes like Absalom and Solomon had long hair. God's okay with that.

4. How should we care for our hair? Well, we know that kings had their hair anointed with oil. That means that hair care products are biblical. Use some gel every once in a while. Anoint your hair and make it look good. You are reflecting God if you claim his name. Are you a Christ-follower? Then, look your best.

5. Don't spend too long in the salon. Both Paul and Peter warn women against taking too much trouble with their hair and focusing on outward beauty. Still, you don't want to look like a slob for God.

6. You can serve God with your hair. A woman in Luke used her hair as a drying cloth to wipe Jesus' feet. She served God with her hair. Make your hair a focal point (I wish my hair were ten-feet-high!) and you might just open up an opportunity to discuss spiritual things.

7. Gray hair is not a problem. Scriptures talk about gray hair as a good thing, a revered thing. So, if you're going gray, that's OK.