Archives For Tony Morgan


Many of you just read the title of this article and want to stop reading. From your perspective, the subtitle includes a four-letter word. It’s the P word: plan. In your mind, that means slow down and look backward before you can look forward. It means pausing to assess what’s working and what needs improvement.

It means taking your foot off the pedal for a moment to discern what’s next for your church. It means taking a break to make sure we have the right people in the right roles to tackle the right initiatives and get the right results. All of that takes time, and the way you’re wired makes slowing down to plan the next steps a huge challenge.

Let’s face it. You had a plan before, but it was in your head.

You didn’t ask for anyone else’s input when you developed that plan because you were the only person around at the time. Since then, growth has happened naturally. And that’s the problem.

Now there are more people. More leaders. More opinions. More ministries. More opportunities. Growth leads to more. And more, if unchecked, leads to complexity and plateau. Don’t believe me?

Ask the…

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Several years ago, I walked into a senior pastor’s office and we started to talk. You should know that I get paid for strategy consultations, but much of what I do is really counseling. I’m good with that. I want to do all I can to help pastors get healthy and grow healthy churches.

As I sat across from him at his desk, I knew he was overwhelmed. I could have told you that without even hearing his story. He wasn’t in a healthy spot, and his team wasn’t healthy either. He was running 100 miles per hour, and he had no margin in his life.

The reason I knew he was overwhelmed was because I saw his organizational chart before I walked into his office. Every leader of every ministry in the church reported directly to him. By the way, that’s not an uncommon structure for small and mid-sized churches. That can work for a season.

In my experience, though, when a church grows to 1,000 or more attendance, that structure will begin to buckle.

As I remember, this pastor had 14 different staff leaders reporting directly to him. I can’t remember the entire mix now,…

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For those who may not be familiar with my story, I became a Christ-follower in high school. I’m grateful for several men who influenced the early steps in my spiritual journey, including guys like Charlie, Lee, and Chris. Charlie, in particular, met with me just about every Saturday over several months. I would either go to his home or his office, and he helped me begin to understand who Jesus was and what he did for me.

Through that process, I was introduced to the Bible. This was a big deal for me. As I was growing up, the church I attended did not encourage people to engage with God’s Word. I heard messages taught from the Bible growing up, but there was no encouragement to read, study, or attempt to apply the Bible to my life. That’s why when Charlie introduced me to the story of Jesus in the New Testament, I was captivated. God’s Word really came alive for me.

Though we were several years away from getting married, Emily also encouraged me in those first steps of faith. In fact, she gave me my first leather-bound Bible as my high…

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Most organizational communication problems are really something else.

Here are a few examples:

My friend Kaleigh is a freelance copywriter. Business owners routinely hire her to write their About Us webpages and their Core Values. She often has to make the content up from scratch . . .

. . . because they need her to tell them who they should be since they don’t know.

I once attended a church and regularly heard the leaders complain that people wouldn’t sign up for small groups. Every Sunday they announced Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies and special classes and events for young adults. People signed up for those things . . .

. . . because that’s what sounded important and fun.

When I worked in corporate PR, I had a well-known technology company on retainer. About once a month, my team and I were asked to write a press release and pitch journalists…

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