Because of the readers of this site, this year has been a record year for ThomRainer.com. I am humbled so many of you visit this site, share my articles and those by Dr. Lawless, and subscribe to the blog and podcast. I never could have imagined the volume of response I have seen to the articles posted here. Thank you again to all who have read, shared, and commented on the posts in 2014. I can’t wait to see what 2015 will bring.
Here are the top 14 posts of 2014 at ThomRainer.com:
Stated simply, the most common factor in declining churches is an inward focus. The ministries are only for the members. The budgetary funds are used almost exclusively to meet the needs of the members. The times of worship and worship styles are geared primarily for the members. Conflict takes place when members don’t get things their way. You get the picture.
You see, most Millennials don’t think in the old worship war paradigm. In that regard, “style” of worship is not their primary focus. Instead they seek worship services and music that have three major elements.
This past week alone, I had conversations with dozens of pastors. These pastors love their churches and the members. They are really committed to their callings. But they are real people who can really be hurt. The pastors I spoke with this past week shared with me seven common themes of the things that hurt them the most. So, if you really want to hurt your pastor, follow these guidelines carefully.
The moment they hear it, they feel the “cringe factor” throughout their body. Even as the first few words are spoken, the recipient feels his or her emotions plummeting. It is the one sentence that is uniformly dreaded by pastors and church staff. It typically begins with these words: “People are saying that . . . “
If you attend a church regularly, you’ve probably noticed the phenomenon. A guest shows up for a worship service, but he or she never returns. It is, unfortunately, a common issue in many churches. I did a Twitter poll to ask these first-time guests why they chose not to return to a particular church. While some of the responses were anticipated, I admit being a bit surprised with some of them.