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Five Signs of a Healthy Church

Every year I visit my doctor for an annual check-up. The doctor often tells me things I'm relieved to hear ("Your ears are still attached") and things I don't want to hear ("I'm not sure how you are still alive, but since you are, here's your bill."). Okay, those two things are fictitious but you get the idea.
Since the church is more of an organism than it is an organiz...

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Five Ways To Move Off A Plateau

If you're a leader, you are probably acquainted with times of slow or no growth. Times whenthings have plateaued; times of discouragement; times even of decline.

 Does it have to be this way? Is your work small and struggling? Does it feel like the church plant or small business is taking forever to gain traction?
Here are some principles I have found effective whe...

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Four Barriers to Connection

Visitors. First-time attenders. Guests. Here at LowCountry Community Church we've seen over 450 of them since the beginning of the year.Churches know they are there. Most pastors are on the lookout for them. Yet church after church places barriers in front of newcomers that hinder them from connecting into the life, heartbeat, and ministry of the church. Here are just four...

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Leaders See and Meet Needs

Early in his career, Thomas Edison invented a vote-recording machine for use in legislative chambers. By moving a switch to the right or left, an official could vote for or against a proposal without leaving his desk. The machine would replace the tedious business of marking ballots, counting them, etc. Elated with the prospects, Edison obtained a patenthis firstand heade...

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Thankful vs. Entitled

I recall watching a group of protesters on TV bundled up against the cold weather in one of our major cities who were chanting loudly (and rather obnoxiously), seeking to make their point, change public opinion, influence policy and get something from the government.What that was really doesn't matter.Their chant must have taken hundreds of hours to come up with: WHAT DO...

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Four Guaranteed Ways To Fail As A Leader

Failure. It can be troubling; it can be hazardous; and in worse case scenarios, it can be fatal. A maritime incident of almost a decade ago reminds us of failure's repercussions. TheCosta Concordiawas an Italian cruise ship that partiallysankwhen it ran aground nearTuscany, on January 13, 2012, with the loss of 32 souls. The ship, carrying 4,252 people from all over the ...

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The Olympic Question: Are We Doing What Only We Can Do?

The opportunity to watch the best athletes in the world as the 2020/21 Summer Olympic Games unfold in Japan shortly, gives us an opportunity to learn from the world's best; not only in the arena of competitive sports, but in the arena of "doing what we do best."

Long-distance runners are not sprinters; shot-putters are generally not pole-vaulters (at least not good on...

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Phil Mickelson and the Niche Principle

Just recently, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson, the "guy-who-too-old-to-win-another-major", hoisted the trophy by winning his sixth major, the PGA Championship, held on Kiawah Island, S.C. His win reminded me of a leadership adage: Individualism wins trophies; teamwork wins championships. An African proverb teaches us that many sticks bundled together cannot be broken. Togeth...

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Fish Tales

Smart leaders plan ahead for problems and have a plan for dealing with them.A fictional fish-tale communicates this principle well. 

 A young couple decided to start their own business. He was an engineer and she was an advertising copywriter. They wound up buying a small salmon cannery in Alaska. They soon discovered they had a problem. Customers opening a can of th...

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Baldness, Time, and Managing Opportunities

Mounted statues stood like sentinels around ancient Greek cities. Some represented famous people and ideals; others were dedicated to Grecian gods. The apostle Paul spoke of one marbled deity: "I even found an altar with this description:'To an Unknown God.'" (Acts 17:22-23) One was named the Statue of Opportunity. It depicted a human being. The head, however, was unusual...

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