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THRIVING FAITH COMMUNITIES ARE . . . 

SPIRIT-DRIVEN

Thriving churches sense that God is up to something for the good of the world. The Spirit blows in and through God’s people as they align their lives God’s dreams for the world.

JESUS-CENTERED

Jesus-centered faith communities focus on following in the way of Jesus.  They seek to be like Jesus, think like Jesus and act as Jesus would.

PEOPLE-ORIENTED

Thriving churches extend Christian hospitality to all  people. They invite people into their lives and invest in their dreams. They seek to bring out God’s best in everyone they encounter.

OUTWARD-FOCUSED

As they love God and each other, thriving churches turn outward to love their neighbor as themselves. They live on mission as they serve and bless their neighbors, friends, co-workers and school mates.

BE CURIOUS . . . LISTEN DEEPLY .  . .  SHARE AUTHENTICALLY . . .  MOVE BEYOND THE SURFACE 

THRIVING CHURCHES AVOID THESE TRAPS

Duty without love. Too many 21st-century congregations are modeling the first-century church at Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7). Calendars are full but hearts are empty. Love for Jesus, fellow saints and one another is growing cold in these later days (Matthew 24:12). I wish I had simple solutions to these critical issues. It’ll take widespread revival to reverse these trends. In the meantime, while we pray for and anticipate such a move from God, we can strive to make sure the people we shepherd and churches we serve buck the trend.

  • What if we were launching this ministry for the first time – how would we do it?
  • What if we dropped this program?
  • What difference would it make in lives of our faith community or larger community?
  • What if we added an online component to this ministry so that others could participate anytime, anywhere?
  • What if we partnered with local congregations rather than do this just by ourselves?
  • What if we had a cross+generational mix of new people plan this event rather than the same people who have done if for the past 10 years?
  • What if this program was broken into short blocks of activity rather than something that runs year-round?
  • What would this event look like if we incorporated everyone’s learning style rather than just one or two?
  • What if another staff member took over this ministry who had gifts and passions more closely aligned to it?
Leaders need to look in the rearview mirror and reflect on the impact of their ministry activities.  They also need to be forward thinking, seeking to discern God’s preferred future for their setting. Rehashing ministry may be an easy and efficient pathway for planning the coming year, but I’m not convinced that it’s the most effective way to bring about transformation in people’s lives.  What might you need to reimagine rather than rehash for the upcoming program year?
Radical Hospitality shapes the work of every volunteer and staff member. All pray, plan, and work so that their specific ministries with children, missions, sions, the facility, worship, music, and study are done with excellence and with special attention to inviting others in and helping them feel welcome. The word radical intensifies expectations and magnifies the central importance tance of this invitational element of our life together in Christ. Radical Hospitality pitality goes to the extremes, and we do it joyfully, not superficially, because we know our invitation is the invitation of Christ. Churches marked by this quality work hard to figure out how best to anticipate others’ needs and to make them feel at home in their ministries. All churches offer some form of hospitality, but Radical Hospitality describes churches that strive without ceasing to exceed expectations to accommodate and include others. A congregation marked by such hospitality adopts an invitational posture that changes everything it does. Members work with a heightened ened awareness of the person who is not present, the neighbors, friends, and co-workers who have no church home. With every ministry, they consider how to reach those who are not yet present.

It’s wonderful when the nursery is full of newborns, yet not so good when they make up a sizable portion of the congregation each Sunday. If your first grade child or grandchild made an A on a test of one-digit addition and subtraction problems, you’d beam with pride. However, would you feel the same way if your high school calculus student aced that same set of problems?

Radical Hospitality shapes the work of every volunteer and staff member. All pray, plan, and work so that their specific ministries with children, missions, sions, the facility, worship, music, and study are done with excellence and with special attention to inviting others in and helping them feel welcome. The word radical intensifies expectations and magnifies the central importance tance of this invitational element of our life together in Christ. Radical Hospitality pitality goes to the extremes, and we do it joyfully, not superficially, because we know our invitation is the invitation of Christ. Churches marked by this quality work hard to figure out how best to anticipate others’ needs and to make them feel at home in their ministries. All churches offer some form of hospitality, but Radical Hospitality describes churches that strive without ceasing to exceed expectations to accommodate and include others. A congregation marked by such hospitality adopts an invitational posture that changes everything it does. Members work with a heightened ened awareness of the person who is not present, the neighbors, friends, and co-workers who have no church home. With every ministry, they consider how to reach those who are not yet present.
Radical Hospitality shapes the work of every volunteer and staff member. All pray, plan, and work so that their specific ministries with children, missions, sions, the facility, worship, music, and study are done with excellence and with special attention to inviting others in and helping them feel welcome. The word radical intensifies expectations and magnifies the central importance tance of this invitational element of our life together in Christ. Radical Hospitality pitality goes to the extremes, and we do it joyfully, not superficially, because we know our invitation is the invitation of Christ. Churches marked by this quality work hard to figure out how best to anticipate others’ needs and to make them feel at home in their ministries. All churches offer some form of hospitality, but Radical Hospitality describes churches that strive without ceasing to exceed expectations to accommodate and include others. A congregation marked by such hospitality adopts an invitational posture that changes everything it does. Members work with a heightened ened awareness of the person who is not present, the neighbors, friends, and co-workers who have no church home. With every ministry, they consider how to reach those who are not yet present.

According to Christian author and researcher George Barna “half of all adults who attend Protestant churches on a typical Sunday morning are not Christian.” Having spent 14 years as an unsaved church member, I’m especially sensitive to this sad situation. A name on the church roll doesn’t forward to the Lamb’s book of life.

Radical Hospitality shapes the work of every volunteer and staff member. All pray, plan, and work so that their specific ministries with children, missions, sions, the facility, worship, music, and study are done with excellence and with special attention to inviting others in and helping them feel welcome. The word radical intensifies expectations and magnifies the central importance tance of this invitational element of our life together in Christ. Radical Hospitality pitality goes to the extremes, and we do it joyfully, not superficially, because we know our invitation is the invitation of Christ. Churches marked by this quality work hard to figure out how best to anticipate others’ needs and to make them feel at home in their ministries. All churches offer some form of hospitality, but Radical Hospitality describes churches that strive without ceasing to exceed expectations to accommodate and include others. A congregation marked by such hospitality adopts an invitational posture that changes everything it does. Members work with a heightened ened awareness of the person who is not present, the neighbors, friends, and co-workers who have no church home. With every ministry, they consider how to reach those who are not yet present.
Radical Hospitality shapes the work of every volunteer and staff member. All pray, plan, and work so that their specific ministries with children, missions, sions, the facility, worship, music, and study are done with excellence and with special attention to inviting others in and helping them feel welcome. The word radical intensifies expectations and magnifies the central importance tance of this invitational element of our life together in Christ. Radical Hospitality pitality goes to the extremes, and we do it joyfully, not superficially, because we know our invitation is the invitation of Christ. Churches marked by this quality work hard to figure out how best to anticipate others’ needs and to make them feel at home in their ministries. All churches offer some form of hospitality, but Radical Hospitality describes churches that strive without ceasing to exceed expectations to accommodate and include others. A congregation marked by such hospitality adopts an invitational posture that changes everything it does. Members work with a heightened ened awareness of the person who is not present, the neighbors, friends, and co-workers who have no church home. With every ministry, they consider how to reach those who are not yet present.