How to Welcome New Neighbors and Invite Them to Church at the Same Time

So, when I moved to Wheaton, I loved how my neighbors reached out and welcomed me.

They created a four-page (four page!) long list of things, including…

In Our Humble Opinion

Welcome to Wheaton, Stetzers!

I know you are going to find it to be a wonderful community to live in BUT it can be a little daunting at first. I moved into the brick house across the street from you when I was 12. Now we have lived in the cream house next door to that house for 23 years. I guess we like it here…

Thought I would share some tips from the 40+ years I have lived in Wheaton. Thus titled – In Our Humble Opinion.

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welcome photo

Photo by WaywardShinobi

4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Small Group System Is Broken

You know how certain things in life are tell-tale signs something is wrong? For example, when your car’s bouncing down the road and the tires are wearing unevenly…it’s a tell-tale sign that your car’s wheels need to be aligned . Or when your thermostat is set on 72 but it’s 82 in the house and the air conditioner is blowing hot air. Or how about when your debit card is declined the morning after your paycheck is deposited?

Tell-tale signs.

Did you know there are tell-tale signs that your small group system is broken?

4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Small Group System is Broken:

Your total number of groups is remaining the same year after year.

Your total number of groups is remaining the same year after year. If your total number of groups isn’t growing, it’s a tell-tale sign something is broken. Even if your church’s attendance is flatlined, a growing total number of groups is an indication of a healthy small group system.

A flatlined total number of groups may indicate a number of issues:


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5 Principles That Should Play Into The Next Hire At Your Church

Recruiting and hiring a new team member can be exciting! Hire the right person and the whole team benefits. When you invite the right person to join your team not only is there an infusion of new talent, but also new ideas, fresh eyes, and a new well of experiences to go to. The right new hire can literally improve the performance of the entire team. On the other hand, hire the wrong person and the ministry at your church could be set back for years. Here are 5 principles to keep in mind when it’s time to make the next hire at your church.

1. Don’t Advertise Outside of your Church

If you like what’s going on at your church the best way to keep it going on is to hire from the inside. So don’t bother advertising outside your church, develop and hire internal talent.

2. Think Talent First

Instead of hiring to a job profile, hire for talent. Stop sharing a job description and looking for someone to fill a role and just starting scouting for talent…like all the time. Just get the right talent in the room, figure out the roles later.

3. Reinvent the Role

Each time you make a new hire you have the opportunity to reinvent the role. Rethink the scope of responsibility, the profile of what the right team member looks like that role, and for that matter rethink the structure of the team. With each new hire there is great opportunity for organizational change, don’t miss it!

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6 Cautions About Church Growth

I start this post with a caveat: I believe in the historical understanding of Church Growth, marked by evangelism that necessarily resulted in disciples in the local church. I affirm, for example, the words of church growth writers Donald McGavran and Win Arn from the 1970s: “. . . we deceive ourselves if we believe that a person who has made a decision for Christ, who has prayed, ‘I accept Jesus Christ into my life,’ has truly become a disciple.  We must make sure that he or she really follows Christ, really lives as a disciple. . . . We do well to use the more biblical concept of disciple and to evaluate our effectiveness in that context.”[1]

On the other hand, I also think it’s wise to be aware of these cautions about church growth:

  1. It’s possible to grow a crowd, but not a church. A group of people who gather on Sunday are not automatically a New Testament church – even if the word “church” is in their name.
  2. Growth is not necessarily a sign of God’s blessing. A crowd might increase even when the gospel is not preached. Higher numbers might be the product of God’s work, but they’re not a guarantee.
  3. Growth resulting only from transferring members can be deceptive. Of course, transferring one’s membership to another congregation is exactly the right move in some cases. Churches that grow only through that means, though, are often lulled to sleep evangelistically.
  4. Even when the church is growing, evangelism without discipleship is not fully biblical church growth. Making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) includes not only reaching non-believers, but also equipping believers to carry out the work of the gospel (Eph. 4:11-12).

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