PASTORAL TENURE & Infographic: Every Pastor Is an Interim Pastor (Even if You’re There 30 Years)

by Leadership Network, 6/14.

Newspapers rarely run articles titled, “Pastoral succession was so seamless and smooth that church momentum didn’t skip a beat.” They should. Those successions do happen. It’s largely the bad news that makes headlines. The reality is no matter how long you’re at your church, at some point you need to prepare to pass the baton – and there’s help for doing it well.

If your church is anticipating succession in the next few years, let us help you walk through the stages of preparation and transition — on May 3-4, 2016, in Houston. CLICK HERE to tell us about your situation, and then we’ll contact you.

This infographic tells you a little of what we’ve learned so far:

Read more at … http://leadnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Succession-Facts-FINAL.png

MEGACHURCH & How U.S.-style megachurches are taking over the world, in 5 maps

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This research by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and Leadership Network points out that megachurches are internationally comprised of lower socio-economic congregants, while in No. America they are reaching mostly an upper socio-economic strata. This has implications for the goals and economies of megacongregations. For instance, is there greater responsibility put upon these churches and for what missional end? Read this article before you craft your answer.

By Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamio, The Washington Post, 7/24/15.

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… while the United States may have started the trend, the future of megachurches may lie in the rest of the world.

Based on data from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research and from the Christian nonprofit organization Leadership Network, WorldViews visualized this global and diverse movement. We used the most common definition of megachurches, which describes them as having “2,000 or more persons in attendance at weekly worship, a charismatic, authoritative senior minister, a 7 day a week community,” and other features which you can find in detail here.

Why global megachurches are bigger than U.S. megachurches

Despite American roots that reach back to the 19th century, megachurches abroad now have a higher average attendance, even though the vast majority of megachurches are still in the United States. While there are 230 to 500 such churches elsewhere in the world, the Hartford Institute estimates that there are about three times more megachurches in the United States.

In the United States, the median weekly attendance is about 2,750, while the median weekly in world megachurches is nearly 6,000. One factor that could explain the larger sizes on other continents is a lack of alternatives for believers.

“Outside the United States, it takes a large amount of charisma and capital to create a megachurch,” said Scott Thumma, director of the Hartford Institute. In the United States, however, competition among megachurches is fierce because it is easier to establish such communities. “It is harder to be massive here in U.S.,” Thumma added, citing zoning laws, safety inspections, construction and property costs.

Nevertheless, he believes that smaller megachurches do not lag behind in an international comparison. “I was just at four megachurches within a few miles of each other in Atlanta, and each of these cater to a slightly different audience,” Thumma said.

The differences between U.S. and global megachurches can even be noticed on satellite images. Abroad, megachurches are often constructed in the centers of cities, where they are accessed by foot, subway, bus or cab. In the United States, community members usually access the churches by car. To provide the necessary parking lots, U.S. megachurches are often in suburban areas.

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Read more at … https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/07/24/how-u-s-style-megachurches-are-taking-over-the-world-in-5-maps-and-charts/

MEGACHURCH & Demographics of the Typical Mega-congregation

by Morgan Lee, How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money, Christianity Today, 11/12/14.

According to the 2014 edition of the Large Church Salary Report

  • the typical large American church (1,000 to 7,000 members)
  • was founded in 1977,
  • seats 800 worshipers,
  • and offers five weekly services at two campuses.
  • The church’s 52-year-old senior pastor was hired in 2005,
  • it employs 25 staff members,
  • and attendance has been recently growing 7 percent per year.

And check out the Leadership Network’s research on megachurches here …
http://leadnet.org/leadership-networkvanderbloemen-2014-large-church-salary-report/

FINANCES & State of the Plate Research

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Here is an article to assist in making sound financial judgments (and to underscore the relevance of this finances for leaders).  It is called the “State of the Plate” report and it is the research of Christianity Today and Leadership.  It was shared with me my one of our adjunct instructors, Professor Halee Scott.  Here it what she found:

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100324/survey-financial-strain-worsens-for-more-churches/index.html

MULTISITE & Campus Pastor as Key to Multisite Success #LeadershipNetwork #WarrenBird

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: A multi-campus or multi-site approach creates an “economy of scale” that can better fund and support church multiplication. I call this the “Alliance Model of Church Multiplication,” which especially lends itself to growing multi-ethnic and multi-cultural churches. However more important than the lead pastor in this strategy, is the campus pastor who will indigenize the church’s ministry to the local context. See this helpful report with sample job descriptions by my friend Warren Bird. It examines what makes a good campus pastor and why selecting them is even more important than selecting locations for church multiplication strategies.

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by Warren Bird, Leadership Network, 10/8/15.

One of the most-asked questions from multisite churches is, “What should we look for in a campus pastor?” or more specifically “What are some of the best campus pastor job descriptions that we could adapt?”

This mini-report, drawing from a recent Leadership Network survey of campus pastors, tries to address just that. It shows the relationship between what a campus pastor does, and how those emphases impact the job description. The final part of the report reprints a number of actual job descriptions for a campus pastor (and offers a way to obtain even more examples)…

Download the report here … http://leadnet.org/campus-pastor-as-key-to-multisite-success/

MULTISITE & What Makes a Great Campus Pastor?

Guest Post by Jim Tomberlin, LeadNet, 8/5/15.

Ask any multisite church leader today what the most important component is in multisiting and the overwhelming answer is the campus pastor.

When I went to Willow Creek in the year 2000 to pioneer the multisite strategy I was the startup campus pastor for the first site, second site, third and fourth sites while leading the whole multisite effort. Why? No one wanted to leave the mothership for a role that had never been done for a strategy that had never been tried. Today Willow Creek gathers in seven locations across greater Chicago with much better campus pastors…!

What Does a Campus Pastor Do?

The answer to that question will depend upon the church’s purpose for multisiting, but the basic premise of a multisite church is to consistently reproduce the ministry best practices and DNA of the sending church. Therefore the primary responsibility of a campus pastor is to ensure that transfer—to be one church in multiple locations. This involves leading local site staff and volunteer teams to extend the reach and impact of the sending church.

What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Campus Pastor?

Having assisted many multisite churches across the nation, here are the characteristics I see in effective campus pastors. Assuming that this individual is a spiritually mature person of character with a proven track record, an ideal campus or site pastor is the face with the place who is a:

1. High capacity leader: a high energy,catalytic, self-starter who not only gets things done, but makes things happen!
2. Team player: someone who people will follow, but who can also follow the senior leadership of the church. Not a lone ranger maverick, but someone who is able to work on a team and within the church structure.
3. People magnet: a relational “animal” that draws people like flies to honey. They love people and people love being around them. They have a high “fun factor.”
4. Mobilizer: this person not only attracts followers but can turn them into volunteers, volunteer teams and volunteer leaders. The key to success in any pastoral position!
5. Multi-tasker: shows high capacity to juggle a lot of balls simultaneously and loves the juggling act.
6. Communicator: doesn’t have to be a bible teacher unless on the teaching team, but is capable and articulate speaking to a room full of people.
7. DNA Carrier: bleeds and defaults to the mission, vision, values, and senior leadership of the church.

The two traits that repeatedly come to the top in all of our surveys about campus pastors is that this person needs to be a high capacity leader who possesses the DNA of the church…

Read more at … http://leadnet.org/what-makes-a-great-campus-pastor/

MULTIPLICATION & Now More Than 8,000 Multisite Churches

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “Before it was popular, I was championing a multi-site church growth strategy almost 30 years ago. I noticed that they had a higher survivability rate than church pants, were fiscally healthier because they shared their assets and had better leadership mentoring and development. This trend, which I begin advocating in my first book (now 12 books later) is an effective strategy for church leaders of growing churches to consider. Check out this latest research from my colleague Warren Bird then also check out my “4 Models of Multi-site Churches Evaluated & Appraised” in a Great Commission Research Journal article or my book “The Healthy Church.”

by Warren Bird, LeadNet, 8/1/15.

multisite map

The latest multisite research affirms that the growth of “one church meeting in two or more locations under one overall leadership and budget” shows no signs of slowing down. Yet even as the movement continues to expand, many significant themes are developing in how churches do multisite.

Overall the news is optimistic: Multisite churches grow faster, have more lay participation and reach more new believers than single-site churches.

These findings are featured in the Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard, a major report releasing in March, which draws from a huge Leadership Network survey and is also supplemented by two other major studies. Key points will be forecast over the next several issues of this publication.

Impact of Multisite – By Broadest Definition

• 5 million – the number of people who worshipped at a multisite church last weekend in the United States alone, according to the National Congregations Study sponsored by Duke University

• 8,000 – the number of multisite churches currently found in the United States, according to the same study. (The wording of that survey allowed churches to call themselves multisite if they had multiple venues–such as services in the sanctuary, chapel and gym, but all on one campus.)

• 9% – the percent of all Protestant churchgoers who attend a multisite church

• 3% – the percent of all Protestant churches that are multisite

• 80% – the percentage of US states that have known multisite churches. Over 40 have known multisite churches, as do Washington D.C., Canada’s 9 largest provinces, and several dozen other countries, all according to Leadership Network’s database and its list of global megachurches.

Multisite as Door Opener

Multisite has opened new doors for leaders such as those at The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.

A member of one of Summit’s six locations was serving a needy family in a neighboring city. As the relationship developed and the person being helped expressed an interest in attending church, the Summit member was able to connect them to a Summit campus closer to home.

“It was a good example of one church reaching out across a larger metropolitan area to meet needs,” says David Tran, one the Summit’s pastors. “Our congregation really gets the vision of the church to be a Gospel-centered community that is here to reach people and bless our city.”

J.D. Greear, Senior Pastor, adds, “We can bless people when we are closer to them. That’s why we plant campuses—to bring the ministry closer to home. The entire church gets excited about it and gets behind it,” he concludes…

Read more at … http://leadnet.org/now-more-than-8000-multisite-churches/