10 Ways Your Church Alienates Singles


Think about the last time you saw a church offering a class on marriage. It shouldn’t take you very long. It’s one of the church’s favorite topics. Celebrating and saving marriages is something most churches focus a lot of attention on.

Now, think about the last time you saw a church offering classes for singles. I don’t mean some kind of Bible study that emphasizes singles meeting other singles; I’m talking about classes that encourage and celebrate single living. Most people will probably have a hard time remembering ever seeing such a thing.Continue reading →

4 Tips to Help Introverted Pastors Shine


Introverts have been getting a lot of press recently. And that’s probably because instead of going out, introverts are spending more time at home writing articles about what it’s like to be an introvert in an extrovert’s world.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of nonsense mixed in with the truth (some of it perpetuated by introverts themselves).

  • Introverts don’t hate to talk
  • Introverts don’t hate being around people
  • Introverts don’t like to go out in public
  • Introverts don’t struggle with public speaking

What’s an introvert?

Continue reading →

10 Conflict Resolution Tips for Pastors


One of the most frustrating elements of pastoring is dealing with the inevitable squabbles that pop up between church members. It’s not only difficult from a conflict resolution standpoint, but it’s also incredibly disheartening when you think about all the time you pour into communicating the importance of unity, fellowship, and love.

Unresolved conflict is a church killer. If you trace the issues that led to church splits back to their source, you’d be surprised how often they started with petty arguments between a couple of members. Believe it or not, disagreements about parking spaces today can easily become the church splits of tomorrow—which people will remember as being about some noble doctrinal dispute.Continue reading →

20 Interview Questions to Ask Potential Youth Pastors


There’s a science to asking the right interview questions. Too often interviewers pull up a bunch of random questions and look for the answers they like best, but is that really the best approach?

Having a clearly defined strategy and well-crafted questions is truly going to help you identify the best candidates. After all, one doesn’t have to look to hard to find stories of church’s who really should have interviewed their youth-pastor candidates a little more rigorously.Continue reading →

5 Pros and Cons for Tentmaking Pastors


If you’re working to make ends meet while doing ministry, you’ve probably heard the term “tentmaking.” The term points back to the apostle Paul who often worked as a tent maker to fund his missionary journeys. (Acts 18:1–4)

While some of the other apostles devoted themselves to the ministry and were supported by donations (Acts 4:34–37), Paul was adamant about not being a burden on the churches where he ministered (2 Thes. 3:7–8), and the desire to increase his credibility among non-believers.Continue reading →

5 Tips for Dealing with Gossip in the Church


And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.—Romans 1:28–29

When I see a list of the sins associated with abandoning God, I expect to see things like wickedness and murder. I don’t expect to see gossip and slander. Why? Because those they’re so commonplace—even in our churches.Continue reading →

12 Encouraging Bible Verses for Church Planters

church planters, church planting, church plants

Church planting is a lot like free-soloing a mountain. As the climber stands in front of the rock, she can make out all of the potential handholds—the path is clearly visible. But once she begins the ascent, her perspective changes and the path is obscured. For the solo climber, the plan transitions into an exercise in moment-by-moment self-reliance.

For the church planter, all the planning in the world will not perfectly prepare you for everything that starting a new church entails. Once you jump in, you’re advancing by faith. And (hopefully) you’re operating on diving guidance, intuition, experience, and whatever training you’ve been able to internalize.Continue reading →

10 Qualities Church Members Expect in a Pastor

pastoral expectations, pastor

Both familial and professional, a pastor’s relationship with the church is complex. Negotiating the various expectations that individuals place on pastors can be tough, especially when they seem arbitrary or mutually exclusive.

Attempts to reconcile these expectations into a professional identity can be difficult. When scriptural advice is given to pastors, it’s often at such a high level that it’s hard to work it out in practical, everyday ways. For instance, if a pastor is told that churches want ministers who “love God and love others,” that may be true—but each church member would expect to see these ideals work themselves out differently.Continue reading →

What Is Baptism and Why Do We Do It?

Baptism is one of the ordinances that Jesus instituted for the church. In the Great Commission, Jesus specifically asks the disciples to baptize new believers in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18).

How does baptism work?

The word baptize is a transliteration of the Greek word βαπτίζω (baptizo) which comes from the word βάπτω (bapto). Bapto is literally associated with an item being dipped or submerged—for instance—when a garment’s color is changed by being dipped into dye. Traditionally, someone is baptized when they’re lowered into the water and brought back out of it.Continue reading →