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Thursday, April 30, 2009

How To Influence Your Senior Pastor

13. Don't be a burden, be a blessing. Senior pastors have enough on their plates and a staff member who is a burden won't get their ears.

14. Serve the vision of your senior pastor.

15. Have your senior pastor’s back. Be willing to defend your senior pastor in the face of opposition and criticism.

16. Don't make your senior pastor baby-sit you. Babysitting never leads to influence. Do your job and do it well.

17. Don't lie. Always be forthright with your leader.

18. Follow through on what you say.

19. Do everything with excellence. Your middle name should be excellence.

20. Go the extra mile and do it without complaining and whining.

21. Give great ideas, input and feedback.

22. Periodically go to your senior pastor and ask how you can help lift a load off his plate or how you can help serve the church in a greater capacity.

23. Don't be a yes man or woman. Behind closed doors tell your senior pastor the raw reality. Tell your senior pastor the problems or concerns you see before he goes public.

24. Don't blindside your senior pastor.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How To Influence Your Senior Pastor

1. Know the pulse of the church

2. Have a track record of making decisions based on what's best for the church and not what's best for you

3. Produce consistent results

4. Bring great solutions and not just problems

5. Know how to think on your own

6. Raise up leaders who can lead leaders

7. Understand how your leader is wired

8. Understand your leader’s shortcomings and weaknesses

9. Give your leader a thought-out plan of action and not just fly off the cuff thoughts

10. Save the church money

11. Run your department in the black

12. Don't cause your leader drama. Drama staff members don't have much influence. Keep your life and ministry in order.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

CRAZY Construction Week

As all of my blog readers know, we are moving into our new facility this week. We have a lot to get done before Sunday (everything won't be done for our first Sunday though). We live under pressure around PC. Here is what's going to get accomplished before Sunday:

1. The South and West outer glass door entrances installed.

2. Most, if not all, of the concrete in the lobby stained (a portion of it is already stained).

3. All of the bistro tables and chairs put together.

4. The ceiling tiles in two hallways and the coffee shop put in.

5. The lighting, Fire Marshall and building inspections.

6. The rest of the acoustical panels put on the auditorium walls.

7. The auditorium chairs put in the auditorium.

8. The bistro tables, bistro chairs, leather couches and leather chairs all put into place.

9. All of the instruments moved from the current auditorium into the new auditorium.

10. A wall is being put in that will half the current auditorium from a 600 seat auditorium into a 300 seat auditorium. The 7-to 12-year-old kids will worship in the front half of the 300 seat auditorium this Sunday.

11. A second coat of paint on some of the walls.

12. The current 7-to 12-year-old classroom will be turned into our 4-year-old classroom by Sunday.

13. The kids’ computer check-in screens moved to the current lobby area. The new kids’ check-in area will be where the current lobby area is in the existing building. We will mount the screens on the walls and run electricity to the computers and get them all wireless by Sunday.

14. More partitions going up in the bathrooms.

15. Two toilets are getting put in the two single restrooms.

16. Yes, my staff and I will be working until Saturday night into the wee hours.

17. This list is not complete, but that's enough to wet your appetite.

18. Thanks to all of the PC volunteers who are helping us with this hectic week. If you would like to help out this week, call the office (775-9991) and ask for Shane. We could use your help.

19. I have to get two messages done this week. I am speaking for one of my friends this week. Yes, I will be speaking Sunday at PC! I wouldn't miss our first Sunday for anything!

20. This is a light week! LOL

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. Yesterday was the last Sunday in our current facility. Surreal!!

2. We had great experiences on Sunday!

3. God is using The Ultimate Fighter series to challenge and change lives.

4. The message was a tough and inspiring message.

5. Brian, our Programming Director, led worship on Sunday. I am amazed at how gifted Brian is! You are a superstar!

6. Our staff has taken the next step towards being more diversified. We added a Puerto Rican to our team! I am pumped! Eric starts next week. He will help in the Worship & Creative Arts Department. He can lead worship in both English and Spanish. I'm excited about Eric and Colleen joining our team next week.

7. Oh yeah, diversity at PC is celebrated, not just tolerated.

8. The big announcement I made on Sunday is that my lovely wife will be teaching for the first time at PC on Mother's Day. She is teaching a message called Fight For Your Man! It's going to be awesome.

9. I've wanted Tiffany to teach at PC for some time but she has been pregnant for almost 5 years straight. What a WOMAN! Love you, sweetie.

10. May 10 is our 7 year anniversary at PC! WOW, where has the time gone?

11. This Sunday will be our first Sunday to worship in our new facility. Everything won't be done, but it will be far enough along that we can worship Jesus and raise the roof!

12. We are remodeling our existing building into kids' and youth space as you read! Exciting stuff!

13. Beginning this Sunday, May 3, our new experience times are 9 AM, 10:30 AM & 12 PM! See you on Sunday!

14. How does an Ultimate Fighter deal with difficult times? What should he do during difficult times? How should he lead during difficult times? Don't miss this coming up Sunday!

15. My wife made fried pork chops for Saturday dinner. They were awesome! I even got to eat gravy with the chops and mashed potatoes with cheese on top. YUMMY!

16. Of course, I ate leftover chops for lunch on Sunday!

17. I watched a lot of the NFL draft on Saturday and Sunday.

18. I can't wait for fantasy football to start.

19. I love my new office. I can't wait until it's all put together.

20. It's going to be a SUPER, SUPER BUSY week!

21. Have a great Monday!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday's Download

1. This is the last Sunday in our current facility.

2. There is still a lot of work to get done before our first experience in the new 44,000 square foot facility.

3. No, not everything will be done on May 3 when we have our first experience in the new auditorium.

4. Yes, we are going to celebrate God's goodness on May 3. God has been good to PC!

5. Yes, I am pumped up about this new tool!

6. This new addition is all about MORE life change!

7. This last Sunday in our current facility is a historic Sunday. Don't you dare miss it!

8. I am excited to see all of the great things God does through The Ultimate Fighter series.

9. We are making a huge announcement on Sunday! You don't want to miss it! It will be the FIRST time this has EVER happened in the history of the church. I mean this is BIG time stuff! I mean SUPER BIG time! Don't you miss this historic announcement!

10. My staff is working their flesh off their bones. Staff, this is an intense time, and I appreciate all of your hard work. It's going to be worth it all when we see thousands of lives transformed by the power of Christ! We are almost finished! Thanks team!

11. Our executive team made a very critical decision this week.

12. Today is my day off and I'm glad. I'm ready to veg out with the family.

13. Jessica, my new assistant, is learning quickly. She is going to be a superstar assistant. Tiffany and I are glad to have her on the team.

14. Josh and Brian, my top two leaders at PC, are Superstar leaders!

15. Our youth ministry is CRANKING! I can't wait to see all of the wonderful things God does in the youth of OKC!

16. Our Admin team is really clicking and sharp! Very proud of this team.

17. Tiffany and I finished season 4 of 24 last night. We love this show.

18. Next week is going to be a crazy busy week. I'm preparing myself mentally for it.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Memories From Our First Facility

This Sunday, April 26, is our last Sunday in our current facility. We will have worshipped in this facility for 3 years and 3 weeks. I can't wait to move into our new 44,000 sq foot facility on May 3. Here is a list of memories of our first facility.

1. I'll never forget the prayer meeting we had the week or so leading up to the opening of our first facility. We prayed, unpacked and unstacked chairs and got them in place.

2. I'll never forget the Saturday night before our first Sunday in our first facility. The carpet crew laid carpet until the wee hours and many of our church people helped in so many ways to make church happen that first Sunday.

3. I was so tired that first Sunday because it was a long week.

4. I'll never forget getting something like 5 or 6 inspections the Friday before we were moving into the facility. If one permit would have been denied, the city would not have allowed us to have church in our new facility. That was not an option because we had moved all of the equipment out of the AMC theaters and it was all set up and mounted at our new facility (projectors, screens, etc.).

5. Shelby, our care director, use to work for the city, so he pulled on every connection that he had to get all those inspections done on Friday! That was a very stressful day. VERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6. I'll never forget moving into our new building with something like 177 parking spaces. That was a stupid rookie mistake on my part. That's what the architect said, so that's what I did!

7. The Monday following our first Sunday we paid a company to come put down a huge gravel parking lot. The gravel parking lot was ready for the second Sunday in the new building.

8. I'll never forget how proud I was of our kids’ space until we actually started using it. I would have done a totally different layout if I had to do it again! You live and learn!

9. I'll never forget going from two services to three services the first Sunday in the new building!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Men, Have You.....

1. Been praying everyday

2. Reading your bible everyday

3. Been being a warrior and worshipper for God

4. Been loving your wife like Christ loves the church

5. Been living a life of integrity

6. Bought your wife flowers in the last 3 months

7. Been on a date with your wife in the last month

8. Been investing in your kids spiritually

9. Recently told your wife you love her

10. Recently told your kids how proud you are of them and how much you believe in them

11. Made a commitment to be plugged into a local church

12. Been sharing your faith with your coworkers and those closest to you

13. Been an Ultimate Fighter this week

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's On My Mind

1. Training my new assistant so she can succeed at her job and so I can breathe a little easier.

2. Preparing to move into our new auditorium on May 3.

3. Thinking about the marketing strategy for the summer and grand opening.

4. Making sure I have the right team members in the right seat on the bus.

5. It's been such a busy season that I haven't taken time to read other books besides the Bible. Shame, shame Herbert!!

6. This Sunday's message on how an Ultimate Fighter deals with and overcomes failure.

7. The remodel and renovation of our current facility.

8. The state of the art lights, sound and video in our new facility.

9. The kids’ ministry. It's a huge ministry for us and feels the most pressure whenever we have a huge growth spurt.

10. How do we more effectively increase our leadership pipeline? We need to raise up more high caliber leaders in our church.

11. What are the next hires over the next 3 to 6 months?

12. Trying my best to anticipate the problems in the new building and correct them before we get there.

13. Becoming a better husband and father. My family is my number one ministry, and I am always evaluating how I can improve. It doesn't take too much evaluating, I already have a pretty good list! :)

14. Taking our small group ministry to the next level.

15. Staying a simple church.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. It was a great Sunday at People's Church!

2. God is really challenging me through The Ultimate Fighter series. I want to fulfill God's purpose in my own generation.

3. We sang one of my favorite songs on Sunday, Glorify Your Name! That song moves me. The Worship Team did a great job! Thanks team for your passion to lead us into God's presence.

4. The lobby was jam-packed full of people. It's like that every Sunday but I really noticed it today. It amazes me that our large congregation is worshipping in a 17,000 square foot facility.

5. It's really crazy that we only have 15 minutes in between our experiences. I'm glad we will have 25 to 30 minutes in between experiences in the new facility. I want our people to have more time to build relationships and fellowship. Relationships are so key to being a healthy follower of Christ!

6. We will begin renovating our existing building starting April 27. YEA! I'm ready to have tons more kids' space! The design of this new kids' area is going to be top notch. Plus we are putting in a McDonald's Playland in the lobby of the kids' area. We are going to see thousands of kids transformed by the power of Christ! EXCITED!

7. I think I forgot to say a HUGE thank you to our Parking Lot Team for the great job you did last Sunday. It was raining cats and dogs on Easter and the way you escorted people in with umbrellas was a classy touch. Way to go, First Impressions Team.

8. I'm pumped up about this Sunday. I'm going to talk about how an ultimate fighter deals with failure.

9. One of my pastor friends dropped by PC on Sunday. I really appreciate his friendship and input. There's nothing like getting fresh eyes on PC.

10. 80 people surrendered their lives to Christ on Sunday. It was an intense time. I saw people melting in the presence of God! I'm grateful for what God is doing in the hearts of people.

11. If you're not plugged in and serving in a ministry, what are you doing? Jump on board and let God use you to make a difference in somebody's life. Email anita@peopleschurch.tv to get plugged into a ministry today.

12. God has been speaking to me about PC! I love when God shows me things clearly! Thank you God!

13. I'm pumped up about this Sunday! I already said that, but I am!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Download

1. The week after Easter was CRAZY!

2. We had lots of follow-up with all of our first-time guests. Hey, first-time guests, we are so glad you checked out PC and hope God did something special in your life.

3. We look forward to seeing all of you back this coming up Sunday!

4. I didn't get to spend much time training my new assistant due to the busyness of the week. She got lots of training with our top administrator in the office and through video.

5. Tiffany and I went to Epic youth experience on Wednesday night. God is doing some cool things through our youth ministry. Chris and Jamie are building a solid youth ministry! I'm pumped about the future!

6. The Ultimate Fighter series continues this Sunday! Don't you dare miss it!

7. We are singing one of my favorite songs on Sunday.

8. Only two more Sundays in our current facility! CRAZY, HUH?

9. I just finished reading the book of Galatians during my devotional times. Now, I'm going through Ephesians.

10. Really looking forward to spending the day with my family. I love them to pieces!

11. A HUGE thank you and SHOUT OUT to my team. You all are incredible! Thanks for all you do!

12. The new building is looking great! I love the colors and the women's restroom. The men's restroom is still a mystery! If you attend PC and you've seen the construction update videos, this should make you laugh!

13. I'm very grateful for all of my pastor friends! God has blessed me with some incredible friends!

14. Bring somebody to church with you on Sunday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Effective Altar Calls

Don't Manipulate People

The Holy Spirit draws people to Jesus, not the preacher’s slick techniques. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying because I believe we need to be clear and convincing without manipulating. A preacher can create and feel pressure to see a response. I thank God that every week and normally in every experience at PC people give their lives to Christ. When there is an experience that no one responds, I don't hype it up or pressure people. I don't use techniques like telling those who don't know Christ that they are going to get in a car wreck immediately after the experience and die and go to hell (I mean Hell-AH). I don't place people throughout the congregation and have them raise their hands first so that it will encourage others to raise their hands. I don't believe in manipulation. I firmly believe that the same Holy Spirit that drew me to Jesus can draw other lost sinners to Jesus.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

4 Things I Would Tell A Pastor Trying To Turn Around An Existing Church

1. Take your time: Don't get yourself in trouble by listening to us crazy church planters. Because we started our churches, we can move at the speed of light. We don't have years of tradition and power struggles to navigate through. Please be careful not to compare your situation to a church plant because it's not one. Take your time and.......

2. Gain influence: Figure out who has the influence and power in the church. Build a strong relationship with the influencers. Listen to their hearts, struggles, pain and learn the history of the church. As you're building a relationship with the influencers begin to share your vision with them. Help the influencers buy into the vision by allowing them to ask questions and give input. Once the influencers buy into the vision, begin to cast the vision to the entire congregation.

3. Love people: The people in the church need to know that you love them. They need to know that you have God's and their best interests in mind. Be a loving shepherd by feeding, loving and caring for the flock.

4. Lovingly and prayerfully deal with any troublemakers: As you take your time, build relationships with key influencers and love the fire out of people. Also, be sure to identify people who are troublemakers and just won't support any pastor. These people are “pastor eaters.” For every pastor that comes to the church, the “pastor eaters” have controlled them and ultimately ran off the pastor. Allow God to give you wisdom and a strategy to deal with the troublemakers.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Assistant

Today, our new assistant begins her new role. Tiffany and I are very excited to have Jessica serving in the role of our assistant. Here are some reasons we are pumped to have Jessica on board:

1. Jessica and her husband are committed followers of Christ.

2. She and her husband are sold out to the vision of People's Church.

3. They are not just sold out with words but with actions. They serve in the kids’ ministry, lead a Community Group, tithe and give offerings to the Crazy Campaign. They are committed to advancing the vision of PC.

4. They have a great marriage.

5. Jessica is an extremely hard worker.

6. She is self-motivated.

7. She has great integrity.

8. She has a servant's heart and is eager to lighten our load.

9. She is teachable and eager to learn.

10. She has great people skills and communication skills.

11. She is very organized and administrative.

12. My wife really likes her, and that's big for me.

Jessica, welcome to the team and get ready for the ride of your life. PC is in an intense, fun and CRAZY season of ministry!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. We had a great Easter at PC!

2. Tons of people gave their hearts to Christ!

3. 3,046 people attended Easter at PC.

4. Our volunteers are amazing! Some of our volunteers served 3, 4 and 5 experiences to make Easter happen! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

5. My kids looked great in their Easter outfits!

6. Tiffany looked sexy as well! She always looks sexy.

7. Yesterday, I was rushing out of the house to head to church and forgot to put on my wedding ring. I always wear my wedding ring! I felt incomplete and naked yesterday.

8. Just two more Sundays in our current auditorium.

9. The first Sunday in April was our 3-year anniversary in our current auditorium.

10. We will be worshipping in our new auditorium on May 3. The new auditorium and building won't be 100 percent complete on May 3, but we will be able to have our first experience and start remodeling our current facility.

11. Beginning May 3, the new experience times are 9AM, 10:30AM & 12PM.

12. Normally after Easter, our next big momentum season is in August when school starts back. Since we are moving into a new building, we will have an entire summer of momentum. We will be moving into the new auditorium on May 3. The entire building and remodel should be done in June. That will be an awesome Sunday when everything is complete! Grand opening should be happening in July! It's going to be a fun summer and a CRAZY fall! GO GOD!

13. I'm tired today after preaching 6 times this weekend! I still feel pretty good even though my body is screaming, “What in the world did you just do to me?” :)

14. PC family, I need as many of you as possible to attend the 8:45AM experience for TWO MORE WEEKS! Thank you so much for your passion to free up seats for all the guests who will be worshipping with us over the next two Sundays!

15. I am pumped about The Ultimate Fighter series! Invite everybody you know! God is going to transform a lot of lives through this series! Men, get ready for all God wants to do in your life!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday's Download

1. Please pray for the fire victims in Oklahoma. Many people lost their homes due to fires and high winds.

2. Cale doesn't have school today because it's Good Friday!

3. Since I preach all Easter weekend, we are having our family Easter egg hunt today. The kids are excited.

4. The kids dyed Easter eggs last night.

5. In Starbucks a couple of days ago, I invited a man to our Easter experiences. I actually went to my vehicle and got an Ultimate Fighter invite card and gave it to him.

6. Who have you invited to church for Easter? Somebody's eternal destination could change this Easter weekend because you invited them!

7. We need as many people as possible to attend the Saturday 5PM experience!

8. If you can't attend the Saturday 5PM experience, please attend the 8:45AM or the 1:45PM experiences on Sunday! Thank you again for freeing up seats, lobby space and kids’ space for those seeking a relationship with Christ!

9. We are moving into our new auditorium on May 3. Not everything will be finished, but it will be close enough for us to have our worship experiences on May 3. We are moving into the new auditorium ASAP so that we can begin remodeling the existing building on April 27. The remodeled kids’ space is going to be unbelievable!

10. I'm sitting on the couch right now watching my precious kids play. Tiffany is sitting in the recliner, and we are watching the news. I love Friday because it's my day off, and I get to spend it with the people I love the most.

11. I love our new office space!

12. I can't wait to get my new office together! Everything is still in boxes.

13. Beginning May 3, our new Experience times will be 9AM, 10:30AM & 12PM.

14. I'm sure I will be wiped out after preaching 6 times this weekend. It will be a good “wiped out!”

15. I am really excited about The Ultimate Fighter series. God has been speaking to my heart about what to share.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When I'm Rested, I...

1. Am more patient

2. Am more fun

3. Am more creative

4. Enjoy studying for sermons

5. Enjoy preaching messages

6. Am more energized to play with my kids

7. Am a better listener

8. Eat better

9. Work out harder and more consistently

10. Dream big dreams

I may write about effective altar calls again tomorrow. I have A.D.D. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Effective Altar Calls

When I was a full-time evangelist, I always gave an altar call. On Easter Sunday, I will give an altar call. As a matter of fact, every Sunday at PC I give an altar call. I love seeing men and woman surrender their lives to Christ. Let me share some things I've learned about giving an effective altar call.

1. Be clear and specific. Be sure that you explain to the audience what you are asking them to do. It's easy for us preachers to forget that some people in the audience may not know what we are talking about. If you say, "Is there anybody here that wants to be saved," there may be some who don't have any idea what you're talking about. They may be thinking, "Saved from what?" "Do you mean saved from the recession?" We must take time to explain to people that we are asking them to give their lives to Christ. They must understand that we are asking them to place their faith and trust in what Christ did for us on Calvary. We have to be clear and specific.

More tomorrow!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Highlights

1. I am now on Facebook. Go to www.facebook.com, search for Herbert Cooper and sign up to be my friend.

2. On Friday, we had a great family day. We took the kids to the indoor play place. The kids played on the play land, painted and did some other fun stuff. They had a blast.

3. We went on a family date night afterwards. We had a good meal together.

4. On Saturday, I took Cale and Cade to a football camp. They didn't participate in the camp, but they did enjoy throwing the football with dad and watching the kids and professional athletes.

5. Several NFL players were at the camp working with the students. Some of the athletes present were Mark Clayton, Reggie Smith, Larry Foote, Cato Jones and there were several others.

6. On Saturday night, Tiffany and I went to the Desmond Mason art show. Desmond plays basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is a great artist. I was very impressed with his work.

7. After the art show, I took my wife out for some dessert. We had a fun night.

8. Sunday was a very good day at church.

9. The song Moving Forward was really good. This was our second time singing it, and I thought it really connected with the church. The words to the song are very powerful.

10. I thought the message went really well. I believe God used the Imagine series to prepare many hearts for all the great things God has in store for PC as we move into the new building.

11. It was different not having our old office space. I usually go get hot tea for my voice in between experiences. I had to go to a different room due to the fact that we moved our offices to the new facility last week.

12. During the song Falling In Love With Jesus, Andre tore it up on the Hammond B 3 organ. Awesome!

13. I made the BIG announcement! We will be moving into our new auditorium on May 3. Exciting stuff! We are trying to get into our new auditorium ASAP because we still have to remodel the existing building. Of course, we can't really start remodeling a great portion of the existing building until we move into the new building. My guess is that when we move into the new auditorium on May 3 it will be around 90 to 95 percent complete. It's going to be a wild, fun and off-the-hook summer for PC!

14. We are kicking off a phenomenal series on Easter called The Ultimate Fighter!

15. We need many of the PC family to attend the Saturday 5PM experience on Sunday! If you can't attend the Saturday experience, please attend the 1:45PM experience or the 8:45AM experience on Sunday. Thank you, PC, for freeing up seats and kids’ space for all the guests who will be attending church with us on EASTER weekend!

16. Invite, invite, invite everybody you know to church for Easter! Go to www.peopleschurch.tv and send an Email Invite Card to your friends and family who live in the Oklahoma City metro area.

17. Pray and fast for God to do a mighty work in the lives of people on Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday's Download

1. It has been a great week!

2. I went on a date with my wife last night. I fall more in love with her every day. She understands me so well. She loves me unconditionally. She is my best friend.

3. Tiffany and I hired a very sharp personal assistant this week. We are very excited to get a load taken off our plate.

4. We moved our offices to the new building this week. It's great for our staff to have so much more room. I'm so honored to have such a dedicated team who works along side me. Enjoy all the space team!

5. THE DATE WE ARE MOVING INTO THE NEW AUDITORIUM IS...................Be at church on Sunday to find out!! I'm PUMPED!

6. Josh Brown, one of the executives at PC, is doing a fabulous job on building the new facility. Church, be sure to let him know how much you appreciate him. He is such a blessing to us!

7. The Ultimate Fighter series is kicking off on EASTER! I'm really excited about this series!

8. On Easter weekend, we need as many of you as possible to attend the Saturday 5PM experience! We are going to have a ton of guests on Easter Sunday! God is going to do a great work!

9. This Sunday, we need as many of you as possible to attend the 8:45AM experience. Thank you, church!

10. This Sunday, I'm preaching a message titled IMAGINE A Church For Everybody. Don't miss Sunday!

11. This Sunday, we are receiving a special CRAZY Campaign offering. God has CRAZY things in store for PC!

12. Invite, invite, invite your un-churched friends and family to church. I'm praying for many people to come to Christ during this Easter season!

13. Cale, my oldest son, is out of school today. We are hanging out as a family. I love my off day, and I love to hang out with my family.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Senior Pastor Relationships

Last night, Tiffany and I went to a pastor's home in Oklahoma City for dinner. There were 12 or so senior pastors from around the nation, and several of them brought their wives with them. We had a blast hanging out, laughing, telling stories and praying for each other. There is an instant bond and connection when you get a group of senior pastors together. We share common struggles, hurts, successes and pressures. It was a refreshing night for Tiffany and me. We love hanging out with like-minded senior pastors. Thank you, God, for Kingdom relationships!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Come Back To My Church

Many churches will have their highest attendance of the year on Easter Sunday. The question churches have to wrestle with is how do we get the C&E (Christmas & Easter) folks back on April 19th? How do we turn C&E folks into committed Christ- followers? I want to offer some suggestions on how we can get more C&E folks to become regular attendees.

1. Make sure you have a great Easter service. Take time planning and preparing for the experience. Make it powerful, relevant and full of Jesus and the Bible.

2. Start a great series on Easter or the Sunday after Easter. Promote it to your guests so that you give them something to come back for.

3. Remember, most guests make their minds up to come back to a church within the first 10 minutes of their visit. Your parking lot hosts, greeters, ushers and volunteers checking in kids are so crucial. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Most guests will make up their minds to visit again before they ever hear one worship song or the sermon. The sermon literally starts in the parking lot.

4. Someone needs to call all your first-time guests within 48 hours.

5. Send out a hand-written note to all first-time guests within the first 3 to 4 days of their visit. If your budget allows, put a $5 gas card inside the note and tell your guests that you are paying for their next visit to your church.

6. Send out an email within 24 hours to all first-time guests thanking them for coming.

7. Have information in your bulletin or in your guest info packets explaining how guests can get plugged into your church.

8. Have some of kind of event for newcomers at your church. Once a quarter, we have a Newcomers/Membership Luncheon to help connect newcomers to PC. We serve a free lunch and share the story and vision of PC.

9. When a first-time guest comes a second time, have some kind of follow-up system to connect with them. We currently send a letter from me, a hand-written note from a staff member and a phone call from a staff member. We are getting ready to tweak the system to a letter from me and a phone call from a staff member.