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It’s a new year and everyone is tired. As we move forward in the work of revitalizing churches, Mark and Thom share the profile of a healthy revitalizer after COVID-19. Has a realistic view of the post-COVID world. Patience, patience, patience. Is an example in evangelism. Is emotionally and spiritually prepared for conflict Has a longer-term view …
 
Depending on your definition, most churches fall into the category of established. Thankfully, It is no longer uncool to lead an established church. Thom and Sam talk through five often-overlooked benefits of established churches. Current revenue stream (you have at least some resources) Predetermined location (you already know where you are called…
 
The key to a strong revitalization is leadership. Today, Thom and Kevin discuss six leadership situations which will stop a revitalization dead in its tracks. Moral failure Staff or leadership conflict. When the pastor’s family is hurting deeply Majoring on minors Letting a power group rule Forgetting about the Great Commission Resources in Today’s…
 
Toni Nieuwhof joins Thom and Sam to share what every church leader needs to know about the messiness of divorce. Toni Nieuwhof is an attorney, pharmacist and church leader who, along with her husband, Carey Nieuwhof, founded Connexus Church north of Toronto Canada. Already a published author in the legal field, Toni’s first general release book on …
 
From most discouraging moments to greatest surprises of 2020, Thom and Mark answer listener questions on today’s episode of Revitalize and Replant. What was your most discouraging moment in a church revitalization? What was your most encouraging moment in a church revitalization? Do you consider yourself thin-skinned or thick-skinned? What has been…
 
Are you looking to be more positive in the new year? Today we look at how destructive negativity can be for you and your team. On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership, Thom and Sam discuss the 100 factor of negativity. Every negative word has the power of one hundred positive words. Negativity has many variants: Cynicism, speculation, misinforma…
 
On today’s episode of Revitalize and Replant we discuss the difficult topic of how to address moral failure of a church leader. Thom and Kevin Ezell break down five ways to deal with the unfortunate circumstance. Be transparent with limits. Protect the transgressor’s family. Show grace with discipline. Be prepared to provide pastoral care to the co…
 
We are about to welcome in a new year! In today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership, Thom and Sam discuss five things you should do as you lead your church to a new year. Emphasize again the church’s vision and/or purpose. Review your outwardly focused plans for the new year. Check in with key leaders and/or influencers in the church. Become a contin…
 
When a pastor is called to lead a church replant or revitalization their family should remain their first line of ministry. Thom and Mark discuss five rules for taking care of your family in a replant or revitalization. Make certain they are your first line of ministry. Pray with them. Get their input; listen to them. Do regular check-ins Don’t sac…
 
You will likely have more guests on Christmas Eve than any other service throughout the year. Here are several reasons why people love traditional Christmas Eve services. You will likely have more guests on Christmas Eve than any other service throughout the year Nostalgia is a powerful emotion around the holidays The community expects a more tradi…
 
Renewing a culture of outreach and casting vision for loving the community is vital for churches needing revitalization. Thom and Kevin discuss five ways to reignite an outward focus in churches needing revitalization. Model it. Seek to lead explicitly evangelistically. Give examples of other churches. Combine prayer and outreach. Seek accountabili…
 
We have an incredible interview with Kristyn Getty to talk with her about the new album from Keith and Kristyn Getty, Evensong, which reached number 1 on Billboard in the Kid’s Album category. New album released in early October: Evensong: Hymns and Lullabies at the Close of Day. Born out of the thoughts, songs, and prayers the Gettys use to close …
 
We have seen several trends among church revitalizations during the global pandemic. As we find ourselves approaching a post COVID-19 world, Mark and Thom discuss five of the most prominent trends we are witnessing in church revitalizations today. Progress has been set back two to five years. More have moved from revitalization to seeking adoption …
 
Are you contemplating leaving pastoral leadership for other areas of Christian ministry? Sam has an intimate conversation with Thom regarding the reasons behind his conscious and prayerful decision to stop preaching. Overcoming the concern that I was not being obedient to my call I had not been a pastor for many years, only supply and interim preac…
 
We would all love for things to return to normal. But in reality, this will not happen any time soon, if ever. With this in mind, Thom and Kevin discuss six mistakes to avoid as your church regathers. Assuming that “normal” will return. Neglecting community ministry and outreach. Talking more about problems than opportunities. Failing to seek outsi…
 
Thom and Sam Rainer discuss practical ways to effectively minister to church members we can’t visit during this difficult time of quarantine and social distancing. Call them. Make certain the church sends a digital prayer list every week. Organize small groups to call them and write them. Stay in touch with their family members. Seek to start a new…
 
The pandemic has given us many reasons to stress and contemplate the future. Today, Dr. Thom Rainer and Mark Clifton discuss the other side of the coin and give us five reasons pastors should have hope as we look to the post-pandemic era. It is still Christ’s church Your community is likely to know you better after the pandemic due to the live-stre…
 
Pastor Steven Kyle from Hiland Park Baptist Church, has revitalized the church where he is serving with incredible growth. After growing a declining church from approximately 600 to over 2000, and expanding with two other multi-site campuses and revitalizing both dying churches, disaster hit. Twice. First Hurricane Michael, then Covid-19. How did y…
 
We can learn much from positive and negative examples. In today’s episode, we isolate a group of churches in order to examine five common developments in declining churches. Decline is more pronounced. Closure or merger is more likely. Flaws become more visible or pronounced. Volunteers resign from their ministries. Conversion growth moves toward z…
 
On this episode of Rainer on Leadership, Thom and Sam are joined by Kevin Harris, President of Radical Mentoring. We take some time to discuss how your church could benefit from a strong mentoring ministry. In 2002, Kevin Harris, underwent a dramatic change as husband, father, and Jesus-follower through his experience as a mentee in a Radical Mento…
 
The post-pandemic era is filled with uncertainty. Thom and Mark discuss why your church needs you, Pastor, now more than ever. There is still much uncertainty about the future Pastors will need to be purveyors of biblical hope Pastors will need to lead change more than ever Pastors will need to be constant reminders that the role of local congregat…
 
Members of the Church Answers community have filled our inboxes with questions dealing with unusual situations. Thom and Sam take an interesting look at five of these unusual situations for pastors. Deciding to pay the salary of a dying minister on staff to his family after he dies Being gifted a for-profit business Running a movie theater Being as…
 
The pandemic has helped church leaders and members embrace change. Today on Revitalize & Replant, Thom Rainer and Kevin Ezell discuss four additional ways the pandemic has been positive for revitalizing churches. Change is more likely to be embraced. Power groups may relinquish control. Budgets can be reallocated. Complexity can shift to simplicity…
 
An expert in practical local church leadership, Carey Nieuwhof joins Thom and Sam to discuss his most recent book and a few surprises of the post-quarantine church. Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church. He’s the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven…
 
As we help leaders approach post-pandemic era ministry, an interesting development has occurred in the life of our friend, Mark Clifton. He is currently pastoring a 3-member church. Listen in as he shares his unique strategy for pandemic revitalization and ministry. Mark’s story Understanding the hope every church has Why the church facility is imp…
 
It’s a tough word to say and requires wisdom to keep. We hear a lot about what we should and should not keep confidential. Today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership is packed full of great information for church leaders concerning the importance of confidentiality. Always report abuse, no exceptions Be careful when someone makes you promise confident…
 
Many churches are approaching budget season. As church leaders we understand the importance of security in a revitalization but we have questions about the cost and how to pay for the needed security. Develop a security plan. Never neglect the kids. Never neglect background checks. Get affordable cameras. Ask law enforcement to volunteer (and bring…
 
Today’s episode is fairly controversial as it deals with a very polarizing topic: Politics. How can the Church heal the negativity of the election season? Listen as Thom and Sam Rainer discuss five ways to tackle this very practical issue. Listen first. Talk little. Do not endorse individual candidates from the pulpit. Guide your church in corporat…
 
We continue in our generational series with the Millennial Generation, born between 1980 and 2000 . As leaders how can we guide this generation in a church revitalization? Thom and Mark break down the generational tendencies and the challenges and opportunities ahead. Largest generation in U.S. history Largest non-Christian and unchurched generatio…
 
Matt Steen and Todd Rhoades from Chemistry Staffing share their wealth of knowledge and help us understand five factors of a long-term, healthy fit when searching for your next team member. Matt Steen is the co-founder of Chemistry Staffing. He has served the local church for over two decades as a youth pastor, church planter, and executive pastor.…
 
The idea of church fostering and adoption is taking off and helping many churches become healthy. When a church decides to foster another church there may be signals the fostered church desires to move to adoption. Thom and Kevin Ezell discuss four signs a fostered church may want to be adopted. They start asking if your church can help longer. The…
 
Author Greg Atkinson joins Thom and Sam to discuss the importance of the guest experience in a post-COVID world. Greg Atkinson is the Founder of Worship Impressions and the First Impressions Conference. Greg is an author, leadership coach, consultant, and member of the Forbes Coaching Council. Greg has worked with churches of all stages and sizes, …
 
We continue in our generational series with the Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979 . As leaders how can we guide this generation in a church revitalization? Thom and Mark break down the generational tendencies and the challenges and opportunities ahead. The generation of purpose in the church Tend to feel left out. First generation where a ma…
 
Tim Cool from Smart Church Solutions joins Sam and Thom on this episode of Rainer on Leadership to discuss Tim’s new book and how church leaders can be intentional stewards of church facilities. We have talked about this concept several times, why write a book? Why is now such a critical time for churches to understand these concepts? Who should re…
 
Leading a revitalizing church is hard work in progress. Sometimes we worry about what guests will say when visiting. Thom Rainer and Kevin Ezell discuss what we should say to a guest who visits your revitalizing church. Tell them the church is in a turnaround mode. Tell them it’s a great ministry opportunity for them. Tell them you would like their…
 
Are you feeling numb to all that is happening around you, the decisions which need to be made, and the responsibilities in front of you? In this episode of Rainer on Leadership, we discuss overcoming the numb feeling and moving forward in a post-quarantine era. All leaders can fall flat for a season, but detachment is not the answer. Listen more to…
 
We continue in our generational series with the Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964. As leaders how can we guide this generation in a church revitalization? Thom and Mark break down the generational tendencies and the challenges and opportunities ahead. Church became consumer-focused in their formative years. This generation was the first…
 
We all know life will be different in the post-quarantine era. The church has fundamentally changed and many pastors are grappling with what the Church will look like in the coming years. Dr. Rainer and Sam Rainer discuss five reasons why the speed of change must accelerate in your church in the post-quarantine era. COVID-19 accelerated negative ch…
 
Many churches have done well transitioning and leading through change during the past few months. A major change has been in how people give tithes, offerings, and gifts. What do you do with the stubborn church member who refuses to give digitally? Thom and Kevin Ezell discuss best practices to help lead in this area. Demonstrate how it’s good for …
 
Today marks the release of Dr. Thom Rainer’s new book, The Post Quarantine Church: Six Urgent Challenges and Opportunities That Will Determine the Future of Your Congregation. Dr. Rainer’s new book provides timely insight into our new reality and answers to questions church leaders have when looking to the future. Why did you write The Post-Quarant…
 
Is your church predominantly filled with Builders (Greatest Generation) or those who were born before 1946? If so, today’s episode of Revitalize and Replant will help you lead this important generation and aid you as you participate in ministry with them. This generational is institutionally loyal They love to tell stories They are often fearful of…
 
On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership Thom Rainer and Sam Rainer discuss how to deal with constant critics and angry church members. Try to discern the real issue. Deal with legitimate issues. Stop feeding temper tantrums. Confront them when necessary. Pray for them. Resources mentioned in today’s podcast: Church Future Indicator Filament Bibl…
 
Church leaders have asked the question again and again. What happens if the budget cut you need to make is you? Thom and Kevin Ezell look at the positives of bi-vocational ministry in a post-pandemic era. Understand the incredible opportunity Possibly seek a second job that provides maximum flexibility Make certain your family is on board Be clear …
 
Adam Weber is the founder and lead pastor of Embrace, a multi-site church based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Author of Talking With God and Love Has A Name, he also hosts a podcast called The Conversation. Adam still cheers for the Cincinnati Bengals but no longer drives a Rambler. He’s married to his wife, Becky, and has four kids: Hudson, Wi…
 
On today’s episode we are going to visit your neighborhood, listen to those who live there, and help you ask questions about your community in a revitalization. Who is really in the community? How does the church reflect the community? What opportunities do the demographics suggest? What are the needs, dreams, and aspirations of those in the commun…
 
Tim Songster, CEO of Cosco & Associates, joins Thom and Sam to discuss COVID-19 and your church building. Tim shares great insights for understanding how building usage and church space design is changing during the pandemic. How has COVID 19 changed the way your clients are using their buildings? What immediate and maybe obvious things are churche…
 
The pandemic has been incredibly tough on pastors. On today’s episode Dr. Rainer and Dr. Kevin Ezell breaks down five characteristics of a church leader who will lead well in the post-pandemic era. Courageous Willing to lead and think outside the box Prayerful Willing to understand the times Willing to count the cost Resources mentioned in today’s …
 
The number of people who have dropped out during the pandemic is a highly relevant topic for church leaders. A lot of leaders are wondering where these people have gone and more importantly, how to re-engage with these church members. Guilt does not work. Relationships are still vital. Create a new group. Ask them to participate in a ministry. Get …
 
We have many conversations with church leaders whose families are struggling in a revitalizing church. These difficult conversations built guidance for how to help your family transition in a revitalizing church. They are the first line of ministry. Listen carefully to them. Stand up for them. Don’t stay if they are being hurt. Help them find other…
 
On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership, Ron Beers joins us to discuss the new ministry partnership with Tyndale House Publishers and Church Answers. Ron Beers has worked at Tyndale House Publishers since 1987, serving as editorial director for books and Bibles, as well as editor-in-chief; he currently serves as senior vice president and group p…
 
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