We have some great reading for you this week. Enjoy!
This fall will mark 17 years for me on the 12Stone staff team. I’m blessed! Our team is a God-gathered group of many of the best people I’ve ever known or served with. They are smart, gifted and fun!
We had 35 services for Easter this year. My top highlight was the hundreds that said yes to Jesus!
But my second highlight was noticing three telltale signs about our staff that stood out as I drove to our different campuses. These three indicators struck me as noteworthy hallmarks of a healthy team.
(These three are not a comprehensive list. I would add others like honesty and trust. But these three stand out, and are easy to assess.)
The common theme of all three is that they are all elements of the heart. Yes, other factors like clear strategy, alignment and performance are incredibly important. But without this common heart-level bond, that priceless team health we all want may elude you.
Three Sure Signs of a Healthy Staff:
1) There is a lot of laughter.
Our team loves to laugh. We’re not a thin-skinned group that wears emotions on our sleeves, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
That’s important for team health. If you have staff who are overly sensitive, sometimes requiring that you walk on eggshells, that never helps a team flourish. In fact, it will hold you back.
While social media and even traditional media are still preoccupied with mega churches and multi-site churches, the reality is that most churches in North America are quite small.
The Barna Group pegs the average Protestant church size in America at 89 adults. Only 2% of churches have over 1000 adults attending.
According to Carl George and Warren Bird, fully 85% of all Protestant churches in North America never break the 200 attendance mark.
Please understand, there’s nothing wrong with being a small church. I just know that almost every small church leader I speak to wants his or her church to grow.
I get that. That’s the mission of the church. Every single day, I want our church to become more effective in reaching one more person with the hope that’s in Christ.
So why is it that most churches never break the 200 attendance mark?
Desire. Most leaders I know want their church to reach more people.
A lack of prayer. Many small church leaders are incredibly faithful in prayer.
Love. Some of the people in smaller churches love people as authentically as anyone I know.
Facility. Growth can start in the most unlikely places.
Let’s just assume you have a solid mission, theology, and heart to reach people.
Surprisingly, the main reasons churches never pass the 200 attendance mark aren’t spiritual, they’re structural.
If you’re looking to create graphics for your church while keeping it quick, easy and affordable – look no further! Brady shares 7 free graphic design tools.
Alex Mills: Well, hey there and welcome to Pro Church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less you’ll get your daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus while we navigate the biggest communication shift that we’ve seen in the last 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills, joined as always by the hype man, it’s Brady Shearer. Today, we’re talking about seven free graphic design tools for churches.
Brady Shearer: If you want to create graphics quickly, easily and affordably, so affordably you won’t have to spend a dime, this episode of Pro Church Daily is for you. We’ve got seven free graphic design tools that we use, have used and recommend. Let’s dive right in.
The very first tool, canva.com. Canva is an online graphics creation and editing interface that is 100% free to use. Like most products, they have an actual paid version as well. It’s called Canva for Work. It’s $10 a month. What’s amazing about Canva for Work is that it’s also free if you are a nonprofit, churches included. You can apply for that and you can get it absolutely free as well.
What’s great about Canva, especially with the Canva for Work edition, is that you can upload your brand colors and you can basically create this brand style guide within the interface, so if you have multiple different people that are using the platform, they can log in and choose from preselected colors that fit with the brand. Logos are already uploaded. That way, you can keep visual consistency across the board as much as possible even when you are using the platform with different people in the church, maybe people that aren’t even that skilled already with the graphic design. Canva is perfect for that.
Do you feel stuck? Unable to move forward? Not making an impact?
‘Stuck’ is an experience common to each of us and in his new book, How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Productivity, Matt Perman has identified the three chief ways it happens:
- We don’t know what God wants us to do.
- We know what God wants us to do, but we don’t know how to make it happen.
- Obstacles in our way are preventing us from doing it.
He also makes it clear that God wants us to be unstuck. 1 Corinthians 15:58 – referenced throughout the book – continues to ring in my ears:
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
I benefited greatly from Matt’s first book, What’s Best Next, and was excited to hear that a new resource was on its way. There are too few books that integrate a Christian worldview with the why and how of work and productivity (Do More Better by Tim Challies is one of the few that comes to mind) and this new book is just what is needed.
How to Get Unstuck is such a helpful book for all who want to “make the most of every opportunity” (Ephesians 5:16) and “abound in every good work” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Here are 7 key points that have stuck with me.
Thank you to our sources for this week’s blog posts:
Dan Reiland – 3 Sure Signs of a Healthy Staff
Carey Nieuwhof – The Top 8 Reasons Most Churches Never Break The 200 Attendance Mark
Pro Church Tools – 7 Free Graphic Design Tools For Churches
Communicate Jesus (Steven Kryger) – 7 Key Points from Matt Perman’s New Book ‘How to Get Unstuck’