Church Growth, the Right Way

I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours.

 

I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,

and maximize your impact for Christ.

 

Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guests

from leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers).

Yes! Send It Now

Sears and the Church Are Losing Influence

Church Growth, the Right Way I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours. I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,and maximize your impact for Christ. Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guestsfrom leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers). Yes! Send It Now “Put on your Sunday’s best, kids, we’re going to Sears!” Even in 1995 when The Brady Movie came out, this scene was more than a bit silly. Today, it’s tragic. There really was a day in America when Sears was the pinnacle of retail, and taking a trip there was family fun. These days, walking through a Sears is usually depressing. They’re doing their best, but the company has just lost touch. When you need tools, you probably think about Lowe’s, Home Depot, or a local hardware store. When you need electronics, you probably think of Best Buy. When you need clothes, you think of Gap or Old Navy—or even a place like Target. Truthfully, you probably think about Amazon for all of these things. Right? Sears used to have a place in the American mind and culture, but it just doesn’t anymore. The same is true about the church. Many Christians do not see the church as necessary for spiritual growth. People understand spirituality to be personal, and they think that they can grow on their own. The church bleeds fastest among its youth. The problem is not that the church isn’t “cool” enough. But young people recognize the dissonance between what the church says and what the... read more

Church Leaders Are the Problem

Church Growth, the Right Way I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours. I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,and maximize your impact for Christ. Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guestsfrom leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers). Yes! Send It Now More than 80% of churches are plateaued or in decline, and church leaders are the problem. That’s harsh, but it’s the truth. As a consultant with The Malphurs Group, I hear a lot of the same questions: How can my church grow? How can we reach millennials? How can we do better at discipleship? How can we increase the number of volunteers? How can we better impact our community? These are great questions. In Strategic Envisioning with TMG, we spend six to eight months to address these topics and more. But the greatest barrier to your church’s success is not your strategy, it is your church leaders. Some of the churches we work with are able to implement strategy development and see genuine growth and revitalization. Some churches cannot. The difference–always–is the effectiveness of the church leaders. Here are five symptoms of church leaders that are a problem: 1. Church leaders at the highest-level are making decisions at the lowest-level. When church leaders are making decisions about carpet, paint, bulletin design, and facility upkeep, they have become derelict in their role as the spiritual and vision leaders of the church. If the church lacks systems and teams to handle tactical decisions, the board will assume the duty. It has... read more

Megachurch Resignations: 10 Lessons for All of US

Church Growth, the Right Way I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours. I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,and maximize your impact for Christ. Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guestsfrom leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers). Yes! Send It Now Add Pete Wilson to the growing list of megachurch pastors who are no longer in their positions. Pete Wilson is unique. Ostensibly, he has resigned of his own volition, outside of the recommendation (or demand) of his board. Other recent removals had a different flavor: – Perry Noble for alcohol dependency. – Darrin Patrick for leadership abuses and boundary issues. – Tulian Tchividjian for an affair. – Israel Houghton for divorcing his wife, followed promptly by a questionable relationship. – Mark Driscoll for leadership abuses. My guess is you might have a local pastor to add to that list–who was leading a growing church (if not a megachurch), but isn’t anymore. What you won’t find here is a condemnation of any of these pastors. There is enough of that on the Internet, and it is not helpful. Even if the criticisms are legitimate, as they sometimes are, the bully pulpit of an article isn’t the best place to air them. What we do need to understand is how this series of high-profile resignations is actually a bellwether moment for all of us. Resist the temptation to see this as a megachurch resignations problem, and understand its implications for you. At your church. In your position. So what are the... read more

Maximize the Church Summer Slump: Part 1

Church Growth, the Right Way I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours. I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,and maximize your impact for Christ. Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guestsfrom leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers). Yes! Send It Now The sun is up, the breeze is cool, and the pews are empty. Let’s be honest with each other: the church summer slump is a real thing. It’s not uncommon for churches to experience a 15-30% reduction in attendance in June and July, and it can be a bit depressing. Resources are harder to come by in every way: fewer volunteers, fewer band members, fewer dollars in the offering. Less. So it begs the question: How can we maximize the church summer slump? The reality is that people will continue to travel, enjoy nice weather, and take advantage of extra family time in the summer. Let’s not fight it. [Note: If you’re worried in particular about how to keep financially viable through the summer, read this brief article from FellowshipOne with a few tips. Don’t worry, I’m not an affiliate for them; it’s just a good, short article on how to tackle giving during the summer.] Instead of attempting to reverse the church summer slump, let’s get more this summer by focusing on what we have less time for during the busy season. This is going to be a five-part blog series. Each post will be relatively short, giving quick tips on how to maximize one area of focus during the church... read more

How to Overcome Fear Through Fear Itself

Church Growth, the Right Way I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours. I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,and maximize your impact for Christ. Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guestsfrom leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers). Yes! Send It Now Guest Post by Tim Abraham Tim is a Church Strategy and Leadership Consultant for TMG, and Co-Founder of Beyond Leading. He’s served as a member of the executive leadership team for a large church in West Virginia, in addition to serving within high levels of state government. Tim earned an MBA and multiple bachelor’s degrees from West Virginia University and he and his wife, Kelly, currently enjoy God’s beautiful creation residing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He is also the author of Spiritual Fear Factor. In our world today we value fearlessness. We idolize the ones who claim to have never been touched by this feeling of vulnerability.  Christian leaders stand before challenges that will test us not only physically and mentally, but also emotionally and spiritually.  Fear is one of the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misapplied concepts in the Christian faith.  Unlike the many doctrinal disagreements that don’t ultimately impact our everyday lives and decisions, how we cope with fear can seep into our feelings and reactions to the world around us. This is why a biblical understanding of how to overcome fear transforms our relationship with God, the world, and ourselves. Defining Fear When we think of “fear,” our mind goes toward an unpleasant emotion caused by the... read more

Church Vision: 5 Benchmarks and Evaluation Guide

Church Growth, the Right Way I'm Scott Ball, a strategy and leadership consultant for churches like yours. I work with The Malphurs Group to equip churches to break through barriers,and maximize your impact for Christ. Download my free guide and learn 10 simple secrets that will help keep guestsfrom leaving through the back door (and even help attract higher numbers of first-timers). Yes! Send It Now “Where there is no vision the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18 How many times have you seen that verse thrown around in church without any context? Did you know that this oft-quoted sentence is really only half of the verse? Did you know that the King James Version (translated in the 17th century when there was little to no concept of the word “vision” as we understand it in contemporary language) is one of the very few translations which uses the word vision in this verse? Take a look at the more modern English Standard Version of the entire Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” “Prophetic vision” is certainly different than what we normally mean when we say “vision.” As a consultant, no one wants this verse to be about strategic planning more than me. But it’s not. The point of this verse is to say that without Divine direction, Godly wisdom, and insight from the Lord people tend to run wild. Only when they have been given boundaries through instruction do they experience truer joy. A more accurate paraphrase would be this: where this is no Biblical, convicting preaching, sin will abound. This... read more