show episodes
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibrant and growing church. You will also be encouraged by pastors who are leading revitalized churches. Learn more about church health and growth at: ...
 
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show series
 
It is one of the most difficult meetings a leader will have. The time has come to tell a team member that he or she is being let go. On today’s episode, Thom shares some insights to guide you through this process. Show the compassion of Christ. Remember you are dealing with a person, not a budgetary burden. They have hopes and dreams and families. …
 
Imagine a church on life support one year that has moved to thriving within a few years. Though you’ve heard of church turnarounds, you’ve rarely heard a story this dramatic. Sam and Thom interview Jonathan Smith with Texas Baptists to hear about this God-sized story. Tell us the background of this church up to the point of its near-death experienc…
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth, we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibr…
 
One of the greatest challenges of parenting is navigating the crucial conversations that we must have with our kids. On today’s episode, Thom and Sam talk to Jimmy and Kristin Scroggins about having hard conversations with our kids that point them to Christ. 1. Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it? 2. Talk about the tough conv…
 
This question seems to be more frequent since churches started regathering after the pandemic. Kevin and Thom answer the question with a “yes,” but the affirmative answer does have some caveats. Counting is scriptural . . . if it is done with the right motive. Counting helps us to know how to use our resources. Counting for competitive reasons is n…
 
Jonathan “The Voice” Howe returns for an episode. We find out what he’s been doing. What Jonathan is doing now. Some of our favorite memories of working and traveling with Jonathan. How Jonathan helped launch Rainer on Leadership. What has changed over the past ten years? Favorite restaurant meals over the years. Resources: SBC This Week with Jonat…
 
Does a pastor have either a right or an obligation to address issues caused by a staff member’s spouse or children? Thom and Mark look at ways to navigate this tricky issue. 1. Discern the nature and the severity of the problem before talking to the staff member. 2. Don’t try to solve other church members’ interpersonal issues with the person. 3. L…
 
On today’s episode of Rainer on Leadership we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the hymn, IN CHRIST ALONE. Thom and Sam discuss the song’s success with writer Keith Getty and learn what’s next for Getty Music. Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music today as preeminent modern hymn writers. In re-inventing the tradi…
 
The rural church is brimming with opportunities. Indeed, it may be one of the most fruitful mission fields in the world. Thom and Sam interview B. J. Rutledge about his leadership in a rural church that defied all expectations. You will not want to miss this episode. BJ Rutledge is the lead pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, Texas. The …
 
Most church websites are seldom used and often neglected. Thom and Kevin discuss how a church’s website can be used for the Great Commission without much cost. A church’s website is the most common front door for guests. Non-members, including lost people, are much more likely to visit your website than church members. Non-members will visit your c…
 
Not every cultural issue deserves the attention of church leaders. Some issues, however, are unavoidable. Other issues desperately need the voice of the church. How can you discern when to speak and what to say? It seems just about anything can become a hot-button issue. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss some tips for handling controversial sub…
 
Many church leaders in revitalizing churches bring someone on staff from within the congregation. Mark and Thom examine the reasons why this move can be problematic. Be sure to listen to episode #201 where they look at the opposite perspective, the reasons why you should hire from within. 1. Working with someone can bring out a totally different pe…
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth, we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibr…
 
For most churches, the summer months can be a lull. Families vacation and people tend to be in and out of the church more. It’s rare to have high attendance Sundays in the summer, but there are ways to make the most of the season. These five tips will help you navigate the summer months. 1. Research your church and community demographics. 2. Take k…
 
For many years, congregations have watched as their facilities become dated, costly, and less-used. Kevin and Thom discuss this issue and offer insights about churches that have seen their facilities become much more Kingdom-efficient. Do a thorough evaluation of your facility. Look at the community demographics and psychographics. Find ways to use…
 
Being a humble pastor is challenging. On today’s episode, Thom and Sam talk to Dr. Jim Shaddix about the importance of preaching with humility. Dr. Jim Shaddix Jim Shaddix serves as Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, occupying the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching. He also serves as a …
 
Many church leaders in revitalizing churches bring someone on staff from within the congregation. Mark and Thom examine the reasons why this move can be positive. Be sure to listen to episode #203 where they look at the opposite perspective, the reasons why you should not hire from within. 1. You have had the opportunity to observe them and get to …
 
In this episode, Thom and Sam look at worship attendance from the perspective of a spiritual discipline. Is attendance really a spiritual discipline, and what are the implications if it is? Gathering with other believers is not usually viewed as a spiritual discipline. The most commonly mentioned spiritual disciplines are prayer, fasting, and Bible…
 
Many churches of the past 50 years were able to keep the doors open with zero to minimal evangelistic intentionality. That is simply not the case today. Kevin and Thom examine five reasons why non-evangelistic churches will close. Cultural Christianity is almost dead. It is not a growth source for churches. The U.S. birthrate is its lowest ever. Wi…
 
Every single day, someone you know is thinking about committing suicide. Ten million Americans will consider killing themselves in the upcoming year. On today’s episode, Thom and Sam talk to Dr. Matthew Sleeth about how Christians—and our churches—can offer hope and be part of the solution. Dr. Matthew Sleeth Matthew Sleeth, MD, a former emergency …
 
During the pandemic, many pastors and other church leaders became weary and frustrated. Mark and Thom respond to those leaders who are asking if it is okay to quit their churches. 1. Have you given this matter to prolonged prayer? 2. Is this a circumstantial frustration that may pass in time? 3. How does your spouse feel about your quitting? 4. Wha…
 
Almost every pastor at some point will be confronted by a church bully. This person is usually a control freak, and turns on the pastor when the pastor does not do his bidding. Thom and Sam look at five traits of pastors who have overcome these bullies. 1. They understand the principle of “allied patience.” 2. They are willing to play the long game…
 
Many churches call a pastor by congregational vote. Those churches have stipulations on the percentage needed to affirm a call. It is typically in the 60% to 80% range. Why do some votes to call a pastor result in a surprisingly low percentage? Kevin and Thom look at some of the possible reasons. 1. A current staff member wanted the job. 2. A frien…
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibra…
 
At Re:Vision: A podcast about church health and growth we are envisioning and inspiring Great Commission and Great Commandment churches. Hosted by Jonathan L. Smith, Director of Church Health Strategy, you will hear from leading experts in church health and growth from around the nation. In a TED Talk format, Jonathan will equip you to lead a vibra…
 
Churches are not reaching people for Christ because they are not trying to. On today’s episode, Thom and Sam discuss what church leaders are doing to recover evangelism. The death of evangelism due to liberalism The death of evangelism due to factionalism The death of evangelism due to lack of intentionalism The action of focused intentionality The…
 
Much has been written and spoken about how churches should function during the pandemic. Mark and Thom look at five unique issues for leadership during this critical period of regathering. 1. Leaders must encourage patience among the members. 2. Leaders must be voices of hope. 3. Leaders must be realistic. 4. Leaders must move the church outwardly.…
 
Many churches dropped membership classes during the pandemic. Now is the time to restart them. In fact, church membership classes are more important than ever. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss several reasons why churches must keep providing these classes post-COVID. These classes help minimize church conflict with front-end teaching. Voluntee…
 
When a church member leaves, it is almost always painful for the pastor. The pain is exacerbated when the departing member offers one of these reasons. Kevin and Thom look at five sorry reasons people leave a church. 1. “I wasn’t getting fed.” 2. “The church does not have enough fun activities for my kids.” 3. “You didn’t visit me.” 4. “You didn’t …
 
The popularity of mid-size churches is growing. Mid-size churches are too big for one person to lead but not big enough for a full staff. These churches have unique leadership challenges and opportunities. On this episode, Thom and Sam discuss some tips for leaders in mid-size churches. Metrics, delegation, and the ability to pivot are especially i…
 
The virtual church was a hot topic during the pandemic. Now, as the church begins to regather, what are some major considerations to evaluate? Mark and Thom report on the ways they are guiding church leaders in this area. 1. The virtual mission field is a real mission field. 2. Prayer ministries in the virtual world have great stickiness. 3. Don’t …
 
Thom and Sam discuss five reasons for the amazing phenomenon of the smaller church becoming the church of choice today. Reason number four may surprise you. 1. The demographic reality: the younger the generation, the more likely they are to prefer smaller gatherings. 2. The COVID reality: people gathering for worship have come to appreciate smaller…
 
Though it’s only two years away, churches in America will look significantly different than they do today. The pandemic accelerated trends that were already in place. Kevin and Thom look at some future realities just around the corner. 1. Non-evangelistic churches will decline rapidly and die. The transfer growth is just not there. 2. Worship gathe…
 
Most leaders will not want to be in a position where they have to apologize publicly, but it is likely to be necessary at some point. Thom and Sam look at key issues to consider when you need to apologize publicly. Make certain it is the right time and the right place. Go directly to the heart of the issue without excuses. Do not use prefatory comm…
 
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