Our mission is to help others increase their capacity so they can increasingly love God and others more deeply and serve more effectively. We build capacity in individuals, teams, and churches through training events, coaching relationships, and a variety of ministry resources.

Your Website's Impact on Potential Visitors

  • Posted on: 19 July 2016
  • By: Keith Reed

I’ve listened to sports talk radio since before I was a teenager. Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of callers identify themselves with a simple introduction: first-time caller, long-time listener (or the popular short-hand: “first-time, long-time”). Some listeners wait a decade before they decide to call. But when they finally reach for their phone, they already know what to do. They can recite the station’s phone number by heart because it’s been burned into their memory after hearing it countless times before. Long-time listeners become first-time callers because they feel called to take action. And taking action is really easy to do. 

Have you ever considered what people need to become first-time visitors in your church?

Without a doubt, they need a reason to participate (is it any wonder that the vast majority of visitors choose to attend because someone invited them?). But even a person who is highly motivated to visit still needs basic information in order to meet your congregation.

Like the location of where your church meets.

The Google era has diminished the importance of phone number jingles, but the importance of basic information has not changed. Various reports suggest that 90% of potential visitors will browse your church’s website before they decide to attend your worship service. Thom Rainer calls a church’s website their most overlooked outreach tool! If a person can’t find the time and location of your service within a few seconds of browsing your website, you can almost guarantee that you’ve lost a first-time visitor.

Church websites have been an easy target for criticism for as long as the Internet has been alive (and for good reason). The good news is that it doesn’t take much work on your website to help visitors find what they’re looking for. Here are a few suggestions on what to make prominent:

Don't Follow Your Heart

  • Posted on: 8 July 2016
  • By: Keith Reed

The call to “follow your heart” is quickly jumping up the idiom ladder as one of the most socially appropriate things to say. This phrase is a slight rearrangement of Oprah Winfrey’s mantra to “be yourself” (which she admits has made her a lot of money).

Following your heart sounds like solid advice. The words carry a soft sense of familiarity that feels soothing and inviting. They also provide the right combination of ambition and responsibility that feeds our hunger for empowerment. Placed together, it sounds right and feels right. But what does this message actually mean?

If you consider the message behind these words, you’ll discover why they make you feel good. A message is only as good as its meaning and this is precisely why following your heart is bad advice.

It’s self-serving
I’m the only one who can determine what my heart says. Even my most trusted friend cannot challenge what I claim is in my heart nor can he disagree with what heart is telling me. Thus, the instruction to follow your heart is code for “do whatever you want to do.” This might not matter when you’re deciding what sandwich to order, but if you weigh all your decisions with a self-serving scale, you will experience (and create) a lot of struggles. 

It’s self-seeking
Following your own heart means your gaze will be focused inwardly instead of outwardly. This advice may work for the person who is wise and experienced, but the people who are most primed to follow their hearts are the ones who are short on experience and long on self-indulgence.

It’s self-glorifying
The key assumption in "follow your heart" is the idea that the heart is good, pure, and well-intentioned (otherwise, you would be a fool to follow it). While I would like this to be true of myself, I have to realize that the intentions of my heart are often sinful.

Developing a Strategic Pathway for Discipleship in Your Church

  • Posted on: 27 June 2016
  • By: Randy Wollf

In my experience as a pastor and in my interactions with other church leaders, I know that churches sometimes struggle with how to make disciples most effectively. Approaches that worked well in the past may not be as effective today. 

In this blog, we will look at a holistic process for making disciples that involves churches growing in 11 key areas. This strategic pathway of discipleship attempts to integrate a biblical understanding of discipleship with an understanding of contemporary culture. Obviously, some elements may be more important in a particular context while other elements not included in this list may need to be considered.

1. Prayer Saturation 

Prayer permeates disciple-making churches. How can we grow a culture of prayer—a culture in which God delights to work deeply in peoples’ lives?

2. Loving Christ-centered Community 

Discipleship occurs best in deep communities where people lovingly practice life-on-life discipleship. What can leaders do to develop this kind of intimacy?

3. Growth Orientation 

When everything in the church is geared toward helping people take next steps, growth becomes normative and expected. Discipleship can flourish in this kind of growth-oriented environment.

4. Personalized Approach 

Even though programs can provide a context in which discipleship can occur, we must strive to come alongside individuals and help them take next steps. This personalized approach is a requirement for in-depth discipleship.

5. A Missional Mindset 

Without a strong desire to reach lost people, churches are unlikely to have the passion and motivation to devote a significant amount of time and energy to making disciples. A main goal of making disciples is so that we can make more disciples.

6. Biblical Teaching 

Good sermons can help people know and follow Jesus. We need strong biblical teaching that exposes people to the whole counsel of God and motivates them to greater depths of obedience.

7. Practical Training