ABOUT SAM RAINER III

Sam serves as president of Rainer Research. His desire is to provide answers for better church health. He also serves as senior pastor at Stevens Street Baptist Church Cookeville, TN. Sam is the co-author of the book, Essential Church. He is a theological review editor at CrossBooks and regular contributor to Church Executive magazine. He has written dozens of articles on church health for numerous publications, and he is a frequent conference speaker. Before submitting to the call of ministry, Sam worked in a consulting role for Fortune 1000 companies. Sam holds a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from the University of South Carolina and an M.A. in Missiology from Southern Seminary. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University.

Five Giving Trends in Today’s Church

Worship attendance, conversions, and baptisms are often the most scrutinized metrics in churches, but giving trends are close behind.

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The Art of Balancing Ideology and Progress

Every church should progress. Every church should cling to ideals. And healthy church leadership involves the process of balancing both ideology and progress.

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7 Ways to Love Your Community

Church leaders should love their communities as much as their churches. Granted, some churches are easier to love than others, and some communities are easier to love than others. A calling to a place, however, requires a love for that place.

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Why New Pastors Meet Resistance to Change, Part 2

Don’t attempt change if you haven’t learned to love the people of the church and the community.

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Why New Pastors Meet Resistance to Change, Part 1

Change is likely to occur when the people within an organization believe the benefits of making the change outweigh the costs of making the change.

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Your Communication Strategy Starts at the Top: Why Senior Pastors Are to Blame for Bad Church Signs

I blame senior church leaders for bad church signs and bulletin bloopers. The communication strategy of a church is the responsibility of senior leadership.

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Improving the Ineffective Leader: Moving from Bad to Good

While environment and position influence bad leadership, not every case of poor leadership can be blamed on a mismatch. Some leaders are just outliers on the wrong side of the bell curve.

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Hurdles to Established Church Innovation

Established churches, in particular, can take comfort in the establishment. Traditions and history can easily become a guise for complacency.

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
 
— Debra
 
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.