Author: Alex Purtell


Knowing what you should do as a leader in normal times is hard enough.

As you may have noticed, these aren’t normal times.

Trying to figure out what to do in the midst of a global crisis is so much more complicated.

So how do you cut through the mess and noise to chart a course that leads you into a better future?

Here’s a simple place to begin: start by asking the right questions. After all, the quality of the answers you get as a leader are determined by the quality of the questions you ask.

Ask better questions, you get much better answers and, as a result, a much better future.

The challenge is that it can be difficult to know which questions are the best questions to ask. In addition, you’ve got more agitated and angry voices than ever trying to tell you what to do (for more on that, see Pastors, Here’s Why Everyone’s So Mad At You Right Now).

So to help cut through the noise, here are five questions about the future that in my view, are the most helpful ones to be asking right now.

They’re questions I’m asking, and I think two years from now, they’ll turn out the be questions leaders who are making progress found themselves asking in this season.

1. How Much Of The Current Change Is Permanent?

People in the midst of a revolution often don’t realize they’re in the midst of a revolution.

It’s not like people woke up on November 1st, 1517—the day after Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to a cathedral door—and said “Hey, it’s day 2 of the Reformation.” No one knew the Reformation had started. They didn’t realize a seismic shift was underway that would change the course not just of the church, but of human history.

When carriages and horses first started being replaced by cars, or radio went from Marconi’s curious invention to the launch of KDKA in Pittsburgh in 1920 (America’s first radio station), no one realized this was the cusp of a massive and permanent cultural change. The first cars and first radios seemed like anomalies, until, of course, they weren’t.

Crisis is an accelerator, and many of the ‘temporary’ trends we’re seeing right now are likely more permanent than we realize.

The COVID disruption that started off as a medical disruption is now also accelerating cultural disruption. Work, school, shopping, entertainment and fitness (all of which has become more home-based or morphed in other ways) will never quite be the same again.

Neither will church.

Whether you and I like change or not is kind of irrelevant. Culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.

If you want more on what I see changing, these posts can help.

The Original 2020 is History: 7 New Disruptive Church Trends Every Leader Should Watch

Why Going Back to “Normal” church Seems So Compelling and Can Be So Dangerous

Avoid This Big Mistake: Stepping Back Into the Past When You Step Back Into Your Building

Leaders who see the future have a better chance of seizing it.

2. What Do I Now Have Permission To Stop Doing?

This is a fun question for most leaders.

Remember all those things pre-disruption you wished you weren’t doing but didn’t have the courage or energy to kill? Yep, now’s the time.

If you haven’t gone back to ‘normal’ yet, this is the time to redefine what normal is.

I’ve found that changing one big thing (like say a move to a new facility) can give you permission to change a lot more things.

It’s like moving from one era to another. People expect there will be change, dislocation and new things.

So often when we’ve gone through a big change, we’ll change a lot.

Hint: There’s never been a bigger disruption in our life-time. You’ve already stopped doing so much…only bring back those things are are mission-central as you move into the future.

Remember to focus on the why of change, not just the what and how. But if there was ever a time to change what wasn’t working, this is it.

If you’re wondering how to lead change without blowing up your organization or your own leadership, this might help.

3. What Would I Do If I Was Leading A Start-Up? 

It can be hard to transition an existing church or organization into a new future, but one helpful way to think about it is how you would approach things if you were a start-up.

Old models rarely do well in new eras.

If you were a brand new church plant, opening a new restaurant, launching a new business…how would you approach it?

That kind of thinking can be exceptionally clarifying.

For example, speaking at conferences and events was a big part of my life pre-COVID. Like many people, I haven’t been in a plane since March 2020.

With COVID still surging and mandatory quarantines in place where I live for returning visitors, I don’t know when I’ll be back on a plane again or speaking in person.

If you were launching out as a speaker right now, well, how would you behave?

If you were launching a church right now, what would your strategy be?

Or say you were opening a new restaurant, how much would you focus on indoor dining v. take out, delivery and patio space? Or helping people create their own food experiences?

Once you know the answer to that question, go there.

For me, we’ve written in-person speaking out of our future plans indefinitely, launched a second podcast (which doesn’t, of course, require travel) and done any speaking events I accept digitally instead. At this point, it doesn’t matter when in-person speaking at events will be feasible again. We don’t need it.

Existing organizations who behave like start ups will have a much better future than organizations that don’t.

You can bet the future on things changing, or you can change. The second is a much wiser strategy.

4. Where Are We Seeing Real Momentum?

This is another fun question.

It might feel like you have no momentum anywhere, but that won’t be true for most organizations. (If it is true for you—that you have zero momentum anywhere— the problems are much deeper than a global crisis.)

You likely have momentum somewhere, and chances are it’s happening somewhere different than it did before.

Pay attention.

Example: you might be hyper-focused on getting people back in the building because that’s where you historically had momentum. You can end up being so fixated on trying to manufacture momentum where you used to have it that you completely miss that your YouTube channel is growing quickly and you have a far bigger open rate on your emails than in the past.

And when someone points out that you’re growing your open and subscriber rates, you dismiss them because it’s not where you want to see momentum.

Continue that for long, and you become the c.2003 music industry executive focused on CD sales who keeps ignoring the 20-year-old who are focused on streams that keep growing while your CD sales keep dropping.

Streams aren’t real”  you tell yourself, and make fun of people who don’t want to ‘own’ their music or have a physical copy of it.

Soon, you’re staring out the window watching the future pass you buy.

You probably have momentum somewhere.

Study it. Try to figure it out. Ask yourself why that’s growing and how you can leverage it to reach more people.

If you want to get your mission going, fuel what’s growing, not what’s declining.

5. How Will I Find A Sustainable Pace? 

This one is really close to my heart.

I’m running into so many exhausted leaders right now.  I’ve been there.

One of the best questions (perhaps the best question) you can ask yourself is how you can find a sustainable pace.

As I shared in this post, most leaders look to time off to heal them.

The problem with that strategy is you can never have enough time off to recover from ridiculously stressful, unattainable days.

Time off won’t heal you when the problem is how you spend time on.

A decade into leadership, I went through a season of burnout that was so intense I thought I was finished. By the grace of God, I wasn’t. But I’ll never forget how painful it was. (If it’s helpful, here are 11 signs you might be burning out.)

My heart for leaders is that you find a sustainable pace heading into year two of the crisis that will give you the regular rest and renewal you need.

My formula for staying out of burnout for the last decade a half can be summed up in this phrase: live in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow. 

Most leaders live in a way that will make them struggle tomorrow: too many hours, not enough sleep, poor diet, too little exercise, and failing to nurture life-giving friendships. Living that way slid me into burnout.

So as you move forward, ask yourself: what changes can you make spiritually, emotionally, relationally, physically and even financially (financial stress is stress) that can help you thrive moving forward?

If the crisis is a long term thing, which it appears to be, you need a longer term strategy for personal renewal.

Time off isn’t the solution for an unsustainable pace. A sustainable pace is the solution for an unsustainable pace.

Original article appeared here

Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church. He’s the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, Didn’t See It Coming, and speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth.

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast and Carey’s blog at are accessed by millions of leaders each year.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

4 Questions I Ask My Team on a Regular Basis

In a survey reported in Forbes magazine, staff members and subordinates were asked what they wished their boss would do better. The number one answer by far:

Communicate with me.”

Here’s the funny thing, I bet those leaders are communicating with their team members. They just aren’t talking about the right things.

If you lead a paid staff or work with large numbers of volunteers who serve in “staff” type roles, you are leading a team.

So what would your team say about your communication with them?

If our only communication with our team is about what WE want to talk about then they probably do complain about us. They don’t just want to hear what we have to say, they want to be able share as well. They don’t want to just talk about “work”, they want to know that you care about them as an individual.

So, let me share with you 4 questions that I ask my team on a regular basis.

1. How Are You Doing in Life: Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically, Intellectually? 

This is more than the trite “how are you doing” that we might ask while passing someone in the hallway. I genuinely want you to unpack for me your current spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual state.

Sometimes their answer is “I’m doing great” and that’s enough. But over time I’ve had the opportunity to help hold them accountable to some physical fitness or dietary goals, recommend a book that would help with an emotional issue they were walking through, or walk them through a season of difficulty.

2. What Do I Need To Know About The Areas That You Lead?

This can include so many things.

Maybe they had a recent “win” that they want to celebrate with me, or maybe there is a volunteer causing trouble and they aren’t sure how to handle it. Perhaps they are considering a change in curriculum or have a budget concern.

No matter what it is, this is my way of keeping a pulse on their area before larger problems arise and I might be caught off-guard.

3. What Are You Working On Right Now?

This is more than a micromanagement question.

I’m not as concerned with if they are returning emails as I am that they are managing their present responsibilities with an eye toward future endeavors that will help us be successful.

Depending on their answer I may be able to redirect their efforts toward things that will serve us better.

4. How Can I Help You? 

Not every leader is comfortable asking this question.

They think it makes them look weak, gives authority to those under them or exposes a flaw in the leadership.

However, the opposite is actually true. It requires strength to admit that you may have made a mistake or overlooked something, or to position yourself as a servant to those you lead.

The answers to these questions help me know my team better. Over time they come to know that I’m genuinely interested in them. They open up to me. They trust me.

What more can I ask for!

Does all of this seem like A LOT?

It actually is a lot. Frankly, it’s too much to do alone. That’s why at CourageToLead we believe, “Every Leader Needs a Coach”…because no leader can do it all alone!

Let’s set up a call with one of our coaches to talk through leading your team and organization through re-entry.

It’s simple, click the button below, schedule a time that works for you, fill out a brief application and show up to your call…we’ll handle the rest!

Original article appeared here

Jeremy Isaacs is a coach at CourageToLead. He serves as Lead Pastor of Generations Church in metro Atlanta. He has been coaching pastors since 2014 and has written 2 books including “Toxic Soul: A Pastor’s Guide to Leading without Losing Heart”. He has a BA in Christian Ministry from Lee University and a MA in Theological Studies from Liberty Baptist Seminary. He goes on #Fri-Dates with his wife Corrie and on Saturdays sits with her on the sidelines of sporting events.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

5 Key Leadership Traits of a Great Campus Pastor

The concept of the campus pastor is a genius kind of idea.

For more than a decade, the roles and responsibilities of a campus pastor have been innovated by hundreds of leading multi-site churches.

Campus pastors, while many are very capable communicators, they focus more on leadership and shepherding than on teaching and preaching.

The weekend sermon from the primary communicator is broadcast to all campuses. The senior pastor or a small teaching team typically carries that responsibility, thereby saving time for the campus pastors to invest more in the people of their campus.

Some multi-site churches choose live teaching nearly every week by their campus pastors. But in these cases, they meet as a team and construct the sermon together which accomplishes similar goals. First, the team makes the sermon better, and second, it gets it done faster. (Saves time.)

The multi-site model is efficient. It has the potential for incredible stewardship of time and talent.

The word efficient doesn’t sound very warm and fuzzy. It’s not a relational word. But the more efficient your church is, the more relational it is because you have more time for people.

The word inefficient, on the other hand, is a word that relational or not, no leader likes to hear. It wastes time and energy. A key question is: How do we design systems to invest more time in the things that really matter?

Effective is the idea that trumps both efficient and inefficient. Measurable progress, according to the goals of the vision, is the bottom line of effective leadership.

Effective campus pastors are a formidable force for good.

Because campus pastors are typically not required to do things like write sermons, deal with the overall church budget, and oversee administrative functions from buildings to leading a church board, they have more time to invest in people.

Don’t misunderstand; campus pastors are among the busiest leaders I’ve ever known, primarily because they do devote themselves to helping people grow spiritually and leadership development!

In the launch of a multi-site campus, there is nothing more important than your selection of the campus pastor.

Here are our choices for top leadership traits for campus pastors.

First, a quick list of assumed foundational characteristics, such as:

  • Humble
  • Godly character / Loves Jesus
  • Smart
  • Strong work ethic
  • Leadership drive

5 Key Leadership Traits of a Great Campus Pastor:

1) Team player 

A great campus pastor has an entrepreneurial spirit but can work within systems and flourishes on teams.

The entrepreneur in a great campus pastor gives them that edge that provides drive, ideas, and the courage to be the point leader.

Yet at the same time, they are willing to listen, take ideas and direction from others, and play team ball. Candidly, that’s not a typical combination of skill and attributes.

It’s common for leaders with drive and courage to want to be out on their own, but this unique person sees the potential of what can be accomplished through teamwork. They understand how their willingness to join a team can often advance the Kingdom in more significant and faster ways.

2) Developer of leaders

The best campus pastors are quick to roll up their sleeves and jump into the messiness, pain, and struggles of everyday life with people.

However, they are keenly aware that they must protect time to train and equip quality volunteers for ministry. Ephesians 4:11-12 makes that clear. (Equip the people for ministry.)

The best campus pastors develop other leaders. They are very good at identifying potential leaders and developing them to the point where significant responsibilities can be entrusted and released.

Surprisingly, the art of empowerment can be so difficult. It’s one thing to develop a leader; it’s quite another actually to trust them to lead and give them the keys. Great campus pastors do that every day.

3) Shepherd’s heart and strong people skills

As I just mentioned, great campus pastors jump in quickly to help people. The focus is spiritual growth, but sometimes the need is more basic, for example, a parent is struggling with one of their kids. No one campus pastor can meet all the needs, but they possess a heart that causes them to do for one what they desire to do for many.

In addition to a shepherd’s heart, the importance of strong natural people skills can’t be overestimated.

The ability of a campus pastor to connect quickly with all kinds of people, love them, and care about them is essential. 

Campus pastors think fast, but they intentionally slow down to see and meet the needs of people, including carrying an evangelistic zeal into the community to reach people.

Loving people is at the core of a great campus pastor.

4) Vision wins over a passion for communicating

At 12Stone Church, all of our campus pastors are skillful communicators, and most really love to teach. But their vision to reach people is greater than their passion for communicating regularly.

(This does not mean that teaching and reaching more people are mutually exclusive. I’m merely focusing on the characteristics that make a great campus pastor.)

Let me give an example where all campus pastors are required to be good communicators. They cast the overall vision of the church at their respective campus. They do this on the platform as well as other gatherings at their campus.

It is not necessary for all great campus pastors to be strong vision creators, but all must communicate the vision and be outstanding vision carriers into the lives of the people at their campus.

5) Cultivates and transfers church culture

The ability to embrace and transfer the true culture of the church is one of the most sophisticated and necessary skills of a campus pastor.

This ability is needed both on the platform during the worship services and throughout the week with leaders and the congregation in general.

This, of course, works best when the church’s culture is healthy and clear to everyone.

This takes strategic and intentional effort from the top leaders and everyone on the team. It carries three distinct elements.

First, the entire staff must care about the culture, and all agree upon the key values.

Second, the campus pastor must intentionally cultivate that culture, including enhancing the good and eliminating what is not desirable.

Third, the results are that the culture is noticeably present and healthy in every campus.

I’d love to know what you think.

What would you add or delete from this list of five? 

Original article appeared here

Dan Reiland is Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. To read more of Dan’s articles, click here

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

5 Predictions About The Future Church As We Move Through COVID-19

Not only has the coronavirus pandemic radically changed the world, but it’s also radically changed how churches operate and function. Even has some places around the country have or are about to slowly ease some restrictions, churches will be facing a new reality. How will churches function in whatever new normal lies ahead?

To that end, based on trends I’m seeing and conversations I’ve had, here are five predictions about what I think will happen with the Church as we navigate the effects of COVID-19.

1. Some (or many) will disengage

Due to the interrupted rhythms life caused by the coronavirus, churches will see some people disengage, even when churches are able to resume gathering again. Some will drop off without intending too as they simply got used to spending their time differently. In addition, the less likely someone is to practice any spiritual disciplines, the more likely this is to happen.

Others will disengage due to the type or style of church they were a part of before. If faith is seen more as something you do to get healthy, wealthy, and wise, the churches where that is taught will struggle. After all, this pandemic has done anything but deliver us those things.

These are just two of a number of reasons why some, or many depending on its people and the type of church it is, will disengage. And while this isn’t something we would want. I would encourage pastors and church leaders not to focus their efforts on trying to retain those who want to walk away for superficial reasons. But more on that in a minute.

2. Some (or many) will engage for the first time

The good news about churches moving fully online for a short time is twofold. For one, churches are being forced to take engaging people online seriously. This is a very good thing.

Second, it is enabling many churches to reach and connect with people they never would have before. Add to the fact that this pandemic is opening many people’s eyes to the need for true hope and grace, and there will be many people who were disinterested in faith now seeking out the hope that Jesus provides.

This means that churches will have people engage and connect with them for the first time. How many will depend on things like how active they are online during this time, how many of their people are sharing and engaging their content, and the type of content and resources they produce.

Not that New City Church where I lead is the best example, but we have increased not just spiritual and faith-building content, but also fun and engaging content as well. If people are looking for hope, we want to provide it. If people are looking for a laugh and a distraction from everything that is going on, we want to provide that too. We believe God will use both types of content to connect us with people far from him.

If you want to see what we have been doing, connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

3. Your faithful core will determine the health of your church

One of my biggest prayers during this time is that God would grant our church a faithful core of people (regardless of the number) who love Jesus and are ready and willing to honor and serve Him. I’m not worried about how many people that would be, but simply that God would use this time to give us a strong core desiring to realign our lives with His purposes.

This is where I believe pastors and church leaders should focus their efforts and their prayers.

Knowing that some will drop off and some will new people will check things out for the first time, we should care and pray for everyone to seek after Jesus. But we can’t be all things to all people. We need to take this time to see what adjustments God might want us to make so that we can be in the best position to utilize those who want to be a part of God’s mission.

What does it look like to build up those most committed to honoring God and loving those He has placed in their lives? What rhythms of prayer, worship, generosity, or service do you want to encourage your faithful core to pursue?

In John 15 Jesus states, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.”

Now is a great time for churches to figure out what changes they need to make to produce better fruit in the future. The health of our churches is determined by those who are the most committed. Let’s not waste this opportunity to decide what changes or tweaks need to be made not to help us cater to the masses, but to those who will drive the mission.

4. People will continue to give generously if they believe in the mission

One of the biggest fears for churches once things began to shutdown in March was around finances. Most churches are already in tight financial positions, so how long will it before they would have to close their doors?

I know this was a big concern for New City. We had just moved into a bigger building and were only able to meet in it for two Sundays before we had to close things down. How would we make our budget now that we can’t meet anymore plus the fact that we wouldn’t see any numerical growth due to the shut down?

And yet, we still hit our projected income in March and exceeded it in April. As I talked to other pastors, some have reported the same thing happening in their churches.

How is that possible?

I believe it’s because people will always support a mission they believe in. Times like this show everyone that we are not in control as well as how desperately people need to know God. To be clear, this doesn’t mean giving won’t start going down if the economy continues its downward trend, but it does mean that faithful churches with faithful people won’t dissappear overnight.

The more churches make Jesus the mission and not any other agenda, the more likely that they will be financially stable. People aren’t going to give to false hope and self-help programs. But they will give to things that promote real life change.

5. Counter-culture churches will thrive

COVID-19 only makes more real what has always been true; counter-culture churches will thrive. Churches that faithfully teach the good news of the Gospel and Scripture will always be around. Even in places in China or Iran where many churches are run underground; the Church has seen massive growth. In places like America or Europe, where contemporary values often couldn’t be more different than Biblical ones, it is the liberal (theologically) churches and mainline denominations that are seeing the fastest decline.

Churches that lovingly teach the good news of Christ and call people to His standard will thrive, regardless of how large or influential the church might be in the community.

Theologian David Wells says that “Worldliness is that system of values…which makes sin look normal and righteousness seem strange.” Because of that, you would think churches that pursue Jesus instead of worldliness would then die out. After all, a group of people who don’t celebrate what culture at large celebrates would eventually be at least shunned out of existence, right? But the data shows us the opposite is true.

Now is the time to faithfully follow Jesus. The people and the churches that are willing to do that and trust in Him during this hard time are the people and churches God will use as we move forward.

Let’s not just survive, let’s thrive

Original article appears here

Dylan Dodson is from Raleigh, NC. Married to Christina, and has two kids, Finley & Roman. He’s a big sports fan, likes to read and learn, and spend time with people. He serves as the lead pastor of New City Church and resource church planters through Practical Church Planting.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

The Top 3 Qualities in a Youth Ministry Hire

Someone once asked me, “Jonathan, we’re looking for a new youth pastor. What would you look for in a youth pastor?”

What would you say?

Good speaker?

Kids like them?


(Those are the ones I hear from people frequently.)

To be honest (see what I did there?), none of those three above make my top three. Sure, they’re great qualities. In fact, being “organized” is probably the fourth most important quality on my list. It’s very important…but not as important as these three below.

Here are the top three qualities I’m looking for in a leader, and some ways you can test to see if they have them. Then…what is the top quality you look for? (Chime in, in the comments.)

1. Humility/Teachability
The first thing I look for in any interview is humility. When I ask questions, do they come across like they know all the answers, or as someone who is a fellow learner? (Because I’m still learning, so I’d rather work with others who are still learning.) In fact, do they demonstrate an eagerness to learn (not just a willingness)? Do they want a mentor? Are they open to suggestions?

One way I seek to discover this is by asking behavior-based questions, asking for examples from past behavior. I might ask, “Tell me a lesson you learned the hard way this last year.” Or, “What is something you learned from a mentor recently that you were able to apply in your ministry?” In fact, when I call their references, I’d ask them specifically for examples of teachability they noticed in this person.

Why such the big focus on humility?

Because humility trumps everything! I know, it almost sounds counterintuitive. But Jesus taught this, laying out the cause/effect relationship between humility and leadership (Matthew 5:5). Jesus also modeled this (John 13). Humble leaders are the best leaders. In fact, humility is actually the key to Christianity—the admission that we can’t do it on our own and we need a savior. Those who don’t humble themselves are rather shortsighted. Humility is unavoidable. If we humble ourselves, we’ll be exalted. If we exalt ourselves, we’ll be humbled (Matt 23:12).

Do they need Jesus? Do they demonstrate this?

Watch out for the person who thinks, “I’ve got this humility thing handled!”

2. Reliability
Does this person’s yes mean yes (Matthew 5:37)?

This trait is rapidly becoming extinct in our world. I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they’ll do something…and nothing happens. They don’t even think twice about it. “I didn’t have time.” “Something came up.”

I always just want to reply, “No, you just don’t come through whenever it gets tough!” (Psalm 15:4)

A good way to test this is give them some small tasks as part of the application process. Ask them their preferred method of contact, then contact them that way and see when they respond. Ask them how soon they can complete an application and then note when they actually turn it in. Make an appointment with them (if they’re local), show up early and note what time they get there. If someone shows up late to an interview…that is an omen, my friend!

The best way to test this is to start by hiring people in a temporary position and observe how they work. This isn’t always possible if you want to hire someone from New York and you live in Texas. But even then, I’ve seen churches hire a position for one year, with full disclosure that they will re-evaluate at the end of the first year.

We need people who will actually do what they said they’d do.

 3. A Team Player
Does this person play nice with others? Do they have a history of building a team of leaders around them, or do they like to do it alone…“because if you want something done right you have to do it yourself!” Do they see the importance of recruiting volunteers?

A huge part of this is the ability to recruit and equip volunteers…a skill completely unrecognized and devalued in many ministry circles. Has this person ever done the math and realized they can get more done if they can delegate to others (the second most important quality of a leader according to Forbes).

Ask this person, “Tell me about the last team of people you worked with.” “What did you like/dislike about working with them?” “How many volunteers did you start with…and did you end up with?”

Don’t hire the Lone Ranger (I’m showing my age with that example).


These are just the top three. I also value work-ethic (are they a self-starter), organizational skills, ability to teach…and do they like deep dish pizza instead of that skinny stuff you have to fold over?

These three above give me insight to the foundation of our faith—loving God and loving others. It starts with humility and dependency on God, then integrity, then flows to how well they treat others.

What about you?
What are the qualities you look for?

How do you discover these?

Original article appears here

Jonathan McKee is the president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over 20 books, including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed KidSex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller – The Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By TeenagersConnectand the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife, Lori, and their three kids live in California.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

Before You Hire That Staff Person: 8 Red Flags

As staff recruiting in ministry world continues to evolve and become more competitive and sophisticated in recent years, churches and recruiting firms have developed a keen sense of red flags during the recruiting process that relate to whether a candidate is a good fit for your church or not. Those red flags may be a bit different from church to church, but there are many red flags that are fairly consistent across the board.

Now a red flag doesn’t necessarily mean that a church should stop recruiting a candidate, even though that’s very possible, but it is a cause for concern and gives reason to hit the breaks on the speed of the process and dig deeper with the candidate.

So after being on both sides of recruiting, both being recruited and recruiting a number of hires, here are some of the biggest church staff recruiting red flags.

Candidates That Are Overly Concerned With the Opportunity to Teach

If teaching is really important to the candidate and you’re not hiring them to a teaching role then don’t hire them. Let them go plant or pastor their own church.

Candidates That Are Indecisive

If they need to go date other churches then let them. Just don’t marry them.

Candidates That Freely Speak Negatively of Their Current Church

If they talk badly about their current church, they may have a difficult time taking personal ownership and as a result have a low E.Q. And by the way, if they talk badly about others, they’ll probably talk badly about you. 

Candidates That Don’t Ask Good Questions

If they don’t ask good questions, they’re not going to be a very critical thinker or strategic and will have a hard time moving the ministry forward at your church.

Candidates That Treat People They Have Nothing to Gain From Poorly

If they only treat people with perceived power and influence well (those they seem to gain something from) and overlook others, or even worse treat them poorly, then they have a serious character defect that will hurt your team.

Candidates That Are Too Eager

If they are too eager to jump ship and join your team then they’re probably running from something or chasing something; either way they’ll have a hard time leading in the here and now if they join your team.

Candidates With an Overbearing Spouses

I know you’re not hiring their spouse, you’re hiring them, but sharp people typically marry sharp people. If their spouse is overbearing, you’re probably going to want to pass.

Candidates That Change Jobs Too Often

If they have a track record of changing jobs every few years, chances are they’ll leave you soon too.

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Paul Alexander, a ministry consultant at the Unstuck Group and has more than 20 years of experience serving in the local church. He has served on the Sr. Leadership Teams of some of the nation’s leading mega-churches. Currently, Paul is serving as the Executive Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church, a large multi-site church located in the Phoenix area.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

8 Tips for Planning Family Ministry in Another Year of Unknowns

It is January again. It is time for New Year resolutions and meticulous planning. Or at least that is what we used to do. Way back in January 2020, none of us had any idea what the year held. As we begin 2021, how do we make plans for our children’s and student ministries? 

  • Calendar the best you can with the info you have now. It is tempting to make no plans because everything is so unknown. But God desires for His ministry to keep moving forward. I believe in planning optimistically, while being realistic as well. We are planning on normal summer activities resuming for our kids and students, but we are in a state with few restrictions. Maybe the wise thing for you is to plan for a modified version of “normal.”


  • Remain fluid. As we all learned in 2020, just because something is on the calendar, doesn’t mean it is going to happen. Hold onto all plans lightly and perhaps have a “Plan B” in mind.


  • Don’t procrastinate. Sometimes I find myself delaying making detailed plans because I’ve grown accustomed to cancelations and shutdowns. Be proactive, even when you aren’t entirely sure what is going to happen.


  • Be positive. People are tired of all of this. People are very divided among a number of lines. As ministry leaders, one of the most impactful things we can do right now is to shine the light and hope of Jesus brightly. Yes, you may face discouragement too. But you must lead from a place of hope. God works all things for good, even pandemics and an upside down world.


  • Don’t resume an event just because it has always been on the calendar. As you evaluate resuming ministries that you couldn’t do this past year, make sure you sincerely ask if they have to be done or do they have to be done the same way. If you have traditionally done a VBS that very few people come to, is there a better way to do it? If your student camp has become very expensive, this may be the time to search for an alternative.


  • Communicate very clearly with your families. Let them know ASAP which dates to reserve on their calendars, but also be very clear that all plans will be dependent on the circumstances at the time. People are tired of hearing this kind of statement, but unfortunately it is our world right now. 


  • Be very familiar with cancellation and refund policies. Don’t book a camp or order a curriculum without fully understanding what will happen if circumstances change. Also, determine refund policies for money families may pay for camps, supplies, etc. 


  • Keep people connected. 2021 may have more seasons of shut down and online services. Make it one of your number one priorities to keep families connected to the church and to each other. Regularly send postcards and make phone calls. Build community through Facebook groups, Instagram, and group chats. 

I am praying for a much less tumultuous year for all of our churches. Even more, I am praying for God to use all of these unusual circumstances to build His kingdom and draw people to Him. Leaders, I am cheering for you as you navigate another year of unknowns. God is bigger and His kids and teenagers still need Him! Let’s see what He does in 2021.

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Jenny serves as Minister to Children at West Bradenton Baptist Church in Bradenton, Florida. She is passionate about equipping the church to disciple children to follow Jesus. Jenny also  loves investing in other children’s ministry leaders.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!

7 Things 2020 Has NOT Changed About Leadership

This has been a frustrating year in leadership. 2020 has been challenging for all of us. It has been especially challenging for leaders trying to navigate their organizations through it. That includes pastors and the church. Yet, as I reflect on some of the decisions I have personally had to make this year, I realize some things 2020 didn’t change about leadership.

Some things have always been a part of leadership.

7 things 2020 didn’t change about leadership:

Uncertainty. This isn’t the first time leaders have faced uncertain times. Sure, this year has caused us to make decisions we’ve never made before, but that is not a new leadership phenomenon. In fact, leadership by definition is leading into uncertain futures.

Necessity of risk. Honestly, I feel like some of us may have gotten too comfortable prior to COVID-19. It became easy to work our systems and programs, and even if growth had plateaued, budgets were being met and people were satisfied. But status quo will never realize new growth. Risk is always a part of the getting to the next level of progress.

Need for innovation. One of the funniest quotes I ever read is something Andy Andrews has written. “Think about this: we put men on the moon before we thought to put wheels on luggage.” Leadership by definition has always required that we be innovating as we discover what’s around the corner for our teams.

Diverse reactions to decisions made. Every decision ever made by a leader has made some people really happy and some people not. Again, that’s Leadership 101.

New opportunities for growth. Growth seldom comes without an intentional effort. It requires strategy planning, goal-setting, and diligent efforts on behalf of a team working together. 2020 has given us plenty of chances for that.

Greater success comes from collaboration. “With many advisors plans succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22) The pandemic forced many of us leaders to reach out for help, form teams, and work together – things great leaders have always done.

Need for healthier rhythms. Whew. Are you as tired as I am at the end of 2020? If anything resonates with leaders today it is that they are challenged more than any other year in leadership. I am not sure this will ever completely disappear – or that it’s ever not been the case. One thing is certain, however, even when things return to whatever normal looks like in the future we will need healthy rhythms to keep leading well.

What else has NOT changed about leadership in 2020?

I am not pretending this hasn’t been an unusual year. It is (at least one of) the most difficult I’ve experienced in leadership. But one thing it has done is expose to us what we’ve always known. We need good leaders – and good leadership.

Nate and I have finished our fall semester at the Ron Edmondson Leadership Podcast. New episodes will begin in early 2021. Subscribe now so you don’t miss the next one.

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Ron Edmondson has been a consultant and coach, for almost 20 years helping thousands of leaders and organizations get better. He served as CEO of Leadership Network and as a pastor. Over 20 years ago, he founded a non-profit ministry called Mustard Seed Ministry. Find him on Instagram at Edmondson , Twitter at and Facebook at

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!


Did 2020 cause you to stop dreaming, to stop thinking big?  

It has for many. 

It’s why a setback can be a big opportunity. 

While many have stopped dreaming, you still can. 

It’s why we’re encouraging every pastor to re-engage with thinking big and envisioning what could be in 2021. 

That’s what followers of Jesus do.


Jeff Henderson of the FOR Company says,

We own a space in the land of possibility.

We lease a space in the land of reality.

We don’t deny reality but we don’t let reality define us.


Begin your envisioning process of thinking big and crafting plans to bring those thoughts to reality.

Craft your plans because a dream without a plan of action is a nightmare. 

Step ONE: Reflect on 2020. 

Ok, I know. No one wants to spend time reflecting on 2020. 

But carving out time to process these questions will be a great first step toward your 2021 planning. 

Start with the following questions to guide your reflection (with a minimum of 10 minutes). Set a timer for ten minutes, and start reflecting now.

Don’t procrastinate.

  • What were three wins in 2020? 

  • List seven events, people or memories you are grateful for in 2020. 

  • In what area of your life do you have the most momentum? 

  • How can you keep that momentum in 2021? 

  • What is the most positive habit in your life at the moment? 

  • What one habit do you wish you could change in 2021? 

  • Who is sharpening you to be the person you want to become, and how can you spend more time with them in 2021?

  • What one thing, if it got better, would make the biggest difference in 2021?


After just ten minutes, you will have taken a big step forward toward making 2021 a great year.

As you’re reflecting on 2020 what can you learn about how you engage with people who are not like you and how you are making disciples?

In my ten minutes of reflecting, I thought of those who are sharpening me to be the person I want to become. 

So take TEN and own space in “the land of possibility.” 

And while you’re at it, take an additional 90 seconds and check out the FOR page. Does your community know what your church is FOR? Jeff can help you with that. 

Original article appears here

Bob Jones is the founder of, an author, blogger, and coach with 39 years of pastoral experience. Bob is also an Advance Coach with the ABNWT Resource Centre. You can connect with Bob here.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!


While you’re probably amazed you’ve (almost) survived 2020 as a leader, if you’re thinking ahead like most leaders, you realize 2021 is just around the corner.

How on earth do you plan in an environment like this?

While no one knows the future, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.

And while I have no greater insight into the future than you do, here are 7 things I’m planning around as 2021 approaches. I’ll also share a short action step with each insight.

2020 hasn’t turned out how anyone thought it would, and wise leaders won’t be quick to assume that 2021 will be any better, as much as we’d all love it to be.

I really hope this helps. Note: While the first three feel negative (and we’ve all had enough negative), please don’t skip them. There is hope.

Here’s the promise: Leaders who prepare to lead in the real world tend to find greater success than leaders who prepare for an ideal world that doesn’t exist.

With that in mind, here are 7 things every leader should be preparing for now as 2021 approaches.

1. Uncertainty

Being a recovering control freak myself, I love predictability. Right now, nothing is really predictable.

Leading through uncertainty—in this case, prolonged uncertainty—requires a whole new skill set.

If you want to position yourself to lead well in the midst of uncertainty, develop your agility and flexibility.

Those two attributes will help you respond as things continue to change.

If you’re wondering how to become more agile and flexible as a leader and organization, this will help.

2. Instability

Uncertainty is one thing. It removes your ability to see what’s ahead and around.

Instability is different. Instability means that the present circumstances are volatile and unsteady. They just keep changing all the time.

Think about the return to church for most leaders. Most church leaders thought people would surge back to in-person worship. That hasn’t happened.

And now most church leaders who have reopened for physical gatherings find themselves caught in the trap of having inadequate resources to do both online and in-person services well. Worse, you’re trying to figure out where everyone went.

One of the best ways to lead through instability is to pour more resources into what’s gaining traction and removing resources from what isn’t.

The best way to create future momentum is to pour resources into anything that’s producing current momentum. That’s why restaurants are beefing up takeout and drive-thrus, Hollywood is releasing direct to your devices, gyms are moving to outdoor classes and churches are investing more and more in online experiences.

In an unstable environment, when you find momentum, fuel it. And keep experimenting.

3. Economic Strangeness

I wanted to call this economic ‘volatility,’ but that would be too charitable.

The economy right now is just, well, strange. It’s been a very uneven year. The poor have gotten poorer, the rich have become richer.

People are spending like there’s no tomorrow on luxury goods and real estate and also saving money at historic highs, while others on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum go broke.

Downtown cores are seeing commercial real estate vacancies soar, and the stock market is soaring to record heights. while whole sectors of the economy are on the verge of disappearing.

Who knows what’s going to happen next? And the US Presidential election just throws an extra measure of unpredictability into the mix.

My thought? We need to prepare for a season of deep savings and deep charity.

In 2021, organizations with good cash reserves will have the buffer both to keep going and to keep giving.

If you’re curious, I’ve asked many leaders on my Leadership Podcast what a decent cash reserve is, and the consensus is three to six months of expenses in the bank.

You can’t give what you don’t have.

4. Opportunity

In the midst of all of this is opportunity.

Great innovation is born out of great crisis.

Crisis is an accelerator, and many of the changes we’ve seen (the emerge of the home as the new hub for fitness, schooling, work, shopping, entertainment and church) were coming anyway, they just got here faster.

The very obstacle you’re fearing might be the greatest opportunity you’re facing. It all depends on how you look at it.

As Bobby Gruenewald shared at the Online Church Engagement Summit, YouVersion, the free bible app, was born out of his frustration of wishing he could read the Bible more when he was on the road (or in line at the TSA). 443 million downloads later, history is changed because of his solution to that problem. You can watch the ninety minute Summit on demand for free here.

So, what are you seeing? Obstacle or opportunity? The future belongs to those who find the opportunity.

5. Model Reboot

Along with finding the opportunity comes rebooting your model.

The longer the uncertainty and volatility continue, the more outdated your previous model as an organization becomes.

Long before the pandemic, the existing church model of in-person attendance in buildings was showing signs of ineffectiveness. You can look at this 2018 church trends post for more on that.

The crisis is accelerating both your opportunities and your need to change.

If there’s ever been a moment to rethink how you do what you do, it’s now.

Now more than ever, churches that love their model more than their mission will die.

6. Staff Reallocation

My guess is your staff and volunteers are positioned to lead in the old reality not the new reality that’s emerged.

But as what we all thought might be a temporary blip becomes a protracted crisis, it’s probably time to rethink how you allocate your staff. The half time ‘tech guy’ isn’t going to get you into the future. Nor is the tack on of  ‘website and social media’ to someone’s already full-time job description.

One way to think through the model reboot and staffing allocations is to ask yourself, “If we were launching today, what would we do?” Then go do it.

In a prolonged crisis, every organization that will prevail is acting like a start-up. So, act like a start-up.

7. Deeper Personal Reserves

I realize posts like this can blow up your life and make your already insufferably long to-do list longer. And many of you don’t even have the energy to think about doing this right now.

I get it.

I saved the most important until last, but the best thing you can do is deepen your personal reserves for the season ahead.

Maybe you’re thinking that time off will heal you (at Christmas, in February…whenever). I doubt it.

Time off won’t heal you when the problem is how you spend time on. When every day grinds you into the dust with long hours, you won’t make it to vacation.

The cure for an unsustainable pace is to create a sustainable pace.

For me, that means mastering the art of saying no, clearing my calendar, deciding to quit doing the things that aren’t working and building in margin to the every day.

If you think you can’t afford to do that, you’re wrong. You can’t afford not to do that.

Having burned out years ago, I know the pain burnout causes.

So here’s to deepening your personal reserves. (This will help). If you have deep reserves, tackling everything else in this post becomes not just easier, but doable.

Cheering for you.

Original article appears here

Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church. He’s the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, Didn’t See It Coming, and speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change and personal growth.

The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast and Carey’s blog at are accessed by millions of leaders each year.

Looking for a new position? Stop by and have a look at the jobs that are available! Ministry jobs are hard to come by and job hunting is no fun. We help ministry job seekers find their ideal role in their next ministry – for free! More than 6 million search for a job every day. Be found! Looking to list a job or an open position? We help churches and organizations get job openings in front of potential candidates. We have several plans and packages available. Today is the day!