Archives For John Herring

FriendshipWhen we look at Scripture, we can see that Jesus continually spent time with people.  It wasn’t Plan B for him, it was his whole mission.  He had a desire to be with people and could often be found in small and large gatherings.  Somewhere in our culture, we have lost site of the fact that God works best in and through relationships.  We build programs and we create environments that are designed to ‘reach people’.  However, we have become great at trying to reach people at arms length.  We focus on the big picture without realizing that eternal differences are made one relationship at a time.  We are often so busy in this culture that it becomes very difficult to carve out time to just love on people.  And as a result, organizations are formed, but relationships are distant.  We can’t expect to make a difference in our communities if we aren’t willing to spend time with people in real life, day-to-day environments.

I want to give you four reasons to invest time in cultivating personal relationships.

1. Ministry equals Relationships.  Ministry is the ability to touch people at their needs.  It is…

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ServeOne Day mission events are a great way to ‘prime the pump’ of outreach and evangelism in your church.  These events are opportunities to organize simple acts of service throughout your community that will engage your church body and impact the community.  A One Day event isn’t just one event, but multiple events that occur at the same time.  So you could have a group of people prayer walking, a group of people doing a block party geared towards kids at a local park, a group of people doing yard work and minor maintenance in the community and more.  This allows a variety of different people in the church to get involved and engages your community at multiple ‘entry points’.

There are a few things to keep in mind as you move towards creating a one day event at your church.

1.  Play to your churches strengths.  If you have a strong children’s ministry, gear a part of the event towards children.  If many in your church are good with home projects, create an opportunity for them to use their gifts.  Identify some of the areas where your church is strong and…

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PhoneWe can develop all kinds of great plans based on the vision and direction for our church or ministries, but if we do a poor job communicating those plans we limit our success. It’s been said that by the time we get tired of communicating the message, that is when our people finally start to hear it. That’s why having a plan for communicating is important. A couple of years ago, I stumbled into creating a Communications ministry when I realized I was having the same conversations with multiple people about how to communicate our ministry happenings in multiple ways to our church.

As I formed this team, I developed the following direction and plan for the ministry:

This ministry exists to communicate effectively to the our church family as well as the community in which we minister. The underlying goal of this ministry is to manage perception of our church through the different forms of communication we use.’

Message Mapping

This is the process of identifying upcoming events and happenings in the church and ministries that will need communicated and the most effective way to communicate it. Monthly promotional plans includes Sermon Series,…

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Worship EnvironmentsWe are all affected by our surroundings in one way or another.  It either has a positive affect on us or a negative affect on us.  To help you understand this let’s look at a couple of examples:

Imagine you go to 2 restaurants.  One has paint coming off the walls, the table is kept from rocking by some cardboard shoved under one leg, a dead fly is on the table when you sit down, the menus have some sort of sticky residue on them, and you’re treated like you’re intruding on someone else’s time.  This environment will effect your attitude toward the meal you are about to eat.  You order a steak, but you’re not certain that’s what they brought you.  The end result is that your experience was less than perfect.  The other restaurant has just the right lighting, not too bright, not too dark.  You’re treated like you’re family.  The menu’s are clean.  The tables are clean. Everything seems to be good.  This environment will effect your attitude toward the meal you are about to eat.  You order a steak.  It’s just what you were hoping…

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ServeOne of the best ways to include more people in ministry is to create a rotation for your ministries that alternates weekly.  At present, we have a 6 week ministry rotation at our church.  This was started because as we continued to grow, we began to notice two things.  First,  the people who were involved in ministry were getting burned out from serving every week.   Second,  it was becoming harder to find valuable ministry opportunities for people to become involved in as they began to come to the church.  We started looking for solutions.  We realized our Children’s Ministry Director already had a 6 week rotation in place for her ministry that was working effectively.  It didn’t take us long to see that this was something that needed to be implemented into every ministry.  Instantly we had more opportunities to serve than we had people to fill the opportunities.  But this also gave us room to continue to grow and develop.  We also saw that people were able to serve in 2 and 3 ministries without conflict because of this style of rotation.  This helped them to be able…

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The StageThe stage (which is anything you communicate while you are in front of your congregation) is the most valuable communicating tool you have.  This is a time when we have the attention of a large percentage of the people in our church.  This is why it is important to be intentional about how you use this resource.  I’ve been in many services where there is no thought put into what really needs to be communicated from the stage other than the time spent preparing the sermon.  But if we realize that this is a perfect opportunity to cast vision and direction in snapshot segments, we can move our people down a path together.  Realizing this, I developed a team of people that would work within the Communications Team to make the best use of the stage.  It’s not a matter of using a lot of time, it’s a matter of how we use segments of time to convey our messages.  I developed a plan for Service Hosts, which I am including below:

Service Host Handbook

Thank you for serving as a part of the Service Host Team! Your role is…

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Tell the Truth

By John Herring

TruthWe live in a generation where knowledge is power.  It seems that if you know the most, you have power over those who know less.  We esteem information over just about everything else.  This is why we are often consumed with learning how to do things better.  We spend hours and days in training and seminars learning how to do many things.  Now let me say here that I believe education is valuable to a point and training is important if it helps you become who it is God has made you to be.  But there is a point when the training must stop and we should put it all into practice.

I know I personally have sat for many hours learning “How to share my faith”.  When I think about that, it almost seems wrong.  I have listened to others pour into me about how to share something that, if I have it, should be easy to tell.  It is, after all, MY FAITH.  What is it I believe? Who is it I believe in? Where do I place my faith?  The story of Jesus is a simple and powerful…

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Organizing VolunteersHaving a structure to guide you as you develop new ministries and to restructure existing ministries helps keep all ministries functioning in a similar way.  I have learned to accomplish this by having 4 major phases for our volunteer ministries.  These phases start with the first phase being an introductory phase to the ministry leading up to the final volunteer phase being a ministry leader(s) phase.  It’s broke down below for a better understanding.

Volunteer Phases

2nd Lead

This phase of the ladder is for ministry leaders and ministry coaches.  In this phase, a person can become a leader of a portion of ministry where they make decisions concerning the direction of the ministry as they communicate with the Pastor/Director of the ministry.  The requirements to be a part of the second lead phase is to be active in group attendance, consistent in worship attendance, experienced salvation, baptized, member of the church, consistently tithe, evangelistic and sign a ministry agreement for this phase and area of ministry.

1st Lead

This is the start of the leadership phase of the ladder.  In this phase, a person can become a leader of an area or…

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Power of GivingI believe that Stewardship is a process of discipleship.  Because of this, we need to be able to measure the growth of the discipleship in this area of ministry just as in any other area.  There are some who have the spiritual gift of giving, but there are others that this must be cultivated in as they develop in their walk with Christ.  As such, it is important for a pastor to not only identify the types of givers that are in the church, but also develop a plan to disciple these givers into the next step of giving.  As we take an initial look at giving there are three things we need to do:

1.  WE NEED TO IDENTIFY TYPES OF GIVERS

There are 5 Types of Givers in Every Church

Never Given  (Non-Givers)

  • How many are giving nothing?
  • This number may surprise you if you haven’t been paying attention to your giving numbers.
  • The first law of leadership is to define reality (Max Depree).  By looking at “current reality” statistics, you create a benchmark to measure progress in your church’s stewardship.  You can track individual giving in a database.  From…

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Baby TurtlesBig Days are a great way to reach new people in your community.  These are opportunities to be intentional about outreach.  It’s important that when we cast vision for Big Days, we emphasize that our target is to invite people who are not active in another church.  It’s great to have our friends and family visit who may be from another church, but that doesn’t do much to grow the kingdom.  We emphasize to invite everyone you come in contact with, but make sure your priority is inviting those who are lost or needing a church home.  I’ve discovered after several years of having Big Days at our church that a well promoted and well planned Big Day can bring in double your average weekly attendance and increase your weekly attendance by as much as 20% going forward.  Additionally, you should pray for, plan for and expect people to accept Christ as their Savior.  (This is why it’s important to have a New Believer follow up plan in place. I will be sharing our plan in the near future.)

Each year, our church plans several Big Days designed to…

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I’ve heard many ministers in these economic times make statements that their people just aren’t giving like they used to give.  Offerings have dropped drastically in many churches.  This may not be a testimony of the people as much as it is a testimony of how we are doing as leaders to cast vision for giving.  This subject is at times avoided from the pulpit so as not to give people the idea that all we want is their money.  But the truth is that Jesus spoke more on money than He did on Heaven or Hell combined.  I believe this is because Jesus knew that we hold tightly to our money when we’re trusting in IT, and loosely to our money when we’re trusting in GOD.  This is why one good measurement of spiritual growth within your church is increased giving in the life of the church (not just financially, but in other areas as well).  We should realize that this is an excellent tool for us as pastors/leaders to use to identify where our people are in their walk with God.

If those who are…

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If we want to see God show up and show out we have to be willing to get out of the way.  We are a culture that ‘plans’ everything and then asks God for His approval.  But I believe that if we are going to see God move beyond our abilities or our plans, we must start with one very powerful thing.  This is called PRAYER!  Prayer is not ‘plan B’ or an afterthought.  Prayer should be our ‘plan A’.  It should be where we start with everything we do.

There has never been a mighty movement of God where He did not call His people to pray.  Prayer revives the hearts of God’s people as it prepares our communties for God’s word to be spread.  As we pray for our communities, we can begin to see a spiritual awakening around us that is prompted by God, not our gimics.  Prayer allows us to tap into God’s power.  Realizing all of this, we can know that concentrated prayer has the power to literally change the world around us.  A great way to put our prayers into motion is…

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