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Church Talk

The church in North American appears to be in a bit of trouble. Let's face it, it doesn't have the greatest reputation; it's been losing as many as a million members a year; and it doesn't look like much is going change any time soon. Indeed, there are those who have predicted that the demise of the church is at hand.



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Church Talk
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The congregations that play together stay together. How well and how often does your congregation play together? In this episode Drs. Bill and Kris will offer hints for helpful play and fortuitous fun that can make a big difference in your congregation's transformational efforts. Are you game?
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Ever notice how often churches seem to split over theological issues? Occasionally a "little" issue will frustrate a church, but it's those big issues like abortion, alcohol, homosexuality, political stances, and so on that divide the church right down the middle. In this episode, Drs. Kris and Bill will drill down to the root cause of these conflicts ... beliefs ... and offer so thoughts on how churches can bullet-proof themselves from these kinds of issues by developing their...
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Fall is just around the corner. All those "Back to School" events and fall fellowships are just about to start. But wait ... did you know that you're likely to have your most receptive first-time visitors start dropping in around August? Don't wait until it's too late. Start getting ready for your fall push now!
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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It's not now, nor has it ever been, the church's job to make disciples out of children. From the beginning, that task has fallen to the parents. However, with fewer adults raised in the church, how to raise up the kids to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ is fast becoming a lost art. In this episode, Drs. Kris and Bill offer specific tips and tools for helping your church leaders train parents to disciple their children.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Although the common consensus is that small groups are the most effective disciple-making tools. However, if the truth be told, few small groups are raising up increasingly more faithful and effective disciples. In fact, most small group participants leave a small group in about the same spiritual shape as when they started. This week, Drs. Bill and Kris will take on small groups and how to make them disciple-making factories.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Do you find yourself, or your congregation, talking more about others than speaking to them or, better yet, conversing with one another? This week Drs. Kris and Bill will share tips share practical tips for developing and enhancing your congregation's conversational skills . . . one of keys to effective transformations.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Why is it that church and technology seem to be mutually exclusive terms? The folks in the pews have HD TVs, DVD players, computers, cell phones, and PDAs. But getting the church into the 20th century, let alone the 21st, is like pulling teeth. This week Drs. Bill and Kris Tenny-Brittian take on the technology monster. What does a church really need and how can you use technology effectively in order to reach and touch and inspire those in the pews and in the community?
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Paul wrote that to become strong Christians we have to get weaned off of the milk and grow up. And yet our churches seem to be filled with spiritual babies who whine and need their spiritual diapers changed. This week, Drs. Bill and Kris will take a look at how to help Christian Babes grow into Spiritual Giants.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Bullies and terrorists. If you know what we're talking about, you'll want to tune into this week's episode of Church-Talk to hear Drs. Bill and Kris' practical, straight-to-the-point hints and helps to neutralize and disarm those who are pushing you around and holding your congregation hostage.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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More and more churches are shutting down their Sunday School programs because they can't get adults to bring their children. Other churches just keep limping along, trying to expand from two or three kids. In this episode, Drs. Kris and Bill will dig deep to find some alternatives that are working around the nation. Whether you need to move Sunday School to the worship hour, create a children's small group program, or rework the program you have, this is a don't-miss episode.
Church Talk
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Join Dr. Kris and guest Jay Stevenson this week as they move through a brief introduction to disciplines that can grow your spiritual life, and that of your congregation. Because the quality of our corporate worship truly depends on the quality of each worshipper's personal worship, this is a topic of great importance and impact that you won't want to miss.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Is your congregation having trouble growing beyond 50 . . . 100 . . . 200 . . . 500? Do arguments seem to break out or people leave when your worship attendance nears one of those "magic" numbers? Have you been hearing a bit of "us/them" language of late? You may be experiencing some of the challenges of size transitioning: breaking through size barriers. Drs. Kris and Bill are here this week to commiserate but, more than that, to counsel and cheer you on! Whatever your...
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Christmas Eve worship services are the only socially acceptable church services that an unchurched person can attend – attending any other service invites derision from co-workers, friends, and even family. This is also the one time during the year when most churches can count on a significant increase in first-time guest visitation. How will you capitalize on it this year? In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris offer concrete advice on how to make the most of this important service.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Church Growth has pretty much taken it on the chin. From the darling of the sixties and seventies, the whole movement was pretty much tossed aside by the nineties as so-much snake oil. But did we throw the baby out with the bathwater? Aren't growing churches a good thing? In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris will sort it all out and offer some ideas and resources on how you can help grow your church.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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The Christmas season typically has the highest attended worship services of the year ... especially Christmas Eve. But what comes after Christmas? The two lowest attended services of the year. It doesn't have to be that way. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris offer suggestions for how to carry your attendance from one season to the next. Can we say "Hand-offs"?
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Short of cash to do ministry? How about a little creative funds raising? This week's episode will offer suggestions for ways to bridge the gaps so your congregation can do even more and better ministry and mission.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Yes, Drs. Kris and Bill will talk today, hopefully in ways that will inspire and encourage their listeners to consider and venture further into the world of non-verbal communication. Join them today, during the season of sights, sounds, and multi-sensory opportunities to learn how to enhance your service and services, no matter what the season of the year.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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The holy-days are upon us and the church needs to be ready. For whatever reason, this season of the year is the only time in which it is politically correct for the unchurched and unreached to attend church. Indeed, the Christmas Eve service is generally the church's highest unchurched visitor attended service of the year. How are you going to make the most of it? Let's talk about it this month!
Church Talk
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What's it take to "do" relevant, practical, not-embarrassing evangelism for the rank and file Christian today? It's not about scripts or quoting scripture or arguing or convincing. Evangelism that works begins with your faith story, and specifically with your relationship with Jesus. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris offer a proven process for helping churched folks find ways to articulate their personal faith without fear.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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The economy is affecting every segment of the nation and churches are no exception. Giving is down almost everywhere, charitable giving is down a smidgen, but church giving has dropped dramatically. And yet, this is not the time for the church to hunker in the bunker. This week, Drs. Bill and Kris take on stewardship, ministry-funding, and the economy in one fell swoop. With Guest J. Clif Christopher of Horizons Stewardship and author of Not Your Parents' Offering...
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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For the church, the holy-day season can also be the most exhausting, stressful, push-push-push seasons of the year. Indeed, many church leaders find themselves hitting the wall about this time of the year and frankly don't know where to turn. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris provide real-world tips on more than just surviving Christmas – you really can thrive and find refreshment.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Probably one of the most difficult ministries to start and maintain is a successful singles' ministry. This week we'll share insights we've gained over the years, and speak to some guests who've experienced success in providing excellence in reaching this most difficult of crowds.
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by Church Talk
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It's nearly that time again. There's only two months until Christmas and if you haven't got your Advent planned, it's time to get into gear. Getting into the holy-day spirit early so you can get your plans made before it's too late, Drs. Bill and Kris offer this year's checklist to get you ready for what's to come.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to encourage one-another daily. Daily. Meaning every day. But when was the last time someone from your church picked up the phone and called you just to ask how they could pray for you? Or how they could help you in your spiritual walk? In this episode, Drs. Kris and Bill de-mystify the encouragement vacuum to help you and your congregation move from apathy to caring for one-another.
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It's no longer true (if it ever was) that congregations cannot grow in dying communities. Indeed, if ever there is a need for strong, life-giving congregations, it's in declining areas. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris share stories of hope and resurrection in places other people gave up on long ago. Listen for encouragement, to share your encouragement, and to learn how just about any congregation can grow in any setting.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Is there such a thing as a "sick" congregation? Can a congregation be "terminally ill?" Drs. Kris and Bill move past diagnosis this week to talk about church health, fitness, and congregational longevity.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Join Drs. Bill and Kris this week as they share proven no-cost and low-cost ways to get the word out about what's going on in your congregation and excite people into wanting to be part of what you're doing.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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In too many churches, it seems like the main lesson we're trying to teach our children is to "Sit still; Be quiet; and Behave." But Drs. Bill and Kris are convinced that when it comes to children, the main task of the church is to help them become effective disciples of Jesus Christ. In the episode, learn how to move past "Hush!!" to Faith.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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They've been coming for a couple weeks but they don't seem to be connecting yet. How are you going to keep your guests coming back? Experience shows that if they haven't made at least one good friend in six months they're unlikely to remain. This week, Drs. Bill and Kris will take a look at how to help your guests connect and integrate them into the congregation.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Do you know what the "Ultimate Question" for Christians is? It's not about who's in or who's out. It's not about some theological doctrine. The Ultimate Question is this: What is it about your relationship with Jesus that the world can't live without. That's a personal question ... and one that surprisingly few Christians can answer off the top of their heads. The answer is critical, though, when confronted with the opportunity to "share the reason for the hope that we have: (1...
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by Church Talk
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For those listeners who enjoy hearing Drs. Kris and Bill disagree, this will be a don't miss episode. With a little something for everyone, this episode will offer tips for tweaking, and thoughts for thinking into the "what's nexts" of, Sunday School.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Fall's just around the corner ... really ... and it's already past time for Fall program planning, but we're sure at least one good idea will Fall into your lap today, whether you use it in the next few weeks or get started now for Fall 2010! Join Dr. Bill and friends this week as they broadcast live from the Ministry in Hard Times Event at the North Campus of Geist Christian Church in Fishers, IN.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Ask any pastor and s/he will likely confirm that there's a huge leadership vacuum in the church today. Nominating committees feel the pinch every year as they recycle the same-old-tired leaders who are blessedly willing, but sadly less than passionate about serving one more year. How can your church be the exception to the rule? By taking seriously the biblical model of mentoring. Drs. Bill and Kris take on this timely topic with their ineffable gig and grace style.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Evangelism. It's one of the most maligned, misunderstood, and un-practiced spiritual habit in the church today. In this episode, Drs. Kris and Bill introduce the Ten A's of Evangelism in an effort to keep it simple.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Feel like your Nominating Committee could be renamed the Negotiating or Nagging Committee? Not to worry, you're not alone. This week Drs. Bill and Kris are here to help you navigate past negotiation, "no"s and other negative forms of leadership recruitment to deal realistically with your congregation's policies and procedures while developing effective and pick-me-pick-me! leaders.
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A few years ago, there was a popular move to "convert" committees, departments, name-your-group into "teams." Are teams better than committeees? Than departments? This week Drs. Bill and Kris consider these questions and more. And, more importantly, they'll be talking about the who, what, wheres, and whys of effecting teams for effective ministry.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Every church thinks they're ready for visitors and guests ... but few are. The fact is, America, church hospitality is at best weak and at worst unintentionally hostile to those who are unconnected the Jesus and the church. This week Drs. Bill and Kris will offer suggestions to help church leaders get ready for visitors.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Committees or Teams? The "team" buzz word of the last five or ten years doesn't seem to have infected the church much. A committee by any other name is still a committee - and in today's real world, committees are so, well, "yesterday." In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris take on the task of helping your church develop authentic teams that function well enough to get the job done.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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In honor of Net Results magazine's 30th Anniversary Issue (www.NetResults.org), Drs. Kris and Bill are presenting the last in a five part series on breaking church size transitions. This week's episode will explore moving past the 350 barrier, often called the Corporate-Sized Church. This is the size transition considered to be the most difficult for pastors to make. In their imitable style, Bill and Kris will explore the issues that are likely to creep up and how to deal with each as your...
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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In honor of Net Results magazine's 30th Anniversary Issue (www.NetResults.org), Drs. Kris and Bill are presenting the third in a five part series on breaking church size transitions. This week's episode will explore busting through the 200 barrier. This is the most difficult congregational barrier of them all - less than 20% of congregations attempting this breach actually succeed. But there is hope. You CAN break through it. In this episode, Bill and Kris will be looking at the issues that are...
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by Church Talk
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Church mission statements are too often little more than framed words in a document frame hanging on a wall. The only way a mission statement propels a congregation forward is when the church's leadership keeps mission first. In this month's show, Bill and Tom will chat about church's can maintain mission integrity.
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by Church Talk
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It's one thing to know what your church's mission is, but it's a whole other realm to put that into action. In fact, most churches have a file in some dusty file cabinet marked "Mission" where all their hard (and sometimes painful) work is kept from the light of day. This week Drs. Bill and Kris will help you get that mission statement out of the dark and into practice in your church.
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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Pastors never "arrive": they should always be in process and growing. And, as with all growth, there are some transitions that can make or break them. Join Drs. Kris and Bill this week to learn what those transitions are and how to make the most of them.
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Generally, we only get two shots a year to reach (not reach out) the unchurched open to coming to a worship service . . . this is your last chance for 2009. Will you be ready? What are you going to do? Listen and learn.
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Every week the congregation files into worship with expectations. When they leave, an hour or so later, what are they going home with? Will it be another week of "Gee Whiz, that was interesting" that quickly gathers cobwebs in the head, or will there be a commitment to do and be different beginning right now? This week Drs. Bill and Kris take to the airways to discuss teaching preaching ... how to make a difference in people's lives.
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Evangelism is still a bit of a four-letter word in the minds of many Christians. It conjures up visions of knocking on doors, handing out leaflets, and quoting Bible verses. For over 300 years, according to some, the church has been obsessed with conversions rather than discipleship. And in case you haven't noticed, that doesn't seem to be working very well anymore. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris will chat about what's working these days. Could it really be as simple as having a...
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Faithful growing churches have a culture of trust that permeates virtually everything. When you trust your pastors, your committee or team leaders, and the membership, ministry decisions can be made when they're needed and lives can be moved, touched, and inspired at the point of maximum impact. This episode will look at how a church can build that kind of trust.
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Here at Church-Talk we've spoken a good bit about resolving church conflict. But there's more to resolution than calling a peace treaty - Jesus calls the church to reconciliation. In this episode, learn the 8-Rs of reconciliation and put them into practice in your congregation. When you do, you'll have taken huge strides towards creating an incubator for faith.
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It's been said that only two "programs" grow a church: Relevant, indigenous worship and excellent children's programming. Children's programming begins in the nursery. In today's cultural climate, if your church is serious about reaching young families (or grandparents with local grandkids, for that matter), your nursery had better be "up to snuff" in the three S's - Safety, Sanitary, and Security. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris will help you and your congregation know...
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Live from Exponential 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Churches today are being confronted with the changing culture and in many cases feel helpless in coping with the changes. Church planters face these changes every day and have learned volumes about how to deal with those changes. This week Drs. Bill and Kris will plumb the depths of the nation's largest church planting and transformation conference to bring you the best practices that you can use in your congregation.
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Few of us can contest the fact that our children and youth are leaving the Church (not just our congregations). This week Drs. Kris and Bill look at the latest studies but not without sharing experience, hope, and practical suggestions for turning these trends around.
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The first weekend at a new church, a pastor we know was informed by four of his five top church leaders that they'd had enough. They were tired and were resigning. Burnout had struck again. And then there's the stat that shows there's a disturbing rise in the number clergy in their first five years of ministry leaving church work. Burnout is not only hurting ministers, but it's killing churches too. This week's show takes a look at how church leaders can overcome burnout - and how congregations...
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This week Drs. Kris and Bill (parents of five and grandparents of six) share personal experience plus some of the latest findings in the realm of children and youth ministries, findings that may just help you find your children in church when they become adults.
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Traditional preaching is great for teaching and reaching the people-of-the-pews who were raised in the church. However, if you want to teach and reach those in your community who may not have been in church all their lives, or if you want to communicate effectively with a particular segment of your community, this is the episode for you. Drs. Bill and Kris will explore how to customize your preaching to reach your missional target.
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You may have noticed the slew of books that have been released over the past year or two on why men don't do church. And though there are a lot of reasons why they don't, it's not a new problem. Even St. Augustine complained that there were more women than men in church! So, how can the church reach men - or is it even possible? Join Drs. Bill and Kris for this perhaps not-so-politically-correct topic ... just in time for Father's Day!
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In honor of Net Results magazine's 30th Anniversary Issue (www.NetResults.org), Drs. Kris and Bill are presenting the second in a five part series on breaking church size transitions. This week's episode will explore moving past the 50 barrier, often called the Family-Sized Church. They'll be looking at the issues that are likely to creep up and how to deal with each as your congregation faces this size transition.
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Leaders are not meant to serve in the same place eternally (or even indefinitely). Without apprentices, congregations miss out on continuity and the quality that can come from trained leaders. Whether you agree or disagree that a leader cannot be a leader if s/he is not apprenticing at least one other person, join Drs. Bill and Kris for another lively and practical edition of Church-Talk.
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Low self-esteem doesn't affect only individuals; Drs. Kris and Bill are finding it in congregation after congregation. Join "the Drs." today as they share ways to restore and build congregational self-esteem.
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So, you've done a spiritual gifts inventory with your congregation . . . or maybe two or three. So what? This week Drs. Kris and Bill will offer ways to take spiritual gifts inventories to the next-level so they'll really make a difference in the lives of those who've taken them, as well as in the lives of your congregation and your community.
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Here it comes again. Christian Alumni Sunday, AKA Easter Sunday. This is that one time when all those folks with church history in their blood make their way back to church. Some come for tradition's sake. Some come to salve their conscience. Some come because it's expected. And a few come hoping for a miracle - they're actually looking for a touch from the living God. What are you doing for Easter at your church? This week, Drs. Bill and Kris Tenny-Brittian explore the ins and outs of this...
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Believe it or not, worship wars over the style of music, content of preaching, and even the technology used is nothing new. They've been going on since the first millennium of the church! But there's nothing more divisive in a church than a battle of choir versus band (and so on). In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris tackle this tough issue and offer some sound advice for avoiding and/or settling the score.
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In most circles, public speaking is considered the task most feared by the average person. But in church, that runs a distant second to public prayer. Getting even seasoned Christians to pray in public can be more difficult than bailing out the Atlantic Ocean with a slotted spoon. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris de-mystify public prayer and offer some concrete how to's and faux pas to avoid.
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2010 is on top of us and it's time for New Year's resolutions. This year why not resolve to achieve the kind of church growth that you've been hoping for, but haven't managed to pull off. This week Drs. Kris and Bill share their top 10 list of practices your congregation needs to embrace and engage in order to reach the growth goals you've set.
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Here it is - the definitive Get Ready for the Holidays Church Checklist. Starting with "A is for Accessibility, B is for Bulletins, and C is for Coded Language" through the X, Y, "Z is for Zip" as in "Check for dead time in transitions," you'll get a reminder for every step in your holy-day season planning. Drs. Bill and Kris have done the research - tune in so you can ensure your congregation is ready for the season's visitors. (A downloadable handout will be...
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In honor of Net Results magazine's 30th Anniversary Issue (www.NetResults.org), Drs. Kris and Bill are presenting the third in a five part series on breaking church size transitions. This week's episode will explore moving past the 100 barrier. They'll be looking at the issues that are likely to creep up and how to deal with each as your congregation faces this size transition.
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Christmas time is a tough time to keep the spirit. This week we're looking at how to keep your sanity and how to claim your time.
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There comes a time in almost every church leader's life when it's time to move on. Whether it's because you've done all you can do, run up against a wall that you can't get over (or go around), or taken as much as you can take, leaving may seem the best option. Before you do, though, you'll want to tune in to this episode with Drs. Kris and Bill as they explore they why's, when's, and wherefore's of leaving a church ... and if leaving is the next step, show you how to do it without leaving a...
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The keystone to both avoiding and resolving church conflicts is the development, adoption, and implementation of a congregational covenant of behaviors - better known as Expected Behaviors. We've called it the Missing Link in the church's DNA. In this episode, Drs. Bill and Kris will explore why Expected Behaviors are necessary and offer the steps for building them into your congregation.
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Today Drs. Bill and Kris take on the "A" word, accountability. Join them as they wrestle with the meanings, the dynamics, and the importance of this 14-letter word that's key for leaders. And listen for ways you can easily incorporate accountability into your--and your congregation's--leadership.
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Is your church's website up-to-snuff? Is it interactive? Are lives being changed because of your online ministry? Are your members and guests and general web-surfers hitting your site regularly? If not, then this is the episode for you. Drs. Kris and Bill take on the Internet Beast and offer tips and tools to tame and harness it for effective ministry in your setting.
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In honor of Net Results magazine's 30th Anniversary Issue (www.NetResults.org), Drs. Kris and Bill are kicking off a five part series on breaking church size transitions. This week's episode will explore the foundational pieces necessary before you and your congregation can face any size transition. Whether you're in a church with 25, 125, or 375, or larger, there will be something here for you.
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Let's say you get a half-dozen first-time visitors walk through your doors at any given worship service. How many of them are returning next week? If you're not keeping over 50% of them, there's a problem and it's probably one of two things. It could be you're not offering what they're looking for in terms of experiential worship. We'll talk about that in future episodes. The other problem, which is VERY common is that your follow-up isn't effective. How do you get contact information from your...
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Yes, it's only the first Tuesday of October but it's past time to be planning for Christmas, particularly because it functionally begins four Sundays before! What's your theme this year? How will you count down to December 25th and carry the holiday into January (if not beyond!)? How might you link Christmas 2009 with Easter 2010? How will you invite and compel people to join you this year and beyond? As usual, Drs. Kris and Bill have more than a program's worth of suggestions and scenarios...
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Bring on those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer … Well, they're here and for many of our church folk it's the time to take a vacation from God. Church attendance drops in many churches. Activities are put on hold. The choir takes a break. And we adjust the time of the worship service to a cooler time of the day. With all this retreating, it's no wonder that many church leaders find it difficult to maintain their own spiritual wellness, let alone the wellness of the congregation. This month's...
Church Talk
by Church Talk
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The best staffs are team based, which in and of itself connotes a sense of accountability (the "A" word for many of us). This week Drs. Bill and Kris dicuss staff accountability and suggest ways your staff (paid and volunteer) can find the benefits and make the commitment to being accountable to one another.