Turnaround pastors get free professional development help

Other people.

The Turnaround pastor's most effective professional development tool.

More important than biblical languages. More important that seminary education. More important than professional certification.

The only “tool” that surpasses the value of other people is the call to ministry and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Consider the following three scenarios.

Scenario 1 – developing assertive leadership

A young Asian seminary student is working as a Youth intern at a West coast megachurch. In his six month evaluation he receives feedback that he's not assertive enough when dealing with Jr. High kids on field trips. Over lunch he discusses this with his peers in the Youth Department. He evaluates their input and calculates the degree to which his cultural background contributes to the dilemma. He enlists the help of his peers who guide him in developing an effective strategy to be more assertive with the kids.

Scenario 2 – improving homiletics

The senior pastor of a mid-sized Midwestern church receives criticism of his preaching during an annual review. He's told that since he started his doctoral studies his preaching has become dry, pedantic and disconnected from “where the people really live.” He consults with a two trusted Board members who help him develop preaching guidelines and agree to provide weekly input into the Sunday sermons.

Scenario 3 – enhancing staff relationships

The Lead Pastor at a large, Midwestern congregation receives a 360 feedback that he is inaccessible and indifferent to his staff. After some personal reflection he decides to discuss this with several of the senior staff to determine what he can do to solve this perception. He initiates a process of visiting regularly with the junior staff and enters into mentoring relationships with several of them.

Each these pastors gained improved ministry skills through mutually beneficial relationship activities.

And do you know what the net cost to each was?

Other than a few momentary ego bruises the outlay was zip, zero, zilch.

Learning leadership from relationships

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Lessons learned while recovering from my last interim


What do you do when the motivation just isn’t there? I’m wrestling with that right now. Well, maybe not wrestling. Thinking about wrestling. Sorta like this guy. As of yesterday it’s been exactly five weeks since I handed the baton to Pastor Drew Arliksas at Mountain Vista Bible Church and hit the door. Since then […]

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3 Reasons its stupid to prefer older pastors

Which does your church prefer?

What do you tell a discouraged seminary graduate who runs into the dreaded “10 years minimum experience” requirement? I recently spoke to graduating seminarians about the daunting task of finding vocational ministry employment in today’s church culture. During one of the Q&A sessions this question came up. I offered some specific guidance on how to approach […]

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3 Reasons It’s Stupid To Prefer Younger Pastors

Which Does Your Church Prefer?

My guess is that most pastor search committees are set on “stupid”. Stupid because their qualifications screen out some of the best and brightest, denying their church the leadership it needs. Stupid because they prefer younger pastors over seasoned pastors to fill the empty slot on their org chart. I’ve seen this stupidity in action, […]

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Is this the piece missing from the Interim Pastor’s puzzle?

Interim Pastors Need All the Pieces

Are intentional interim pastors missing an important piece of the puzzle? How do we explain the fact that some churches are receptive to change and others aren’t? Where do we turn when we’ve used up our best chops? We’ve conducted a thorough assessment We’ve lead the transitional leadership team in developing a plan Our preaching […]

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Where would you draw the line?


How would you react when the church you’re serving as an intentional interim pastor gets wrapped around the axle over a basic “Christianity 101″ doctrine of the faith? The last thing you need is a “headache” but you’ve also got a call – to speak to the needs of the congregation that were surfaced in […]

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How an “Aha!” moment changed my life and my ministry


You’d probably attribute it to blind chance or dumb luck – if you don’t believe that God governs the course of our lives in detail. Two years ago I set out to write a brief work entitled “Navigating Through the Storm: Using the Pulpit to Steer the Course.” It was intended as a digest of TMG’s […]

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1 way interim pastors insure a church’s successful pastor search

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series How to find, interview and hire the next settled pastor

There’s one place a church in transition is likely to fall in a hole or step on a landmine. But a skilled interim pastor can protect the client church. Here’s how. Train the pastor search team to conduct a quality interview using “best practices.” If you’re an experienced interim pastor, you know why this is […]

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Don’t Allow Complainers and Critics to Get to You!


Once again we welcome guest poster and ministry colleague Justin W. Tull. This post is a chapter from his recent book, “Surviving and Thriving in Ministry.” After reading this short article you’ll want to pop over to Amazon and order up your own copy. Don’t take it personally or too seriously. It’s more about them […]

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Interim pastors have to pull teeth in turnaround churches


At first, it was hard to pinpoint. The only clue was an occasional sense something wasn’t right. In time it was followed by a dull ache that cropped up on occasion. The frequency increased, but the discomfort never lasted long. Finally, I mentioned it during my semi-annual dental check-up. She asked, “Have you been experiencing […]

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