Can I trust your church?

The latest Nielsen study showed one of the most effective forms of advertising is a recommendation from someone you know:  at 84% up from 78% in 2013.

The reason:  In the ever-expanding world of the net, TRUST is paramount.

That is why platforms like Facebook and Instagram are so important for spreading the word about your church.  They provide your congregation with the opportunity to recommend their church to everyone they know.

The question is:  How are you helping your congregation reach their friends? 

Let me give you three things that you can do:

1)   Post pictures from your service.  Some people think taking a picture is going to ruin the vibe or is making something spiritual worldly…this is just false.  God wants people to know about what He is doing in your church.  Theologians have argued that the rise of the Roman empire coincided with Jesus’ birth because our sovereign God wanted a way for His gospel to spread quickly.   Today God in his sovereignty has allowed the internet and platforms like Facebook to exist because they help spread the gospel.  As Christians we need to leverage them as such and not focus on how the world is using them.

2)   Post Pictures and Graphics with your Address and Service Times.  People post all kinds of things and they fail to communicate the most basic.  It’s great that you show all the things that are happening at your church but if people don’t know where they need to go to be a part of it, no one will show up. Here’s a couple examples we’ve used that our congregation has been able to share:

IG examples

3)   On Sunday encourage the congregation to share during the week.  In the same way that we have to be clear with people who we want to come to our church, we have to be clear with our congregation about how they can participate.   Most people want to share the good news but think about a million different things every day. Be clear and tell them how they can do it.

To help you maximize your social media impact, we created this 5 Step Social Media Strategy.

Get it free here:


10 Church Budget Tips

Below are 10 tips that we use in preparing a yearly budget:

#1 – Be realistic – I know you’re sure that outreach event is going to take your church from 200 to 2,000 in just one week, but why not look at your past and say, “We’ve grown by 25% each year, I think we can expect the same this upcoming year.”

#2 – Consider the church’s goals – What are you trying to accomplish this year? Are you seeking to do more with missions? Youth? Children? Marketing? All of these things needs to factor into your bottom line.

#3 – Think through your events and calendar – What events are you planning on having? Most events take some kind of budgetary consideration to happen. Also, this will help you not plan too much at the same time and allow you to manage your cash flow better. Too much going out all at once is never good!

#4 – Give your highest impact ministries the greatest priority – Ministry areas that are not vital to the mission of your church can become a money pit. For us, children’s ministry, worship, and teaching have always gotten our best time. attention, and resources.

#5 – Kill what isn’t working – Because we don’t like admitting defeat, we tend to want to sink money into ministry areas that aren’t working. Most of the time, ineffective ministries need a funeral.

#6 – Will this take more staff? – Factor people into the equation. The greatest asset of any church is the staff. You can be effective without technology (believe it or not). But without great people, it isn’t going to happen.

#7 – How is your current staff doing? – Did someone on your staff have a baby? Is there a need that you don’t know about? Talk to them and find where they are before you invest in someone else.

#8 – Look at what you spent your budget on last year – what are the areas you are going to cut? What areas do you want to invest in more. I bet you will be surprised on where all of it went. This happens personally and in church world.

#9 – Look out for the black hole called “Miscellaneous.” We have a decent sized budget that God has entrusted to us. But we never have more than $100 under miscellaneous expense. Anything that’s in there more than once is no longer miscellaneous. Look through these items and find where they fall under and have the staff plan for that expense next year.

#10 – Take a step of faith – we have always looked for God to do more this year than last year. So we plan our budget based on data, but then we always increase it a little more in faith. This isn’t a flippant thing. It’s something we pray about, but it has always stretched us as a staff.

If you want more ideas on how to run a tight ship without turning into the Titanic, you can get a resource I created called “The Cash Crunch” for free here:

Church Staff Compensation

The issue of staff compensation is one that comes up in every coaching network I lead.  There’s no doubt it’s a complex issue and there’s no one size fits all answer.

Having said that, there’s 3 questions that should drive all staff compensation discussions: 

1. What do you do?

2. How well do you do it?

3. What would it cost to replace you?

As far as I’m concerned, these are the most important compensation questions. One of my philosophies is that not every job is a career. While a custodian is an important job for any church with a building, it’s hard to feed a family of 5 on that salary. Why? Because that job was never meant to be a career.

That’s why assessing the position is so important. Then looking at their performance and then their value to the organization makes sense.

I believe we need to do the most with each dollar that’s entrusted to us. And with staffing being the line item that takes up the most dollars, we need to make sure we have the best staff possible.

Some pastors have asked:

“What about longevity in the organization? How important is that is determining compensation?”

I believe longevity has great value, but what’s of more value is the skills and leadership each individual brings to the table.

But here’s what’s most important about staff when it comes to compensation: are they growing with the organization? Because some staff can help a church get to a certain level effectively, but without continued learning and growth the organization grows beyond their ability to lead or make an impact.

So I’m always looking to see how staff are growing are developing themselves.

Of course, as the Senior Pastor I need to be creating opportunities for staff to grow, but they have to take those opportunities are develop as a result of them.

The bottom line is this: some people haven’t been on staff at a church for 5 years. They’ve been on staff at a church 1 year five times. They’ve repeated the same level of leadership and never grown beyond that.

Before you consider compensation, you’ve got to hire the best possible people.

To help you with that get a copy of my free Church Staffing Guide:

The Boy Who Cried “Micro-Manager!”

Let me just come out and say it: most leaders don’t micromanage. In fact, most people have no idea what micromanaging is.


Asking your graphics guy to design a flyer for an event and following up a few days later is not micromanaging.

Asking your graphics guy to design a flyer for an event and standing over him while he designs it and commenting on each color is micromanaging.

But let’s be honest: most Pastors aren’t standing over the shoulder of their staff. In fact, most Pastors suffer delegating to the point of abandonment (which is another problem all together).

I’ve learned that the people who cry, “Micromanagement” are under performers. They don’t want the boss checking in. If the boss does that enough, the truth with come out and they’ll be “blaming the bad economy” for their lack on employment (once again, another conversation).

So leaders, don’t shy away from managing because you’re afraid someone’s going to cry, “Micromanager!” Instead, manage your staff and leaders well. The key to keeping a staff engaged and performing on all 8 cylinders is to have the right people in the right positions and manage them well.

There are critical mistakes that Senior Pastors need to avoid, micro-managing is not one of them.

If you’re curious what the 5 Big Mistakes Senior Pastors Make actually are, get the free ebook below.

It could save a lot of headaches in the future…

The #1 Rule of Church Guest Follow Up

Easter is just days away and lots of first time guests will be at your church.

Also, many will make decisions to follow Jesus in your services.

Here’s my question: how will you help them come back next week?

Rule #1 for effective follow up is: Get contact information so you can follow up with them and help them take their first few spiritual steps.

Here’s the principle behind this rule: you can’t follow up with people you do not know. IF you have no contact info, you cannot so follow up.

So that’s why job #1 for us as church leaders is to make we have a mechanism for gathering contact information.

Next, you have to know how to USE that information.

Not knowing how to use the information is why most churches see new believers and newcomers slip through the cracks.

Good assimilation isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity if you’re serious about reaching your city and helping them grow to maturity.

In 2015 we saw 1,319 people make a first time decision to follow Jesus in our services (and we’re on track to beat that number in 2016).

We’re no stranger to seeing lots of new believers who need follow up and a strategic process for their spiritual growth.

Not all guests receive Christ the first time they step in your door.

So you have to know how to do follow up.

That’s why I put together this simple infographic with a follow up strategy for you.

It’s my free gift to you: