[SPEW #4] Declining Health, Issue Christians, Pronouns, Change

Five Warning Signs of Declining Church Health – thomrainer.com

When I read this, it resonated with me, but the more I read, the more the 5 signs seemed superficial to me.  (OK, I know that my inner analyst says that about everything) – but Thom faithfully talks about symptoms that indicate declining health of a church.  This is what you see.  I would like to see a companion post about 5 signs that a church is recovering.  I may post about this in the future. 

Ed Stetzer – Why I Have No Difficulty Helping “Issue Christians” to Move On

Wow – I had no idea – how pervasive this was, or how much of a problem it could cause (see I really am just a lay person).  Interesting – while Ed is just happy to let them move on, my heart went straight to why does this issue get in their way.  I have been at a church where issue christians raised a stink about various things, (a whole chunk left the church over home schooling) but I had no idea of the magnitude of the phenomenon.  What can a church do, when it’s members become “issue-ish”, and what can we do to prevent this, or to help issue christians regain some “balance”. 

I have always thought that it was simply a case of “majoring” on the “minors’ – meaning taking one’s focus off of the core responsibilities of church and of mission, and micro-focusing on some peripheral aspect of it. 

Pronouns and discipleship | Think Christian

Interesting thoughts about how we talk.  How we talk to God, to each other, about our faith, our needs, our selves – apparently is an indicator for our maturity.  Scholarly ideas with some pragmatic applications.

The Fluidity of Change | Foundation Ministries & Publications

Linking change into our spiritual development and our desire to fulfill God’s purpose.  Can we be missional and resistant to change?  When a church is resistant to change, what does that mean?  See the first link above….

[Spew #3] Steve Jobs and Staffing; Conversations; Leader Advice

How to Change the World: What I Learned From Steve Jobs

The passing of Steve Jobs has created a flurry of articles and blog posts advocating his sainthood or demonizing him or just remembering stuff he said.  There are two pieces of advice that you can take away from ministry staffing – Avoid the bozo explosion and Hire people who can tell you what to do, rather than hiring people you have to tell what to do.  They are related.

Seth’s Blog: Open conversations (or close them)

How you ask and answer questions can change the conversation dratically.  In ministry do we ever really want to close a conversation?  Really? 

7 Random Pieces of Advice for the Younger Leader | Ron Edmondson

Truth: this is not just for young leaders…

the “Spew” #2

Which Customer Is Your Ministry Designed to Connect? | MarkHowellLive.com

Recognizing that ministry is not a one-size-fits-all enterprise is a very important thing.  I think this post shares a really good example of this.  While calling those we are called to minster to “customers” feels very “marketing-ish” the message rings true.  You won’t attract People if you won’t meet them where they are.  Jesus was all over that message.  We should be too.

Neil Cole: Can Groups Be Missional & Make Disciples? | Verge Network

This is a very provocative article that I don’t truly agree with, but I am positing it here because juxtaposed against Mark Howell’s article above – it makes Mark’s point stand out even more.  Discipleship is a smaller box inside the innermost box.  Look for a post on the FPM blog about this very topic in the next few weeks.

The Danger of Vision Casting | Ron Edmondson

Ron’s post on casting vision without completing vision is dead on.  I have lived through this, and his warning is appropriate.  It is not only dangerous for the organization as a whole (it can lead to dissapointment) it is dangerous for leadership for the very reasons that Ron lists.  Great post!!! The cost of completing the vision must be contemplated before you cast it. 

Luke 14:28-29

28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you,

Vision, Strategy, Policy – In Search Of

When casting vision, you need strategy to complete it.  This post from my other blog is complementary to Ron’s post above, providing a simple framework for contemplating organizational change using vision, strategy and policy.  Organizational change is hard – don’t kid yourself into thinking that if I can envision it, someone else will make it happen.

@ronedmondson @markchowell @vergenetwork @regenerateweb

This weeks “spew”…

Here are some things from others that I found provocative, inspriring, informative, or otherwise worth checking out.

1 How To Get Hired When Nobody Is Hiring | Vanderbloemen Search Group

not being a vocational minister, but a staff mananger in the corporate world, I found interesting parallels in this post.  Whether you are contemplating a hiring decision or a job change, this is worth the read.

2 What To Do…When You Wake Up in the Future | MarkHowellLive.com

If you sit on your assumptions very long, the world around you will invalidate them. 

3 Solving a Problem: A Matter of Perspective | Ron Edmondson

Ron is right…  Think this through.  Think of how your customers (in ministry) “appreciate” the solutions you provide when they bring problems to your attention.

4 11 Things I’ve learned in 11 years… | Bob Franquiz

These are insightful, they all could apply equally to any leadership position. 


I will try to pass along some of what I read every week.  It is good to be inspired by the thoughts of others.