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Mark Clifton’s book, Reclaiming Glory, has been a foundational book for church revitalization. In this podcast, Thom interviews Mark about the release of the updated edition of the book. You will not want to miss some of the nuggets Mark drops. Those nuggets will be powerful tools for your church. 1. Why did you update Reclaiming Glory? 2. What doe…
 
It is almost cliche to say revitalization is tough. But it is a challenge. Thom and Mark speak with countless pastors and staff who don’t think they are up to the task. This three-part series may prove to be a blessing to those who are discouraged and wonder if they can lead the revitalization. In this third episode, Thom and Mark offer answers fro…
 
It is almost cliche to say revitalization is tough. But it is a challenge. Thom and Mark speak with countless pastors and staff who don’t think they are up to the task. This three-part series may prove to be a blessing to those who are discouraged and wonder if they can lead the revitalization. In this second episode, Thom and Mark look at four of …
 
It is almost cliche to say revitalization is tough. But it is a challenge. Thom and Mark speak with countless pastors and staff who don’t think they are up to the task. This three-part series may prove to be a blessing to those who are discouraged and wonder if they can lead the revitalization. In this first episode, Thom and Mark examine why some …
 
In the past, a severely struggling church typically only had one option: the church had to close. Now we know that many churches are being successfully adopted or acquired by another church. In this three-part series, Thom and Mark examine and discuss the process and accompanying issues of a church adoption. In this third episode, they look at the …
 
In the past, a severely struggling church typically only had one option: the church had to close. Now we know that many churches are being successfully adopted or acquired by another church. In this three-part series, Thom and Mark examine and discuss the process and accompanying issues of a church adoption. In this second episode, they look at the…
 
In the past, a severely struggling church typically only had one option: the church had to close. Now we know that many churches are being successfully adopted or acquired by another church. In this three-part series, Thom and Mark examine and discuss the process and accompanying issues of a church adoption. In this first episode, they look at the …
 
We all agree that prayer is both mandated and powerful. We likewise agree that the collective prayers of church members, called corporate prayer, are important. Mark and Thom offer five simple ways a church needing revitalization can become a greater praying church. 1. Make certain prayer is a vital part of worship services. 2. Find your prayer war…
 
In a recent consultation with a church, Thom encountered such entrenched denial that it was not possible for the church to move forward. Why is denial so common and so deadly in many churches today? Mark and Thom examine five reasons. 1. Denial is the most common way to deal with painful realities. 2. Many churches are still searching for the silve…
 
Mark and Thom delve into the painful issue of examining why churches died. They do so that future deaths might be prevented. They also show how churches today can move to health rather than death. Every church is moving either toward a more vibrant life or toward death. Most dying churches are in denial (an issue we will unpack in the next podcast)…
 
The common growth barrier for churches for over 50 years was 200 in average worship attendance. Thom and Mark argue that the new barrier is 50 to 100. But they not only tell you why it is the new growth barrier, they share how your church can burst through the barrier. 1. One-half of North American churches have an average worship attendance below …
 
In the previous episode, Thom and Mark addressed the issue of strategic patience in a revitalization, meaning that revitalization fruit may not be long-standing until five years have elapsed. But . . . the church can experience some encouraging moves forward with the concept called low-hanging fruit. 1. Low-cost paint or landscaping 2. New church s…
 
Leading a church in revitalization requires not only tactical patience but strategic patience as well. Thom and Mark describe strategic patience and why it the fruit of revitalization may not be evident for five years. 1. The Berry Bucket often takes that long. 2. The denial factor is often entrenched. 3. Trust in the pastor often begins after 5 ye…
 
It is cliche, but church revitalization is tough. Almost every revitalization leader has to deal with resentment toward people and situations at some point. In this episode, Thom and Mark offer some advice and encouragement about dealing with resentment. It depends. What is the issue? How important is it? Focus on the positive in a Philippians’ way…
 
Part 2 of Thom and Mark’s interview with Keith Getty on a wide range of thoughts, including: Keith’s recognition from the Queen of England and thoughts about her influence A new album. The incredible success of Sing! What’s in store for the future? How the Gettys have influenced the growth of hymnody in churches. Advice from Keith to church worship…
 
Part 1 of Thom and Mark’s interview with Keith Getty on a wide range of thoughts, including: Keith’s recognition from the Queen of England and thoughts about her influence A new album. The incredible success of Sing! What’s in store for the future? How the Gettys have influenced the growth of hymnody in churches. Advice from Keith to church worship…
 
Aging does have its advantages, such as wisdom and experience. Mark and Thom, taking the roles of older pastors, share five pieces of advice with their younger selves. 1. Consider the five-year perspective. 2. Make evangelism your personal priority. 3. Learn how to create healthy accountability. 4. Make your spouse and children your first-line chur…
 
More churches are combining worship services than at any point in recent history. Mark and Thom look at several issues you should first consider if this possibility is on the table. Make sure you know the “why.” Consider space psychology. What resources do you have available? Remember the “15% axiom.” Don’t forget the parking issue. Resources: “Fiv…
 
Some churches have moved out of their worship centers to another space such as a fellowship hall or a gym. Mark and Thom provide guidance on what to do with the sanctuary space you are no longer using. Take the opportunity to do a thorough evaluation of the physical condition of the sanctuary building. Welcome another church to use the space. Turn …
 
Many churches going through a revitalization have limited resources. Digital tools may seem to be a luxury they neither need nor can afford. But Kevin and Thom discuss five digital tools that are important without breaking the bank. 1. The church website can be simple and affordable. 2. Forget the complexity of social media. Choose one platform and…
 
Many churches have matriarchs or patriarchs, women or men with a great deal of influence and authority in the church. Mark and Thom suggest five key ways to engage these influencers for the good of the church. 1. Do not assume their motives are always bad for the church. 2. Get their opinions and buy-in on decisions and changes in the church. 3. Ex…
 
Some groundbreaking studies on effective discipleship show that daily Bible reading might be the most important discipline for your church members. It affects their prayer life, their giving, and their evangelistic hearts. Kevin and Thom look at five ways to encourage Bible reading among your church members. 1. The pastor’s Bible translation used i…
 
It is not unusual to think of longer-term members as adversarial during a revitalization. After all, they have been part of the church for the duration of the decline. But they can become important allies in a revitalization. Mark and Thom suggest that pastors and staff can engage these members in conversation in a positive way. Here are five quest…
 
The common metrics of worship attendance, conversions, and financial giving have not gone away. But there are other ways to look at church health. In this episode, Kevin and Thom look at five of those ways. 1. Church unity – tough to measure, but usually evident. 2. The number of guests – effectiveness of inviting people. 3. Resources allocated to …
 
For several decades, the larger church and the megachurch have received a lot of attention. We are now seeing a renewed focus on healthy smaller churches. Mark and Thom look at the reasons why this phenomenon is taking place. 1. COVID exacerbated the importance of the community and the neighborhood. 2. With digital and video tools available, many p…
 
One of the toughest parts of a pastor’s ministry is dealing with criticism. It is especially difficult when the critic hides behind the cowardly veil of “People are saying.” Kevin and Thom not only address the likely motive of the critic, but they also suggest ways to respond to the person. Understand that the person saying those words is a coward.…
 
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