Albert Einstein Could Help Your Church…

In 2004 our church was stuck.

We had grown at a good rate for our first 3 years and then we hit “the wall”.

We got stuck in our growth as a church and for the next 18 months, we grew by 10 people.


Not to sound ungrateful, but we had a whole city to reach and growing by 10 people every 18 months wasn’t going to cut it.

At first I believed the “I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing” myth. I learned that doesn’t work.

Here’s a leadership lesson (which is a loosely based on an Albert Einstein quote): to get out of the mess, you have to do different things than what got you into the mess.

Over the next few months, I learned why we were stuck. We took serious action and that next year our church doubled.

Now we’re celebrating a whole new phase in our church’s growth as we moved into a building and we expect things to accelerate even faster.

We’ve learned so much as we crossed over different growth barriers and that’s why I recorded a webinar called “5 Factors To Becoming A Fast Growing Church.”

You can’t buy a ticket to this exclusive event…but you can check out the replay here:



#1 Habit Of Highly Effective Preachers

Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote:

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Sounds confusing, right?  But what it means is that we have a tendency as people to allow non-essentials to distract us.  So, maintaining focus is key.  And as a pastor, here is the essential focus that has struck me:

I need to preach the Gospel every week and give people an opportunity to make a decision to come to know Jesus in our services each week.

I think this is really important for several reasons:

1. It gives people an opportunity to cross the line of faith – Many times people don’t respond the first time you share the Gospel with them. They need time to think it over. The sooner you share the Gospel, the sooner they start thinking it over.

2. The Christians in your church know what to expect – If you share the Gospel every week, people will bring those far from God to your church every week. The Christians in your church will know that you are going to give their friends an opportunity to make a decision, and will bring their friends who need Jesus.

3. It will teach the people in your church how to share the Gospel – People learn by what is modeled for them. If you share the Gospel, they will know how to share it as well.

Let me say for the record that I don’t consider myself an evangelist. I wouldn’t put it in my top 3 spiritual gifts. I’m a teacher before anything else. But even if I’m not an evangelist, this verse says I’m to do the work of an evangelist.

We’ve seen so many give their lives to Jesus at CF since Easter. God is doing something wonderful and exciting. This isn’t an isolated thing. There are people in your church who are ready right now to give their lives to Jesus. All we have to do is show them how.

Maximizing a Pastor’s Summer

Most Pastors dread the “Summer Slump”. Typically, this is when giving and attendance fluctuate the most in a given year.

Yet here’s what I have learned over the last 10 years:

1. Summer is not as bad as people make it out to be

2. You don’t have to take as big of an attendance hit (I’ll talk about in depth later)

3. With planning, you can eliminate the giving slump (More on that later)

4. The key to maximizing the Summer is understanding the trends of the Summer

The basic trends of Summer are that people generally go out of town the first 2 weeks after school lets out and the 2 weeks before school comes back in session.

So here’s my recommendation to you:

1. Don’t fight the calendar. If you do, I promise you’ll lose.

2. Plan to take some time off from preaching over the Summer. Go on vacation. Do some guest speaking. invest in your up and coming teachers as they fill the pulpit for you.

3. Plan “Mini-Easters” on certain Sunday that will bring new people and stabilize your attendance.

I talk about how to do all of this in my resource, “How to Make Every Sunday Like Easter”. You can pick it up by clicking here. It outlines 14 ways to make every Sunday as powerful as Easter Sunday.

Pastor Who… A Time Lord for Jesus

God calls us to be masters of our time, one of the greatest treasures He gives us.  With all you have to do maybe you wish you had a TARDIS to time travel in:


If so, today I’ve got time management tips #3, #4 & #5 for you and the first one is cutting down on the procrastination…

Tip #3: Eat That Frog!

I got this tip from a book by the same title, but the principle is so true! If eating a frog is on your list of things you have to do in a given day, here’s the tip – eat the frog first! If not, the frog will be looming over you all day and you won’t accomplish much because you’ll be distracted.

If your frog is a conversation you need to have, then have it first thing in the morning so you can get it out of the way and you can get on with your day. If it’s a project that has to get done, then do it and get on with your life. You’ll be glad you did.

The best part is this – eating a frog (whatever that is for you) is probably the worst thing you’ll have to deal with that day, so your day can only get better from there 🙂

Tip #4: Plan your day the night before

Before I go to bed, I sneak into my home office and write down the 15-20 things I need to accomplish the next day. They vary in size, shape, and scope but once I write them down I know they’re going to get accomplished.

If you wait until 10AM to plan your day, it’s over. Your morning is half over and several small fires have already hit your desk. But if you will take 15 minutes the night before to plan your day, you will get twice as much done, and more importantly, you’ll get the most important things done.

By the way, it doesn’t matter what kind of to-do list you have, as long as you have one. If you walk into your office without a to-do list and time blocked out in your calendar to accomplish them, they won’t happen.

When you take time to write out what you need to accomplish, you’re saying, “My time is valuable and the tasks I need to accomplish are valuable as well.” This will carry over into the kind of work you produce and how you value your time and the time of others.

Tip #5: Triage What Needs to Get Done

I have a limited amount of time to accomplish a huge amount of tasks. This requires me to decide what gets done, delegated, delayed, or deleted.

1. What gets Done – this is the stuff that is most important on my list. It is the stuff that only I can do.

2. What gets Delegated – anything that someone else can do. The general rule is that if a person can do a task 75% as well as you, it should be delegated.

3. What gets Delayed – there are things that I need to do, but they aren’t a priority. So they get delayed until I can give them the proper time. This is especially true of things that you need to do but aren’t time sensitive.

4. What gets Deleted – This is the nonsense that comes across my desk. This is the stuff that has no benefit engaging in (i.e. answering an irate email from a person who’s mind you aren’t going to change).

I look at everything I have to do through this lens. The truth is, you’re probably doing too much. This has helped me sort through everything that comes my way.

If these tips have been helpful to you definitely check out my FREE Ebook, “The Productive Pastor” for additional blessings…

A Pastor’s Time Machine

Life is getting busier and busier.  Some of us wish we could jump into one of these to get it all done:

Pastors Time Machine

There are more and more things to distract us and here’s the hard truth…

Sometimes Pastors can be the worst time managers.

In reality, the nature of our calling demands that we be excellent managers of out time. So this week I’m going to share a few time management tips that have helped me be more productive in the same amount of time.  Basically these are the next best thing to time travel…

Tip #1: Bundle similar tasks together

If you have 5 calls to make, make them one after the other. This way, you don’t spend too much time on each call. You are able to give each call the time time it deserves without chewing the fat for an hour and getting behind on your work.

The same thing is true for email, letters, touching base with staff, and writing letters – bundle the items together and you will see how much more productive you are. The reason? Because with each task you pick up speed and get through all of these items more quickly.

Also, I don’t bug my staff over every little thing I think of. I keep a notepad of my desk with their names on them and when I get a few items on there I get up and walk into their offices and share the 3-5 things I needed to talk to them about. This way it gives me some face time with them (and I’m acting like a hermit in my office) and it allows me to share what I need to without spending all day talking.

Bundle up – try it… you’ll love it because you’ll accomplish more in less time.

Tip # 2 Manage your energy

Understanding your own rhythms is one of the best ways to get a lot done in a normal work day. Like many people, I have most of my creative energy in the morning, so I never book appointments in the morning (except our weekly staff meeting). This time I use to write, study, research, and create.

Afternoons are when I’m at my creative lowest, so I use that time to have meetings, return email, write thank you cards, and clean my office.

The point is, you have to manage your energy wisely or you’ll find things that are low priority taking your best energy.

Later this week I’ll give you a couple more tips on saving time.  Until then you can chow down on my FREE Ebook, “The Productive Pastor,” if you still find yourself time starved…