Welcome to this week’s Church Leader Insights. A ton of interesting reading for you.
One of the most common questions I hear related to preaching is, “How long should a good sermon be?”
The best answer I’ve heard is from John MacArthur who said, “As long as it takes to cover the passage adequately. If you have nothing worthwhile to say, even twenty minutes will seem like an eternity to your people. ”
We did a little research of our own to discover just how long the most watched preachers in America preach. You might be surprised by the results. We certainly were.
In these days of Ted Talks and 20 minutes messages, we were surprised that the most watched and beloved preachers in America preach almost twice that long!
At the end of the day, the key question is not, “How long do you preach?” The key question is, “How well are you helping others to behold God’s glory in your preaching?” To do that well, it takes a lot of preparation, a significant amount of time during the worship service, much prayer, and God’s grace.
The great news is, we can help you with the preparation part, and we can help you do it in less time than you imagined possible. We are working on a new resource that will help you build, present, and store your sermons all in one place. It’s so close to being ready, I can’t wait for you to see it and use it. Your sermons may not be shorter, but the time it takes to prepare them will be.
Millennials have stopped attending church. The millennial generation is the least likely age-group to attend church, and this is a HUGE problem.
As I’ve shared before, millennials are the largest living generation in the U.S., they are attending church at a declining rate, and 59% of millennials who grew up in the church have dropped out. If the church continues to follow this trend, then the church will continue to decrease in size—if not disappear—as older members pass away and younger members are not added.
If I could reach through your screen, place my hands on your shoulders to get your attention, then I would tell you we have a problem. As the church, we need hear the alarm bells. We are NOT reaching millennials well, and if we don’t make changes now, then the church’s we call home may not be around in the future, because it only takes missing one generation with the gospel for your church to die.
Thankfully, we don’t have to guess why millennials have left our church or are unwilling to attend a worship service. There has been a significant amount of research done to help us understand why this is the case. Here are five research-backed reasons why millennials have stopped attending church.
1. The church is fake
In one study conducted by the Barna Group, a significant number of millennials (66%) surveyed perceived churchgoers as “hypocritical.” In other words, they have a problem with people who do not possess the life they profess.
Who would want to visit a place full of people who are two-faced? I know I wouldn’t
By rights, this story should have been written half an hour ago. Instead, I was looking at Game Of Thrones memes about Bran Stark and playing Rolling Sky on my mobile. Such are the perils of procrastination.
If you never seem to get things done on time, you’re probably suffering from a productivity problem of one form or another. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to yield more out of the workday via a few tried-and-trusted adjustments. This infographic provides 11 caffeine-free tips.
The infographic below comes from the academic writing service Assignmenthelper. It looks a little rough around the edges – which suggests they should probably start following their own advice — but it contains a bunch of useful information all the same.
We particularly like the ideas of working in the sun and prioritising positive feedback in the workplace. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Rolling Sky high score to beat.
I know. They receive “advice” every day of the week. Some of it is well intended. Some of it is not. All of it cumulatively is overwhelming.
It is thus difficult for me to pile on. But I do want pastors to hear those pieces of advice that are really difficult to heed. And they are difficult even if pastors know they are true.
- Love your members unconditionally. That’s all of your members. Even that deacon who told you that you had no business being in ministry. Even that ministry director who told you God told her it’s time for you to leave. We are to love as Christ loves us. Unconditionally.
- Don’t focus on your critics. This one is really challenging. They are the constant ringing in our ears. They are squeaky wheels. Enough of the metaphors. It’s hard not to jump when a critic barks.
- Make the tough personnel decisions sooner rather than later. It won’t get any better. It won’t get any easier.
- Accept that you won’t be loved by everyone. I’ve gotten to the point in my life that I’m okay with a simple majority. I’m just not sure I have it!
- Put those things on your calendar that you often neglect. You know what I’m talking about. Family. Devotional time. Gospel conversations. Don’t neglect the best for the good.
- Accept the lows of ministry as normal. If you haven’t been attacked by critics, you probably aren’t leading. If you haven’t been torn up by a family tragedy, you need a heart transplant. You will have lows. It’s a part of ministry. It’s a part of life.
- Don’t compare your church to others. Your church is not that other church. Bigger is not better. Newer is not cooler. God has you at your church at this time for a reason. Find joy in that reality.