Be Cautious When Hiring Your Family

iStock_000010330732XSmall

Although nearly every church, ministry, or non-profit client I’ve ever known hires their family, I always urge caution when doing it.  Sure – there’s nothing we’d all like better than to hire our spouse, children, or other relatives.  The idea of a “family company” sounds great.  But in truth, it doesn’t work as well as you think.  Entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki is direct and too the point, but worth listening to when he says: 

The Secret to Stopping Unwanted Speculation and Rumor

drops

Whenever a crisis happens at an organization, rumors begin. We shouldn’t be surprised because human beings are wired for curiosity. We want to know what happened, what’s going on, and what’s next. Channeled in the right direction, curiosity creates inventions, cures disease, and births great art.  But channeled in the wrong direction, curiosity can destroy reputations, throw organizations into chaos, and undermine the common good. But there’s one way to stop unwanted speculation and rumor in it’s tracks:

The Sweet Spot of Sharing the Christian Message

dart

We’re seeing a lot of criticism recently of pastors, writers, speakers, filmmakers as well as others about how they share the Christian message with the outside culture. Some are criticized for making it too easy – they lead with the “grace” message, and are hesitant to talk about tough issues like sin, hell, or punishment. On the other side, those who preach a more serious message about tough subjects are labelled as “out of date,” “insensitive” and “hard core.” I know the debate well because over the years, I’ve had friends and clients on both sides of the argument. But here’s the problem: It’s the wrong argument, and here’s why:

When Leaders Don’t Enjoy Spending Time With Their Team

tumblr_mopq8fyQwI1st5lhmo1_1280

In my consulting work over the last 30 years, one of the most common complaints I get – particularly at churches and nonprofit organizations – is that leaders don’t spend much time with their team.  Understand it’s not just about being busy. In most situations it’s pastors, executives, COO’s and other leaders who simply don’t enjoy spending time with their team. In case that’s happening at your organization, and since I’ve heard it from both sides, when it happens, here’s my advice for both parties:

When Teams Can’t Trust Their Leaders

tumblr_msuewo7oXu1st5lhmo1_1280

There have been plenty of stories recently about pastors and other ministry leaders failing or falling from grace. This isn’t one of those stories. This post is about pastors and leaders with teams who don’t trust them to keep their word. Keep in mind, these aren’t bad people, and I’m not talking about outright liars. I’m talking about leaders who’ve spent so many years changing their mind, making rash decisions, or back peddling, their closest friends and employees can’t trust their decisions anymore. It happens for a number of reasons:

Why Worship Leaders Should End Rehearsal Before the Congregation Comes In

Band performs on stage

Worship leaders are an incredibly important part of today’s church. But from time to time I take them to task, like in this post on What Katy Perry and Taylor Swift Can Teach Church Worship Leaders. Today I have a different issue. I’ve visited a number of churches this year that on Sunday mornings allow the worship team to continue rehearsals after the doors are open for the congregation.  As a television director, I understand the need to tweak rehearsals until you get it right. But here’s why – for most churches – it’s a mistake for the congregation to watch the rehearsal:

Don’t Just Write Pastor Books, Write Serious Books

Open book.

When most pastors write books, you can bet they’re compiled from sermon notes and manuscripts. Preach a series on fear, and they end up with a book on the subject. Same with marriage, prophecy, grace, epic Bible stories – whatever. I don’t discourage that, but don’t think for a minute that’s a serious book. Writing is different than speaking, and editing sermon notes into a readable manuscript and then calling it a “book” isn’t very impressive. If you’re a pastor or ministry leader, here’s what I recommend:

On July 4th Sunday: Be Careful Using Militaristic Language in the Church

lightstock_140571_medium_user_5198564

Something we invariably witness on July 4th Sunday is video on the wide screens at some churches featuring fighter jets, soldiers, and waving flags.  Yes – Jesus used militaristic language in the New Testament. As the Park Forum devotional puts it: “In a time when Galilee already had a powerful and dangerous ruler (Herod Antipas), Jesus was a revolutionary. When Jesus spoke of his purpose and mission, he often used war-like language. For example, in Matthew 10, he said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”” But what we can’t forget is

5 Ways To Improve Your Church YouTube Channel

youtube_logo_stacked-vfl225ZTx

There’s no question that a great number of churches and ministry organizations should be addressing today’s “Digital Mission Field.”  And one of the key platforms is YouTube.  Most churches just think YouTube is for randomly posting short video clips of the pastor’s message.  So I asked my friend Sean Cannell, to give us some examples of how churches and ministry groups can use YouTube more effectively.  Here’s what he said: 

Leaders: The Problem With Valuing Everyone Equally

Balance

The Bible is clear – everyone has intrinsic value and worth.  God loves us all and there are no favorites in His kingdom. As leaders, we try to live that out every day. The problem is, we get into trouble when we use that principle when evaluating our team. Every church, ministry, nonprofit, or business has employees or volunteers, and while we should appreciate them all equally, some of those employees bring greater value to the table. Throughout the Bible, God chose different people for