Archives For Brian K. Dodd

As leaders, we all have bad days.  Days when nothing goes right and everything we touch goes sour.  All leaders have been there.  You simply cannot be a leader and not have bad days.

The question then becomes what can we learn from the days we wish would simply just end.  The following are 10 Lessons Leaders Can Take From Bad Days:

  1. Bad days are normal.  You are not alone.  We have all been there.  Many reading this post are there right now.
  2. Bad days remind you the task is not easy and never will be.  If you read the Bible from cover to cover, you will not find an instance where God ever called a leader to an easy task.
  3. Bad days remind us we are leaders.  It sounds counter-intuitive but it is true.  If you feel you are constantly being kicked in the backside, it simply means you are out front leading.
  4. Bad days are why leadership is desperately needed.  It is when things are difficult or unclear that leaders are desperately needed.  Leaders are the ones who help individuals navigate these times.
  5. Bad days are times for personal development.  Sometimes events take place as a…

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Facebook is one of the most useful tools a pastor or church leader can use to connect with people. But you can do so much more than post church announcements. The following are 7 Effective Ways Pastors And Churches Use Facebook To Grow The Church.

Before I address Facebook specifically, as a gift to readers of this site, click HERE or on the image to the left for a wonderful FREE Ebook from my friends at Church Fuel on how churches can use content marketing in general to better reach their communities.

Now, onto the 7 ways you can use Facebook to grow your church:

  1. Post Engaging Content – One of the best ways to grow your social influence is to post engaging content on Facbeook. Announcements are not naturally engaging, so be careful treating Facebook like a digital church bulletin. When your posts are engaging, people will naturally share. But every now and then, make an intentional effort to ASK them to share. Lifepoint Church in Fredricksburg Virginia does this really well.
  2. Promote Your Community’s Events – Your Facebook page shouldn’t be all about the church.  Share events and content from your community…

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Skinny jeans and a tattoo does not make you a leader!” – Christine Caine from Catalyst ’14

As a member of INJOY Stewardship Solutions, I have the privilege of attending some of the greatest Christian conferences possible. During the second half of 2014, several events among others stood out.

Therefore, I am proud to announce my latest Ebook  Skinny Jeans And A Tattoo Does Not Make You A Leader And 999 More Leadership Quotes: Wise Words & Timeless Truths From The 2014 Double, Global Leadership Summit and Catalyst Conferences (and more) is FREE with a subscription to this website.

Here are just some of the events you will learn from:

  • Double ’14 took place at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. Put on by the NewSpring staff, this amazing event was designed to help churches double in attendance.
  • Global Leadership Summit is the Willow Creek Association’s annual convergence of Christian and business leaders.
  • Catalyst ‘14 had a different feel this year. The content was much more geared to Next Generation Christian leaders. An extra day of Lab sessions are included in the content.

These and other events featured many incredible…

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Trust is a fragile.  Trust is the foundation of all healthy relationships.  Trust takes a lifetime to build but can be lost at a moment in time.  You cannot grow a church without trust.

When you talk about trust or distrust with pastors and church leaders, it almost always falls into two categories – sex and money.  And while there has been some very public failures in these areas, I would submit to you these are not the areas most church members distrust their church leadership.

After countless conversations and almost three decades of personal leadership experience, I would submit the two areas where pastors and church leaders are least trusted by their congregations are…..Competence and Execution.

  • Competence is defined as “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.”
  • Execution is defined as “the carrying out or putting into effect a plan or course of action.”

Trust is most often lost not in whether the pastor or church leader is a good person, has the fruit of the Spirit, is Godly, has high moral character or whether you personally like them or not.

Trust is lost because of broken promises, continual missed expectations, empty high-church rhetoric, lack of movement,…

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“The best thing about ministry is the people.  The worst thing about the ministry is the people.” – Unknown

Does your pastor truly love people?  If you are a pastor reading this you are probably thinking, “Of course I do.”  But I talk to dozens of people who would say otherwise.  They would say that while their pastor is an incredibly gifted communicator or administrator, he simply does not love his people.

Last week, I had the privilege of joining two of America’s greatest pastors, Dr. Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church Woodstock (Ga) and Mike Linch of NorthStar Church in Kennesaw, GA, to serve pastors and church leaders in a two-day event called Capital Campaign University.  Mike delivered the opening devotion while Pastor Johnny was the first evening’s dinner speaker.  Notes from their sessions can be found HERE and HERE.

What I took way from my time with both pastors was how much they genuinely love people.  Loving people…

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Million DollarsI hear it all the time from pastors and church leaders, “If we just had someone who could give us $1 million, wouldn’t that be great?”  You have heard these words as well.  Perhaps you are the one who has said them.

God wants all churches to be financially blessed.  So why does one church get large gifts and another doesn’t?  Why does financial resources and relief seem to flow to certain ministries and not others?  There are many great churches and pastors who seem to do everything right but just do not seem to catch a break.  Why?  I had to find out the answer.

Recently, the wonderful North Metro Church in Marietta, GA received a $3.4 million matching gift to help pay off its $7.6 million debt.  This church is very close to my heart as I was part of the group who initially planted it.

I recently sat down with North Metro’s Lead Pastor Rob McDowell and Operations Pastor John Maggart to learn what they did to receive such a generous gift.  They were kind enough to share their thoughts as we collectively have a desire…

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There are perks to leadership but there is also a price to leadership.  And that price is steep.  There is pain, sacrifice, disappointment, sweat, hard work, time, obstacles and financial responsibilities.  But what all successful leaders know is the price is more than worth it.

I was reminded of this fact after watching the video above.  After defeating the Indianapolis Colts 42-7 to win the NFC East championship, the Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett delivered the following post-game speech.

As I listened to Garrett’s words, I gleaned the following 13 Reasons Everyone Should Want To Be A Leader:

  1. Leaders Get To Celebrate Accomplishment – The Cowboys were experiencing sheer joy as they left the field and entered the locker room.
  2. Leaders Have Stronger Beliefs –  Because of the responsibilities leaders have, they simply own things at a deeper level than others.  Coach Garrett acknowledged, “I just believe this from the bottom of my heart.”
  3. Leaders Get To Build Up The Self-Worth Of Others – Some people have a poor self-image.  Leaders get to help others have greater self-confidence.  Coach Garrett said, “Be who you are.”
  4. Leaders Are Get To Live Lives Fueled By Deep Passion – When hiring people to…

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Is your community glad your church exists?  In the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, GA, local businesses and schools are thrilled Piedmont Church is there.  Led by Ike Reighard, Piedmont is committed to blessing its community and has seamlessly woven itself into the daily fabric of North Atlanta life.  Nowhere was this more apparent than this past Saturday when the church put on an event called Christmas At Piedmont.

As a gift to the community, Piedmont partnered with local businesses and schools to host over 20,000 visitors during this two-day event.  The church’s Senior Associate Pastor Marlon Longacre, and for my money the best community pastor in America, first made me aware of Christmas At Piedmont back in November.  But when I read about it on the front page of the Marietta Daily Journal as “One Of The Top 5 Things To Do In Marietta This Weekend”,  I knew my family needed to stop by.

The following is what I and thousands of others discovered upon arriving at the church (and I want to emphasize – this a church:


IMG_0046A dark reality exists for many Christians that deep down they don’t talk about at parties.  Many Christians, if they would be totally transparent, are extremely nervous to bring their unchurched friends to their weekend services.  This concern comes from a variety of things.  Lack of excellence, outdated music, rude members and boring sermons are just a few of many hurdles Christians must overcome before inviting their friends who are unchurched.

This past Sunday my wife received a phone call from a friend who joyfully said, “The young couple we just met came to church today.  They had a great time.  I am so proud of our church.”  I immediately followed up to find out what were the key factors in this young couple, who also had a newborn baby, having such a great experience.

The following are 11 Practices Of Churches You Are Excited To Take Your Unchurched Friends To:

  1. Churches You Are Excited To Take Your Unchurched Friends To Act Like They Are Expecting Unchurched People To Show Up – This church had clear signage upon entering the property which directed them directly to easy-access Visitor Parking.
  2. Churches You Are Excited To Take Your Unchurched Friends…

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WritingTo all pastors and church staff,

I want you to know that I know being a pastor or church staff member is the most difficult job in the world.  While it has unbelievable highs and on its best days is the most rewarding occupation/calling in the world, it is also the most difficult.  Unlike us in the marketplace, you lead volunteer armies and face an enemy (Satan and his demons) we may or may not encounter on a regular basis.

You have given your lives to serve people like me, my family and friends.  As a result, the two most important words I and everyone else under your leadership can ever say is “THANK YOU”.

  1. Thank you for going to God on our behalf and praying for us daily.
  2. Thank you for studying God’s Word and communicating its truths to us in a compelling fashion.
  3. Thank you and your family for being willing to live in a fishbowl.
  4. Thank you for demonstrating grace, love and patience when people question your motives and competency.  Sheep may be dumb but they bite.  And they have a taste for pastors and church staff.
  5. Thank you for putting in countless hours.
  6. Thank you for…

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Baptisms on Easter

Troy Page recently noted on, “Remember that the win is not how many people show up for Easter –  it’s how many people come back.Shoot for 75% of your Easter crowd.”

This morning I was sitting in our church parking lot waiting on my daughter to get out of her high school small group.  Waiting gave me a great opportunity to listen to the conversations of those leaving our church service.

The most impactful conversation took place between a father and his young daughter.  He asked the following questions:

  1. “Did you have fun today?”
  2. “What did you learn about Jesus?”

These two questions were a reminder of Page’s comments above and what constitutes a win for churches on Easter Sunday.

Whether you are a seasoned Christian parent(s) such as the father above or have little or no church background, most parents generally ask the same two questions of their children when they get in their car after church:

  1. Did you have fun?
  2. What did you learn?

Churches do a great job of putting significant effort into their Sunday worship services.  I would like to challenge all churches to put an equal amount of effort into your children’s classes…

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Growth ChartI have been involved in a number of conversations lately about church growth. What should growth look like? How does it look different for various sizes of church?  Should you add services or multi-site?  Are the measurements for success primarily attendance and budget?  Can you be successful without numerical growth?  If not, what is a healthy rate of growth?  What about the growth within your people and the making of disciples?  And on and on and on….

In the March edition of Inc. magazine, Leigh Buchanan interviews Stanford professors Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao about the practices of companies who successfully grow and scale.  I found their insights quite applicable for some of the things needed for churches to grow.

While this is obviously not a fully-inclusive list, the following are 7 Practices Of Growing Churches I gleaned from the article:

  1. Growing Churches Focus On Church Health More Than Church Growth – Intuitive church leaders know attendance and budget only tell a portion of the story.  Rick Warren introduced us to the concept of church health.  Rick reminded us healthy things grow.  Therefore, focus…

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