Archives For Brian K. Dodd


An effective church vision has been described as many things. Bill Hybels calls vision “a picture of the future that produces passion and puts people in it.” Others say it is a picture of a preferred future. I say vision is what you see, feel, and hear on Sunday compounded over time.

Regardless of what definition resonates most with you, there are 10 things an effective church vision must do:

  1. An effective church vision has to paint a very clear picture of the future.
  2. An effective church vision must be measurable.
  3. An effective church vision unites generations and multiple constituents around Kingdom purposes.
  4. An effective church vision places short-term strategies into long-term perspective.
  5. An effective church vision rings with clarity of future direction. It must take the church somewhere.
  6. An effective church vision is memorable. People can repeat the primary elements.
  7. An effective church vision is inspiring. It excites and enthuses the people!
  8. An effective church vision is ambitious. It involves faith, courage, and risk. It’s so big that unless God is in it, it’s not happening!
  9. An effective church vision is relevant to people the church has reached and has been called by God to reach.
  10. An effective…

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I love where I go to church. My family can’t wait for Sunday mornings.  Each one of us serves, even my 12-year-old daughter.  We faithfully support our church with our time, energy, money, and prayers.  I absolutely adore my pastor, Crawford Loritts. But this is not about my home church.

Like many churches we do not have a Sunday evening service.  Therefore, my family often visits Passion City Church (PCC) in downtown Atlanta on Sunday evenings.  For those of you unfamiliar with PCC, this church is pastored by Louie Giglio and is where Chris TomlinChristy Nockels, and Kristian Stanfill among others lead worship.

I have been attending church for 30+ years and have never seen the level of energy, expectation, and excitement that I’ve seen from the tribe at PCC. People cannot wait for the church service to begin.  Therefore, I want to walk through what I experience at PCC and use it as a template for measuring how excited people are to attend a particular church.

When you attend PCC, you will notice in sequential order:

  1. People Bring Their Friends – The ultimate measurement whether your people are…

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Recently I attended the That Church Conference to learn more about how churches can better leverage social media to impact our world for Christ.  One of the individuals I connected with was Jonathan Carone.  Jonathan had recently released The Church Template, a low cost website template designed specifically to help churches reach their community.  I highly recommend you check it out.

He was also kind enough to share with me some common mistakes he sees on church websites.  I wanted to pass along his thoughts to you.

The following are 10 Common Mistakes Found On Church Websites from Jonathan Carone of The Church Template:

1) Not mobile friendly

This is likely the hardest mistake to correct on this list but it’s by far the most important. Research is coming out saying that 60% of the Internet is viewed on a mobile device. Other reports tell us that 80% of Internet users own a smart phone. To reach people in 2015, your website needs to be optimized for mobile viewing.

2) Focused on your current attenders

Does your website focus on what your ministries are doing next week? Or does it focus on what the potential guest…

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Regardless of what anyone says, no one likes change but a baby.  But successful leaders know change is not only a constant reality, it is necessary for continued success.

Change is a true constant to be leveraged.  Not a temporary burden to avoid.

I love the Bible.  It is simply the greatest leadership book ever written.  In Genesis 32:22-32, we read the story of Jacob wrestling with God.  During this struggle, God changed Jacob and an entire nation for the rest of human history.  And God wants to change us as well.

As I read the text, I gleaned the following 10 Things Pastors And Church Leaders Should Know About Handling Change:

  1. Change Affects Those You Love – v. 22 – “And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok.”  Leading change is not popular.  People do not want to change, especially their music or worship service.  Therefore, the effects of change on a leader’s life are often experienced by their family as well.
  2. Change Costs You Some Change – v. 23 – “He took them, sent them over the brook,…

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Leadership comes with a microphone.  This is because in every leader’s life there comes a time when they must stand up and say, “Follow me!”

In an effort to help provide leaders with the best public speaking tools, I turned to the greatest leadership book ever written – the Bible.

In 1 Chronicles 28-29, King David stands before the nation of Israel and calls them to sacrifice for the construction of Solomon’s Temple.  In addition to casting vision for this legendary facility, there is an increased level of drama because David is handing the mantle of leadership to his son Solomon just prior to his death.

As I read the text, the following are 20 Things Great Public Speakers Do I gleaned from these two chapters.  First is the lesson followed by the supporting text.

  1. Great Public Speakers Know Their Audience – 28:1 – “Now David assembled at Jerusalem all the leader of Israel, the officers of the tribes and the captains of the divisions who served the king, the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the…

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red-vintage-old-chair-largeIn the August 19th edition of USA Today, managing editor Erik Davis was quoted as saying, “(For summer movies) the trailers are about making you in awe of what you’re watching…Fall (Oscar hopeful) awards trailers are about making you feel something.  They want you to remember the movie, the experience.  It made you feel sad, emotional.  You cried, you saw something that was beautiful.  They want to win you over on your on your emotions.”As I read his words, I was personally challenged by the level of effort Hollywood film producers put into a 2-to-3 minute movie trailer to engage your emotions.

Even though they are made with an incredible level of creativity and excellence, I was reminded how much more important weekly church services are than movie trailers.  Simply put, a movie trailer cannot change a person’s life.  But Jesus Christ working through our church services changes people’s lives on a weekly basis.

Whatever effort is put into a movie trailer, how much more effort should go into the planning and execution of our weekly church services?

Based upon my…

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I recently quoted Dr. John Maxwell in my post 24 Things Successful Leaders Are Thinking when he said, “99% of great ideas never become a reality. They just stay in the mind. It’s not the thought you have in the shower. It’s what you do with it after you dry off.”

Sadly, many leaders have an inability to effectively follow through. We will never know how many dreams God placed in leaders’ hearts which went unfulfilled.

One of the primary reasons leaders do not act if FEAR. This may surprise you but recently, Bryan Miles, co-founder of MAG Bookkeeping, discussed this topic in detail. The following are his thoughts:

Feeling great about a new idea is awesome. Dealing with the feeling of impossibility about your new idea … well, that isn’t so great. And that is where a lot of great people with great ideas get hung up and never jump (aka take the leap).

If you’ve ever balked at an idea that you felt passionate about … you won’t like what I am about to tell you.


That’s it. A decision. A decision to act. To…

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Leaders love quotes.  A good quote puts into language what we feel intuitively in our heart and soul.  It clarifies our thinking and cuts through the clutter to get to the heart of the issues we are facing.
A good quote is repeatable.  It strengthens our leadership and message when used properly.  A good quote causes our great ideas to spread.  It is portable.When a pastor or leader says something memorable, something repeatable, it allows their message to be discussed days, sometimes weeks, later.  As a result, quotes make us better leaders.

Welcome to my latest eBook 969 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From 2015’s Top Christian Conferences.  This is a FREE resource with a subscription to this site.

The pages of this resource contain the best thoughts from some of today’s top Christian, business and athletic leaders from the following conferences held during the first half of the year:

  • Passion 2015 – The annual gathering of students in Atlanta and Houston lifted up the name of Jesus and relieved suffering around the globe.
  • Capital Campaign University – This two-day conference was put on my INJOY Stewardship Solutions. The attendees…

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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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