Two weeks ago, Tony and Amy started a conversation on some unexpected findings related to ministry leadership in growing and declining churches from The Unstuck Group's latest research. As promised, they are back with more to share. While the results may surprise you, remember that the information is based on numbers and not opinion—even if the truth is hard to swallow at times.
In this week's episode, Tony interviews Amy about the most common "misses" she sees when churches welcome first-time guests. Whether it's a crowded bulletin or a lengthy message, these issues typically have easy (and inexpensive) solutions.
Data from 200 churches of all different sizes. What did it show? A few surprising trends related to growth and decline.
In this episode, Tony and Amy dig into some fascinating findings from The Unstuck Group's most recent edition of The Unstuck Church Report. Just to be clear: this isn’t a comparison of big versus small. The data includes churches that average fewer than 100 people and megachurches with 2,000+ people. The factors correlating to growth and decline seem to be irrespective of your congregation's size today.
Sometimes leading a multisite church can lead to being “multi-stuck”. However, having equipped campus pastors can help prevent this.
In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss the five major mistakes that lead pastors can make when hiring a campus pastor. Tony explains why he is passionate about multisite churches using video message delivery, and why someone who mostly agrees with you may actually be more dangerous to your mission than someone who completely disagrees with you.
We see them again and again: The same core issues getting churches stuck. But we don't think it has to be that way. Church leaders who make themselves aware of the pitfalls can avoid them.
In this episode—recorded live on Facebook—Tony and Amy discussed five of the most common issues getting churches stuck. They also took questions from the audience, like "What are some practical steps to simplifying if your church is too complex?" and "What do you do if the lead pastor is too involved in every decision?" Plus, Tony tells us why he doesn't care what your church's mission statement is.
The research showed it: Only 4% of growing churches are multiplying/reproducing churches. Why is that? All churches have leadership potential sitting in their services but a culture of discipling leaders is often missing.
In this special episode, Tony talks with Dave Ferguson, lead pastor at Community Christian Church, an innovative multi-site missional church with eleven locations in Chicago, about 5 essential practices for leaders to multiply leaders.
What if Andy Stanley were your boss? When we sit lower on the org chart than a great leader—or even a not-so-great leader—it's easy to feel stuck on the sidelines waiting to be given more authority.
In this episode, Tony talks with Clay Scroggins, lead pastor at North Point Church, about what it's like to lead "in the shadow of Andy Stanley," the difference between leadership and authority, how to cultivate influence wherever you are today.
No one gets into ministry for the money. But does that mean church leaders should be paid less? In this episode, Tony and Amy share a biblical foundation for paying staff well, how to practically make it possible, and some simple ways to evaluate how much you should be paying the staff at your church.
Tony also gives podcast listeners the very first sneak peek of a new resource from The Unstuck Group to help pastors lead unstuck churches. You'll find more at theunstuckgroup.com/equip.
When churches don’t have systems in place, even the smallest decisions rise all the way to the top for senior leadership to decide. And this might work for a while—but not if you want your church to grow.
Leaders are problem-solvers, and often want a say in every decision that is made. In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss why this isn’t always the best thing for the team, and how putting healthy systems in place can alleviate the issue.
A lot of the time, the churches we work with aren’t truly stuck—just stalled. Why? They've failed to properly staff their critical growth engines.
Every growth engine and priority ministry in your church needs a leader and champion—paid or volunteer. In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss when to staff ahead for future growth, and how you can put this into practice even with limited finances.
No one sets out to pastor a church that splits, but leaders operate in ways that ultimately take their churches there.
Can church splits be avoided? In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss five things church leaders do that set the stage for irreconcilable differences.
We all have this tendency—to hang on tightly to current methods and hope for different results. In churches, it can happen just as often in "contemporary" circles as "traditional."
What indicates that how you do church has become a sacred cow? In this episode, Tony and Amy unpack the primary reason we see churches get stuck.
It's ultimately a matter of stewardship—but churches rarely fire people. Even Tony's young son asked the question one time: Why is that? In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss some basic principles every pastor needs to understand, and why performance and character issues aren't the only reasons you should consider letting a staff member go.
Growth barriers. Every church hits them. How do you respond when what was working no longer is? In a recent webinar, Tony Morgan hosted a conversation with leaders from several very large churches about breaking barriers.
In the second part of this conversation, you'll learn about common multisite model missteps and how they set you back, as well as the all too frequent issue of "complexity creep" that can undermine your vision.
Growth barriers. Every church hits them. How do you respond when what was working no longer is? In a recent webinar, Tony Morgan hosted a conversation about breaking barriers with leaders from several very large churches.
In this first part, you'll learn how to recognize a toxic culture and turn it around, as well as how to overcome a leadership void in your staff and volunteer teams.
Church splits. Ministry silos. Lack of giving. Doing ministry without a strategy can create serious pain.
In this episode, Tony and Amy share why not having a plan is the same as having a plan to do nothing, and they highlight some of the most common—and most frustrating—things leaders experience when they refuse to develop a clear strategy.
You sense it—even when others don't. True leaders have a gift from God to see what the congregation and even lay leaders haven't seen yet. In this episode, Tony and Amy talk about the gift and responsibility pastors have to lead change for the health of the Church.
Every church has them—ineffective systems. Why? Partly because systems must constantly be evaluated and edited for results. In this episode, Tony and Amy share how to differentiate a systems problem from a people problem, the most common clogged systems churches have (One is vitally important!), and a 6-step process you can follow to fix them.
Tony also shares a story about a broken system at a popular restaurant chain. The key phrase was "clogged beef tube." You won't soon forget the analogy.
Unstuck churches never stop looking to improve their weekend experiences. Tony and Amy discuss why it's important to provide compelling and memorable services every single week.
Greater impact sometimes requires an outside perspective. Tony and Amy share why so many churches get comfortable with the familiar and how it keeps them from making the necessary changes for growth.
Based on our recent data, there's plenty of room for optimism for today's church! Attendance and baptisms are increasing and many churches are expanding to multiple services and locations. Although these are all positive indicators, there are still some red flags that stuck churches are ignoring. Tony and Amy discuss some key trends and takeaways that churches may be overlooking.
Teaching is just one way to help people take their next steps toward Christ. But churches have a tendency to get stuck in a cycle of teach-promote-teach-promote: Each next step we invite people to take is another teaching environment. In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss some important discipleship elements that will help people put what they are learning into practice.
Our mission is simple—What church doesn't want to grow by helping more people meet Jesus? But structuring a team for growth doesn't necessarily come naturally to most church leaders. In this episode, Tony and Amy share 3 key areas you need to optimize to structure your church for growth.
It's nobody's favorite activity. But unfocused churches have competing events, programs and ministries that pull them in all different directions. Tony and Amy discuss three areas that both healthy and unhealthy churches need to prune.