Archives For Aubrey Malphurs

There is a never-ending need for new churches to be planted. From sea to shining sea, there is no community in America where we can hang a “mission accomplished” banner and stop planting churches. Wherever God is calling you to plant a church is a place where a church plant is needed.

“Studies and anecdotal evidence indicate that if there is one church per ten thousand residents, approximately 1 percent of the population will be churchgoers. If this ratio goes to one church per one thousand residents, some 15 to 20 percent of the city’s population goes to church. If the number goes to one per five hundred residents, the number may approach 40 percent or more. The relationship of the number of churches to churchgoing people is exponential, not linear.” – Tim Keller

That said, church planting is difficult, treacherous, and not guaranteed to succeed. While the survivability rate is not nearly has tragic as some church planting statistics often report, as many as 3 or 4 in 10 churches will not survive past three years. While we may say these statistics aren’t that bad—you won’t agree with that statement if…

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The strategic emphasis in most denominational or network circles is on church planting. I suspect that few would disagree with this, as it builds up new church bodies, expands the impact in communities, and reaches larger amounts of individuals.

Many of the same circles that focus on church planting, however, have given up on the struggling, already-established churches.

I believe that key to the church in America in the future is not only church planting, but also church revitalization. We need both church planting and revitalization. So how do we do this?

I have trained and sent out many church planters after their time preparing at Dallas Seminary. One of the things I’ve noted over the years is that the most successful church planters have been those who plant with the full-support of an established church.

Thus, if we want to do a good job of church planting, we need to work hard at not abandoning established churches, but revitalizing them. As we seek to multiply churches through church planting, let’s not be too quick to ignore established churches.

Church Adoption

When seeking to save a dying church, consider church adoption. I challenge many established and planted churches to consider not merging with (as this seldom works), but adopting…

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Questions for CommunicationThe church in general isn’t doing a very good job in communicating. Just ask their people if they know what is going on. Several churches in Dallas-Ft. Worth have been singled out as good at communicating: PrestonwoodStonebriar, and Irving Bible. Irving Bible has its own department with a staff that’s responsible for communication.

Spend a day (or at least a few hours) exploring what these churches are doing well. I don’t think churches are completely aware of the importance of good communication as indicated by their lack of doing it well. Number 1 is trust. Good communication engenders trust, poor communication creates distrust. People think you’re hiding something. Some churches can get away with poor communication if their pastor has been with them awhile and has gained respect for his leadership in general. However, it is “getting away” with poor performance should not be the ideal.

Create a church communications team. Then empower them to answer the questions below. The most important step comes next as you empower them to develop and execute a plan for improved congregational communication.

10 Questions to Transform Church Communication:

1) Why is communication important in the…

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When pastors enter new ministry positions, they often find a dissonance between what they hope will occur and what the congregation is ready for. This is often because of the fact that the pastor’s culture does not match the culture of the congregation and/or the community in which he serves.

In order to answer the question of how to change your church culture, we must first start with a few preliminary items, then move to the actual process.

1. The pastor needs to know his own culture.
Many pastors assume that they understand themselves. Pastors should take the necessary time to study and identify the values inherent in the culture or ministries they come from. In other words, what culture does the pastor carry with him? The assumption here is that all pastors (and really all human beings) are culture carriers.

2. Figure out the church’s culture.
Many people assume they know the culture of the church they are going to. Often we assume the culture of that church is the same as ours. We are usually wrong!

Look Before You LeadAs we looked at writing Look Before You…

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Family PlanningOne of my colleagues recently had his second child. As we were preparing this month’s Leadership Link on Church Planting, I realized a couple’s birth plan is an excellent metaphor for churches who want to be “church-planting” churches.

Unfamiliar with birth plans? It’s ok. Many people are. They help the mother (and father) take initiative in planning how the baby’s arrival will go. It allows them to be intentional about how things will happen, what things won’t, and what things are negotiable. (It should be noted that the birth plan is an imperfect metaphor and obviously not meant to be treated as “equal” to child birth.)

Here are a few reasons why I believe churches should also have a birth plan.

1) Birth Plans Infuse Intentionality 
If your church isn’t intentionally planning to plant other churches, it likely won’t. I’m afraid too many pastors leave church planting up to spontaneous combustion or for others to do.

2) Birth Plans Help Prepare Those Involved
No man can imagine the pain and struggle of childbirth; however, planning for what will occur helps to prepare.

Churches who plan for planting to occur will increase their likelihood of enduring the difficult…

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