"#1 Plus” Matters That Matter Blog

HUMILITY:  The #1 DYNAMIC IN REVIVING A DYING CHURCH

My ministry has a focus on pastoral coaching and church revitalization that encounters dying churches, not just declining, but dying.   Bringing dying churches back to health is extremely hard work.  The root obstacle to renewed spiritual health is pride—a selfish digging in of the heels against desperately needed changes.  Pride brings a destructive fall in individuals and churches.] How Humility Brings Health to a Dying Church: Humility starts with the pastor and the church leaders. Humility admits the church is critically unhealthy and dying.   Humility is willing to make significant difficult changes to be healthy, not merely tweaking what is being done now. Humility repents of the sins of conflicts and divisions in the church and pursues unifying reconciliation.  Humility is giving up personal preferences that are in…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

THE #1 FAILURE THAT WRECKS A PASTORAL TRANSITION PLUS 9 OTHERS

Harmful Blunders in a Church Lead Pastor Succession  These common succession failures that I have witnessed over my 50 years of church leadership were briefly covered in one weekend’s messages during the my own lead pastor transition:  # 1.. Failure of the lead pastor and church leaders to plan now, well in advance of the lead pastor’s inevitable departure due to any of the following: –accepting a call to another ministry, –a proven disqualifying sin,  –a “power play” of a forced removal of a qualified pastor loved by most of the church, –his poor health, retirement, or death.  2.. Failure to take the right amount of transition time and so: –rush too quickly to get a new pastor, or –take too long to call one.…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

The #1 RULE FOR HUMOR IN PREACHING

With 6 Additional Rules to Follow with Some Added Humor  The #1 RULE FOR HUMOR IN PREACHING    Handle humor like nitroglycerin!!! Humor is like nitroglycerin, it must be handled with care or you will severely wound people and risk blowing up your own ministry. Like a powerful explosive humor can tear down walls resistant to Gods word.  But if offensive, humor can kill any attempt at communicating the Gospel.  BE CAREFUL!!! RULE #2  Fit in humor like a tailored shirt. A tailored shirt looks good on a person because it fits well.   Only humor that illustrates and clarifies a point is worthy of including in the message.  As a lousy fitting shirt detracts from ones appearance. Gratuitous humor obscures God’s precious truth.  BE PERTINENT. RULE #3  Deliver humor like a…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

The #1 “C” of Effective Communicators for God Plus 9 Others “C’s” in Order of Priority 

The #1 “C” of  Effective Communicators for God #1.  Content — “I say something worth saying.”          Substance!          Accurately presenting the authoritative Word of God. (John 17:17 NIV)  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (1 Timothy 6:3-4 NIV)  If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions (2 Timothy 2:15 NIV)  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 TNIV)  For the time will come when people…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

#1 Governance Rule for the Elder Board Plus 9 Other Rules

THE GOVERNANCE ROLE OF THE ELDER BOARD I’m not addressing the biblical qualifications or the biblical spiritual duties of the elders other than the one task of overseeing, that is, the practical governance of the church.  The general responsibility of oversight as “overseers” is not biblically spelled out with much specificity as how that is to be done, so wisdom is vital when getting definitive with governance.   Assumptions:(1)The board is comprised of the lead pastor who is the “leader among equals” much like James in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15) and a plurality of unpaid lay elders.(2)The lead pastor is called to his role by the congregation and accountable to the lay elders on the board after his calling.(3)The lay elders are approved by…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

THE #1 BIBLICAL REASON TO BELONG TO A LOCAL CHURCH PLUS 3 OTHERS

#1 Local church membership identifies the true body (1) responsible for approving the church LEADERSHIP,(2) potentially able to serve in church LEADERSHIP, and(3) who have placed themselves under the spiritual authority of the church LEADERSHIP.   Acts 6:1-4 “choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom Acts 15:22 “the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of  their own men” Acts 20:28  “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” Hebrews 13:17 “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

The #1 WEAKNESS IN SERMON PREPARATION PLUS 9 MORE

The #1 WEAKNESS IN SERMON PREP 1.. Lack of Humble Dependency in Earnest Solitude PRAYER.   9 MORE WEAKNESSES IN SERMON PREP   2.. Lack of a Foundation of Sound Biblical INTERPRETATION.  3.. Lack of understanding of the culture and people in order to RELATE.  4.. Lack of a Goal of Life Change APPLICATION. 5.. Lack of From-the-Heart Authentic PASSION.  6.. Lack of Captivating, Clarifying, and Concise ILLUSTRATIONS.  7.. Lack of a “speaking the truth in love” BALANCE.  8.. Lack of a Firm Weekly Message Preparation SCHEDULE.  9.. Lack of Adherence to an Efficient Message Preparation PLAN. 10.. Lack of an Annual Preaching CALENDAR.

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

MY #1 FAVORITE QUOTE ON PREACHING PLUS MANY MORE

MY #1 FAVORITE QUOTE ON PREACHING  “A man who first tried to guess ‘what the public wants,’ and then preached that as Christianity because the public wants it, would be a pretty mixture of fool and knave.” –C.S. Lewis MANY OTHER FAVORITE QUOTES OF MINE ON PREACHING  “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” –The Apostle Paul “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” –Richard Baxter “I have never once feared the devil, but I tremble every time I enter the pulpit.”  –John Knox “Preaching improves me. When I begin to speak, weariness disappears; when I begin to teach, fatigue too disappears. Thus…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

5 COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT LEAD PASTORS ONLY MINISTRY

1. Why a website for coaching lead pastors only?        –Nobody impacts the church more.  Everyone is important in the church, but not everyone is equally as important. church us no exception.  The leader of leaders in the local church is (or should be!) the lead pastor.   No other position in the church comes close to the importance of the lead pastor for a church’s health and growth.   A church will become like its leader pastor in virtue, values, and vision.    The purpose of this website lead pastors coaching is to improve the one person that will most markedly improve Jesus’ church.        –It’s lonely at the top. Listen to Chuck Swindoll’s insight: “Lest we think that those who have reached the top of the ladder now ‘have it made,’…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More

The #1 Affair Preventative Plus 9 Others 

#1 Never counsel women.   Unrealistic? Pastors tell me this standard is unrealistic and comes across as uncaring.  I found the opposite to be true when I explained it is a wise boundary.  I tell the church: If it’s true that 80% of affairs pastors begin in a counseling situation, then making it a personal policy to not counsel women eliminates 80% of the risk.  Our women’s ministries director is a qualified, caring, and spiritually mature woman who is available to provide the spiritual counsel to the women in our church.  If in a small church, seek a godly mature volunteer to serve as the women’s ministries director and include spiritual counselling in her job description.  If she finds the counseling issue is over her head, she can tell the…

To see the rest of this post, join LPO Membership.

Read More