Archives For Brian K. Dodd

Angry Guy YellingThis is a very important post because the content below is going to save someone’s job and ministry.  For others, it will be a sad reminder of lost opportunity.  For another group, the information will be laughed off and ignored to your own peril.

The only difference between anger and danger is the letter “D”.  This is especially true for pastors.  Over the past three decades, I have encountered several pastors with anger issues.  The stories never ended well.

The following are 13 Realities Of Angry Pastors:

  1. Angry Pastors Have Experienced Significant Pain And Disappointment – Hurt people hurt people.  Even when they are pastors.
  2. Angry Pastors Have Control Issues – They get angry when they cannot control others and/or situations.  This often reveals itself when they are questioned.  Angry pastors frequently confuse questions with questioning.
  3. Angry Pastors Have Short Tenures – Because they lack emotional intelligence and needlessly burn so many bridges, attendance and giving decline.  The people have voted with their feet and wallets.  The pastor is ultimately removed.
  4. Angry Pastors Lead Smaller And Smaller Congregations – Interestingly, anger limits the size of churches you can be entrusted with.  I know of one pastor…

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In last week’s The Top 10 Leadership Posts I Read The Week Of June 8th, Beth Riedemann wrote a post entitled An Open Letter To Mike Linch, Sr. Pastor at NorthStar.

The title caught my attention because Mike is one of my dearest friends and one of the great pastors in America.  You can follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

As I read Beth’s post I was moved by her transparency as she recounted her family’s story of coming back to church and the role NorthStar Church and Mike, specifically, have played in her spiritual journey.

While no two stories are ever the same, the following are 20 Facts About The Unchurched People Who Visit Your Church I gleaned from Beth’s comments:

  1. Unchurched People were often deeply affected as children by the actions of their parents and their view of God.
  2. Unchurched People were often judged harshly by those in roles of spiritual authority.
  3. Unchurched People often watched Christians treat each other harshly. Why would they want to be part of that?
  4. Unchurched People are unclear on what is needed to go to Heaven.
  5. Unchurched People have seen poor Christian leadership modeled for them. Thankfully, God…

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Last week I had a meeting with an incredible group of church leaders. As part of our initial time together, I like to ask each of those in attendance what brings them back to their church week after week. After all, in America, there is no shortage of churches to attend. Often, there is one on every corner. So I am particularly interested in what is it about this particular church that so connects you to the heart of God?

As we went around the room and I heard each person’s individual story, one response stopped me dead in my tracks. It was unlike any answer I had ever heard.

The gentleman looked right at me and very calmly but with extreme certainty said the following words, “You travel a lot. Do you know how you feel when arrive back at home? That’s how I feel when I come to this church.”

His words pierced my heart and have stuck with me all week. Going to church should feel like coming home.

As I gave it some thoughts, I realized there are 10 Ways Coming To Church Should Make You Feel Like You Are Coming Home:

  1. My family, which…

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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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Pillars

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:

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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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