Friday, November 20, 2015

War Room Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD December 22

WAR ROOM Arrives Before Christmas!

WAR ROOM opened in theaters in August. In September, it became the #1 movie in the U.S. Now, here we are in November, and the film is still making an impact in theaters across the U.S. and around the world. Talk about the power of prayer!

And today, we have the news you have been waiting for: you will be able to bring WAR ROOM home in time for Christmas! Loaded with extra features and a timely message, you can pre-order this impactful movie starting today so that you have it when the Exclusive Collector's Edition officially releases on December 22!

Pre-Buy Here or visit your area
LifeWay Christian Store!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Gospel Project Kids Unit 8 (Easter) in My Curriculum Manager

By Brian Dembowczyk
Every Easter and Christmas, we provide 2-3 sessions to help your kids understand and celebrate these two important events.  Of course, this means that we step out of the chronology for these Easter and Christmas units so that these sessions can fall on the correct dates for each. Sometimes, the Easter and Christmas units align nicely with the other two units in the volume, but there are other times, like Spring 2016, where the Easter unit falls right in the middle of the previous unit.
To schedule the Easter sessions on the correct dates, we basically had to make Unit 8 (Easter) part of Unit 7. So you will not see Unit 8—just two sessions labeled “Easter” as part of unit 7. When you set March 6, 2016 as your first use date, the sessions will align in the correct order, so you can let your teams know they can trust the scheduler.
When you are looking for unit resources, the Unit 7 resources will be at the top of the list and if you scroll down a way, you will see the Easter unit resources beneath them clearly labeled.
In June 2016, we will revert this volume back to having three distinct units for churches that use this material after the current spring season.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Now you can get video with your custom Bible studies with!

Has it been a while since you've previewed
We've made some major upgrades! So, we thought you might want to give it another try. Now you can get videos from trusted Christian teachers, including Matt Chandler, J.D. Greear, Beth Moore, and others. Each video-enhanced series comes with discussion guides that you can personalize as you see fit.
Want to try Or, again? Get total access free for two weeks.
Yes. Give me access again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Essential Training for Your Volunteer Leaders

Volunteers, would you like to be better trained to serve at your church but aren't sure where to start? Maybe your schedule keeps you from attending training events? Or maybe you just want to grow and learn how to serve better.

Church leaders, would you like to provide practical and accessible training to the volunteers and leaders at your church? We know that leadership is stressful and time-consuming and that preparing to train well is a challenge. That's why we developed Ministry Training Essentials.

Ministry Training Essentials are video training courses for groups or individuals that cut straight to the essential skills and knowledge every church leader and volunteer should understand. Led by experienced church practitioners and ministry leaders, each course addresses one specific aspect of ministry through multiple in‑depth sessions.

Whether you simply want to be trained yourself, train a small group of leaders, or train hundreds of volunteers, Ministry Training Essentials will feed your needs and are priced affordably.
  • Access for an individual is $20.
  • Access for a group of 20 or fewer people is $150.
  • Access for a group of 21 or more people is $250.
Upon purchase you will have 90 days of access to your training.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Largest 500 Churches in the SBC

One of the most popular posts every year at is the annual listing of the largest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. While we don’t typically talk about specific denominations here on the blog or podcast, today Micah Fries joins us to discuss the SBC 500—a new list of the largest 500 churches in the SBC—and what we can learn from them. For the complete SBC 500 list, visit
Some highlights from today’s episode include:
  • Megachurches are not only reaching people for Christ, but they are increasing in number as well.
  • Southern Baptists are becoming a more urban denomination because the American population is becoming more urban.
  • We are seeing an intentional push toward diversity in leadership reflected in the megachurches of the SBC.
  • Of the top 20 largest SBC churches, 20% are predominantly non-anglo churches.
  • The number of non-anglo churches in the SBC has increased by 66% over the past 15 years.
  • The average tenure for senior pastors in the top 20 largest churches in the SBC is just under 22 years.
  • Big churches are dependent on big population areas. You can be an effective church without being a big church.
The four main takeaways we found when analyzing the SBC 500 were:
  1. The South—and particularly Texas—is the epicenter of SBC megachurches.
  2. Non-Anglo churches and megachurches are on the rise in the SBC.
  3. Revitalization works have led to great growth among some traditional churches in the SBC.
  4. Pastoral tenure is vital for long-term significant church growth.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

ETCH Family Ministry Conference

By Chuck Peters

At LifeWay Kids, we love children and are dedicated to the ministry of resourcing the church to serve them well. For years KMC, LifeWay’s Kids Ministry Conference, has been the place for children’s pastors, leaders, teachers and volunteers to come for information, instruction and inspiration so they might be well equipped for the work of kids ministry.

Next year we will unveil a brand new conference; one that includes everything that is currently KMC, but that also broadens its reach to serve anyone ministering to families. Next Fall, KMC becomes… ETCH.

ETCH stands for Equipping the Church and Home. This new Family Ministry Conference will excite, inspire, and engage your Kids, Student, Next Gen, and Family Ministry teams. We invite you to join us next fall, in Nashville, as we come together as one big, giant family, for ETCH.

See you there!

Learn more...

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Expected One: Anticipating All of Jesus in the Advent

Through The Expected OneScott James brings to light the many promises of Christ--from birth to ascension--that demonstrate His love for us during the Advent season. These daily devotions, which are designed for both family and individual use, are timeless and moving reminders of the true gift of Christmas.

The Expected One is available in quantities of 20 for $5 each. The daily devotions, which are designed for both family and individual use, are timeless and moving reminders of the true gift of Christmas.

Learn more and order here...

Friday, October 30, 2015

New Gospel Project Kids Training Videos!

Training your leaders to lead well with any bible study resource is key to a great experience both for the leaders and learners. 

So, many churches have been conducting leader training events this fall. Your church is probably not an exception.

LifeWay is excited to announce that new training videos are now available for the newest cycle of The Gospel Project Chronological: Kids. 

You can check them all out here...


Preschool Worship Hour

Parent Resources

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Church budgets: Can they be visionary & rewarding?

By Todd McMichen

The church budgeting process ranks fairly low on the list of a minister's most motivating and inspiring experiences. Pastors will line up to deliver a message, shepherd the hurting, pray for the wayward and lead the body forward. However, if a pastor lies awake at night thinking of the church budget, it's often for the wrong reasons.
For many churches, the budgeting process begins with ministry leaders submitting their annual requests for funds. Some underestimate their budget needs; others inflate their numbers because they don't expect to receive their full request.
Once the numbers are in, the vetting begins. Unfortunately, this process is often shaped more by fixed expenses and relational loyalties than most would like to admit. Tough decisions are always present, which can result either in hurt feelings or a stressful extension of reasonable financial limits.
Finally, the budget is sent to a financial business meeting for approval, where it's secretly hoped that few will show up to participate.
Does a visionary, rewarding budgeting process exist? If so, what does it look like?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Secret Church Simulcast with David Platt - April 29, 2016

Ministry Grid is proud to partner with Radical to present Secret Church resources taught by David Platt. Secret Church is 6+ hours of intense Bible study and prayer for the persecuted church, broadcast live via simulcast once a year to hundreds of churches and thousands of participants all around the world.
We all have questions when it comes to sharing the gospel with people of different faiths:
  • Isn't it intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way to be right with God?
  • Don't all people really serve the same God in different ways?
  • What if I'm not an expert on Islam…should I still witness to my Muslim friend?
  • Why do I need to know about other religions if I'm not a missionary?
  • What do I need to know about other religions when I'm witnessing to people?
During the upcoming Secret Church Simulcast, David Platt will explore the claims of Christ in the gospel and consider how these claims both inform the way we understand religions in the world and impact the way we live when surrounded by varied believers with diverse belief systems. (Read the full topic synopsis here.)
The next Secret Church simulcast will be on Friday, April 29, 2016, 6:30pm–12:30am (EDT). Registration for church and small group hosts is open now. Register before the end of the year to take advantage of early registration pricing.
Do you have questions about registering or participating in the Secret Church Simulcast? Contact Radical at 205.547.2777 or
Get 30 Day Ministry Grid Trial Free!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Using Your Cell Phone to Lead


There’s a principle that is so true: “The amount of conversation that takes place during a group meeting is directly related to the amount of conversation that takes place between meetings.” For years I viewed this as a statement declaring the importance of groups hanging out together between meetings. Getting the group together between meetings definitely influences the amount of and intensity of conversations during group meetings. However, I’ve also come to conclude that a group leader having conversations with group members between meetings is an important responsibility if that group leader longs to have transformational conversations when the group gathering happens.

If you’re a group leader and you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably saying to yourself, “I don’t have time to talk with group members between meetings—my schedule is packed.” That would be true if it weren’t for the fact that you have a cell phone. And it would be true if it weren’t for the fact that a long conversation isn’t a necessity.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. A group leader can make contact with a group member via cell phone quickly and efficiently in between other activities.
  2. If you don’t have much time or you’re calling a very talkative group member, let him or her know at the beginning of the conversation that you only have a few minutes but you just wanted to check in.
  3. When calling group members to connect, simply ask them how they are doing and how you can pray for them.
  4. If no one answers, leave a message stating that you just wanted to know how they were doing and how you could pray for them. Don’t feel obligated to call them back. If they want to talk, they’ll call you. Be certain to leave a voicemail, though. Whether or not you get to speak, group members will be grateful and encouraged that you cared enough to call.
  5. If you do catch a group member on the phone, before finishing the conversation, pray a short prayer.
  6. If you connect with each group member just once a month, it will greatly enhance your influence on each individual and will skyrocket the amount of time it takes for group members to discuss life’s real and often under-discussed issues during group meetings.

Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manualas well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”

Monday, October 26, 2015

LifeWay Students Launch New Podcasts

The LifeWay Student Ministry Podcast is designed to encourage and inform student ministry leaders at every level. Each episode Ben Trueblood will join with student ministry leaders and guests to talk about issues, both practical and philosophical, relating to student ministry and leadership. Our goal is to encourage student ministry leaders serving in the local church and to share insights learned from the student ministry community at large.

Episode 1: Is Your Student Ministry Healthy? – Part 1
In this first episode of the LifeWay Student Ministry Podcast, Ben Trueblood and Chris Swain discuss the topic of how to gauge the health of your student ministry. They offer advice on things to avoid, as well as tips on what you should really be focusing on.

Learn more...

Friday, October 23, 2015

10 Ways to Improve Announcements in Your Church

By Chuck Lawless

As a pastor, I always struggled with the best way to do announcements. Whatever we did, it never felt right. Over the years, I’ve noted what other churches have done – and I’d do announcements differently than I ever did back then. Here are some suggestions for doing announcements well:
  1. Send weekly emails – Either in place of, or in addition to, making announcements during the service, send 1-2 emails each week that give the details. Encourage those folks who do not use email to note announcements in the church bulletin.
  2. Capitalize on social media – Use Twitter, Facebook, etc. to remind members of events during the week. Not only can these announcements be much needed reminders, but they can also be calls to prayer for the particular events.
  3. Organize announcements well in the bulletin – One of the problems with announcements in print is that a bulletin is sometimes so cluttered it’s hard to figure out what’s happening. Prioritize clarity and conciseness by using a bullet point for each announcement.
  4. Promote prayer through announcements – If the church’s bulletin or website includes a calendar of events for the upcoming week, train your church to view that calendar as a prayer list. Get them to pray for each event on the day it occurs, and you might lead some members to pray more than they’ve ever prayed for some events.
  5. Use video announcements – A single brief video that covers all the announcements helps in several ways: (a) it gives folks an opportunity to correct any mistakes before releasing the announcement; (b) it limits the time folks use for announcements; (c) it provides a resource for the website so others who miss the service can still hear the announcements.
  6. Don’t disrupt the service – No matter how you do it, announcements in the middle of a service almost always seem to be disruptive. There are so many other options available that I see no reason to do announcements this way.
  7. Don’t do the announcements at the end of the service – My reasoning here relates to my understanding of spiritual warfare. Jesus told us that Satan always seeks to snatch the seed after it’s sown so those who hear won’t believe (Mark 4:14). If that’s the case, the enemy is at work while the Word is taught and immediately after it’s taught. My fear is that if we turn quickly from preaching to announcements, we unintentionally introduce distractions the enemy might use.
  8. Choose the right person to make announcements – I prefer only one person making the announcements – someone who is concise, clear, creative, whimsical, passionate, and time sensitive. Even if you use video announcements, I would look for the same type of person.
  9. Do announcements just as the service begins – Obviously, then, this approach is my preferred one. Whether via video or a live speaker, use announcements to call the church to order just prior to opening the worship service. Do them well, but get them out of the way before worship begins.
  10. When appropriate, refer to events as sermon application – If the sermon is about meeting needs of the community and the church is scheduled to do a food drive in the next two weeks, refer to that event as application. It’s always good when the church’s events are appropriately connected to the Word.

Be sure to check out Dr. Lawless’ daily blog posts at www.chucklawless.comChuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

3 Leadership Principles Vital to the Church

By Ed Stetzer

We church leaders are a fickle bunch. One of our most well-developed practices is that of the pendulum swing, and we’ve instituted one as it pertains to church leadership.

In the ‘80s, a strong emphasis on leadership permeated American culture, including the church. A vast array of books and lectures focused on leadership theories and practices meant to develop good organizational leaders. These ideas began influencing and shaping churches that adopted many of the same practices.

In the late ‘90s, however, the pendulum swung the opposite direction and people began to object to some of the corporate leadership principles being applied in churches. They argued we need fewer leadership principles and more biblical principles.

This unhelpful pendulum swing sometimes placed complementary principles at odds with one another. Instead of being antithetical to biblical principles, sound leadership principles can contribute to the overall health of the church. Furthermore, leadership development is vital for a church to engage in its mission.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Geiger on conviction, culture, and constructs that develop leaders

By Carol Pipes

No one should outpace the church in developing and deploying leaders, says Eric Geiger, vice president of LifeWay’s Resources Division. In addition to leading a team of almost 600 to produce a comprehensive array of resources for the local church, Geiger is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy.

His passion for the church comes through as he talks about the need to assist pastors in their mission of equipping their members for ministry. Facts & Trends recently talked to Geiger about the importance of developing leaders to expand the influence and ministry of the church.

Facts & Trends: What are some traits you consider vital to effective leadership?

Eric Geiger: In their classic work based on extensive research, The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner build the argument that credibility is the most important trait. People want to be able to trust and follow their leaders. For a leader to have credibility, the leader must be a person of integrity.

When the apostle Paul challenged Timothy to entrust the message to others, he wrote, “Commit to faithful men who will be able” (2 Timothy 2:2). He did not say, “Commit to able men who will be faithful.” He started with character, with integrity.

Beyond character that results in credibility, a leader must be competent in building a healthy culture. Peter Drucker wrote, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” He was not diminishing strategy but was merely elevating the importance of culture.

Without a healthy culture, any strategy is doomed. A leader must also be competent in developing others, setting a direction, and mobilizing people to move in that direction.

F&T: You’ve written that the church should excel in developing leaders. Why is that and why is leadership development important to the church?


Friday, October 16, 2015

The Gospel Project for Kids Unit 5 (Christmas)

By Brian Dembowczyk
Every Christmas and Easter, we provide 2-3 sessions to help your kids understand and celebrate these two important events.  Of course, this means that we step out of the chronology for these Christmas and Easter units so that these sessions can fall on the correct dates for each.
Some of our churches who purchase the digital bundles have opened Volume 2 (Winter 15-16) and discovered something troubling—the Christmas sessions were slated for January! Those are not oursuggested use dates, but these sessions were scheduled then because of a software technicality. The software was aligning all five sessions of Unit 4 in order before scheduling Unit 5 (Christmas) instead of inserting the Christmas sessions in between Sessions 1 and 2 of Unit 4.
We have provided a work-around for this technical issue so that the sessions will occur on the correct dates as listed below, but we wanted to let you know that this volume might look a little different because of how we had to get the scheduling to work.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5 Ways Your Church Can Be More Bro Friendly

By Kris Dolberry
My favorite movie of all time is Remember the Titans. There is a scene in that movie where the Titans are facing major adversity. So, defense coordinator, Bill Yoast, calls timeout and huddles his defensive unit up. He then launches into a speech that becomes a turning point in the game. He emphatically declares, “I don’t want them to gain another yard!…. You make sure they remember forever the night they played the Titans!” The team rallies and goes on to dominate the game.
My heart comes alive every time I watch that scene. It makes me emotional– not in a weird sensitive crying kind of way. Rather in a I-could-run-through-a-wall-right-now kind of way. The same thing happens when Maximus reveals his true identity to Commodus inGladiator and in Armageddon when Harry chooses to stay behind on the asteroid and give his life for the sake of the mission. Must I go on?
There’s something about the flywheel of masculinity that it is engaged in moments like this. Why? Men have a longing to be great. We resonate with danger, challenge, and achievement.
To men, many churches feel more like The Notebook than Gladiator. Think about it. Change a word here and there, and many modern worship songs could be a contemporary love song played on mainstream radio. In how many churches are terms like “sweet Jesus”or “intimacy with Him”common language? This kind of feminine organizational culture will leave even the most committed Christian men feeling uncomfortable. As for dudes who don’t follow Jesus, they will run for the hills perceiving that church is not a place for them. Is it even necessary to discuss the long term consequences of such things?
I believe there are at least 5 steps every pastor can take to quickly create a more masculine bro-friendly culture within your church.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Five Thoughts on Why Lighting Will Be the Next Worship War

The music worship wars lasted thirty years. To be sure, they are still taking place in some churches, but the full effects of these battles waned several years ago. They left in their wake disgruntled members, lost focus, and numerous church splits.

After hearing from a number of pastors and church leaders on this issue, I contacted Bobby Taylor of All Pro Sound in Pensacola. Bobby’s company had worked with many churches with which I have familiarity, and church leaders spoke highly of their work in audio, video, and lighting solutions. My initial questions focused on how churches can find a lighting solution that is not divisive.
Like me, Bobby knew that some church leaders and members prefer well-lit worship services, while others prefer a more subdued and darkened facility. After speaking with him and then speaking to numerous church leaders again on this topic, my fears seem to be founded. Many churches are having internal disagreements over lighting. In some churches it has become contentious.
Like worship styles and music, it is difficult to find a “right” solution. And the number of contacts I have received on these issues tells me we are in the early stages of a new worship war. Here are my five thoughts for now:
  1. The divide is often generational. Boomers and Builders in general like the worship services with abundant lighting. Gen Xers and Millennials prefer minimal lighting as a sense of reverence.
  2. The typical time when the younger generations prefer “lights down” is during the sermon. In this sense, the lighting issue is both theological and practical. The subdued lighting engenders greater focus on the preached Word. It makes a biblical statement about the importance of the sermon, and it is practical because it minimizes distractions.
  3. Compromises are not effective in most churches. Where this issue is contentious, mid-level lighting is about as effective as a blended worship style. There is enough to offer to make just about everyone unhappy.
  4. Migration is the most common form of expressing displeasure. Those church members who have real problems with lighting are not starting new churches like many did during the music worship wars. They are simply migrating to other churches.
  5. These battles will not be as prolonged as the worship wars over music and worship style. The response of migration will mitigate most of the intense disagreements. And the older generations, Boomers and Builders, are getting fewer in number. Over 6,000 of us die every day. There are not many of us left for battle.
As sound and lighting technology has evolved, we now have many more sophisticated options for our worship services. On the one hand, those multiple options are helpful for us to choose what is best for our congregations. On the other hand, more choices can lead to disagreements, even contentious battles.
The essence of the music worship wars was a focus on ourselves and personal preferences instead of God and others. I pray we church members will not be as self-absorbed with worship lighting. True worship has no sense of entitlement.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What Does Your Church’s Group Name Communicate?

By Thom S. Rainer

Assimilation is five times more effective if a person is involved in a group versus attending worship only.

Read that first statement carefully. It is huge! Church leaders should be spending significant amounts of time focusing on groups. They are too important to ignore.
But there are so many different names for groups in churches. I am not smart enough to know what the best label is for a church. So I asked many different people, both in church and out of church, what came to mind when I mentioned a group name. Here are the results of my informal survey:
  1. Small groups. This name had the most ambiguous perceptions of those I surveyed. That most common response they had to this label was, “What kind of small group?”
  2. Sunday school. This label is one of the longest standing names of church groups. All respondents had their own clear perceptions about this name. For the majority, the name connotes a traditional on-campus, content-driven group for all ages. For a minority of the respondents, it referred to classes for children only.
  3. Life groups. There was hardly any mention of content connected to life groups. The general perception was these groups are more about developing relationships, sharing feelings, and dealing with life issues. Some of the respondents were surprised when I told them many life groups study the Bible as well.
  4. Community groups. This name evoked two distinct and different responses. One group immediately connected community groups as an outwardly-focused group. In other words, the groups’ purpose was to connect with the community around them. But another group saw community groups as inwardly-focused. Their primary purpose for existence was to build community within the group.
  5. Home groups. I confess that these responses surprised me. Home groups were perceived to be loosely connected to the church, if connected at all. There was a sense that these groups had the lowest level of accountability to the church of which it was a part.
  6. Bible study groups. There were no surprises here. This name meant content-driven groups. Some of the respondents even thought there was no intentionality of community in these groups. Even other respondents perceived these groups to be large, much like a master class.
  7. Fellowship groups. If Bible study groups communicated content, fellowship groups communicated little to no content. This group was perceived to be about bringing people together for conversation and relationship building.
Again, let me remind you that these seven categories represent perceptions of group names, even though the perceptions might not align with reality. The takeaway I got from this exercise is that churches should both name and describe their groups in all of their promotional resources. The danger of misperception is present and real.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Tips to Start Well with The Gospel Project

As we turn over the calendar pages (does anyone really use paper calendars these days?), we are getting more and more excited about the new cycle of The Gospel Project for Kids starting! We are just days away from the suggested first use Sunday in September. With that said, we also know of churches who have already begun using the materials, so we are so glad to know that the new material we have worked so hard on is finally being used to point kids to Christ.
This seems like the perfect time then to share a few quick tips to start well for those who are using this material for the first time and for those who are continuing from the first cycle.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Top 5 Bible Studies for the Fall

With Summer coming to a close, that means Fall is almost upon us. The Fall season is often the busiest time of the year in group life. Many new groups are forming and existing groups are beginning to plan on their next bible study. At Bible Study Insider, we want to help make this busy season easier. Here are 5 new bible studies we recommend for your group to engage with as you ramp up for the Fall. Each has a link to view the first session and preview the content. Review these prayerfully and see what God might want to teach your group through your next bible study.

By the way, if you don’t have the Bible Study Insider app, you’ll want to make sure to get that and pass along to every group leader. This app provides great tools for leading groups.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Train Every Leader Using the Ministry Training Essentials

Ministry volunteers are critical to your church's mission of making disciples. That's why it is essential to get them the training they need to thrive in the area they serve. These video ministry training courses will provide every volunteer in your church with the essentials they need to serve well while clearly instilling a vision for the heart of their ministry.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ten More Ways Churches Drive Away First-time Guests

By Thom S. Rainer

November 1, 2014, I wrote a blog post about ten ways churches drive away first-time guests. You can read the article here. Those top ten ways came from an informal Twitter poll. I was surprised by the number of responses we received for both the poll and the blog post.
Of course, there were many more responses than the original ten. I have saved the other responses for nearly a year. The ten items I list below actually represent the second ten most frequent responses. From my perspective, these second-tier responses are somewhat of a surprise. They might be, nevertheless, helpful to you and your church. Each of the ten items has a representative comment.
  1. The congregation was old. “When I looked at the age of those attending, I knew there wouldn’t be anything there for my children.”
  2. There was clutter everywhere. “The church building looked like a Goodwill store for Bibles, books, umbrellas, and clothes. I did not want to return.”
  3. People were gathered in cliques talking to each other. “I could tell before the service that I didn’t belong to their club.”
  4. People got the aisle seats first. “I had to climb over eight people to get a seat. They seemed disgusted I was there.”
  5. There was inadequate signage for people with small children. “From the parking lot to the front door to the preschool area, I had no idea where to go. It was frustrating.”
  6. There was no worship guide or bulletin. “I saved the bulletins from the churches I visited. If a church did not have one, I forgot all about it.”
  7. The check in process for children was slow and disorganized. “My kids were screaming the whole time; I’m not going back.”
  8. There were memorial plaques everywhere. “They were on the pews, the tables, the organ, the piano, and the windows. It was creepy. I felt like I was in a funeral home.”
  9. The service did not start on time. “My family rushed to get there on time, but the service started over ten minutes late. No one seemed to know what they were doing.”
  10. People were saving seats. “They might as well had a sign that said, ‘You are not welcome near me.’”
Keep in mind, these comments are second-tier responses. But they represent many people. They just might represent guests who won’t return to your church.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 Video-enhanced Studies are Now Here!

Now you can customize the Bible studies you need with video from teachers you trust.

By now you know is the digital library of discussion-driven Bible studies you can customize to fit the needs of your group. But, we have big news.

Today we are launching a major new feature that lets you include video from your favorite Christian teachers like J.D. Greear, Beth Moore, James MacDonald, John Piper, and more. Each video-enhanced series comes with customizable discussion guides so you can still give your group a consistent experience and tailor your time around your discipleship goals. Oh, and the subscription prices are staying the same. 
We hope you love the new video-enhanced series. Check back often to see what new studies and teachers have been added to the tool. 

See Us Socially

Can't get enough of us on Facebook and Twitter for helpful and thoughtful quotes, good reads to encourage you in your mission of making disciples, and tips for running an effective small group. We look forward to seeing you there!

Live Demonstration

You can see the new video-enhanced studies at in action and ask questions about the site every Thursday at 10am CT. Our team will walk through the tool and help you quickly get comfortable creating custom Bible studies. Click here to register for the next online demo.