Dysfunctional Church

7 signs “the problem” isn’t the problem

“You two — stop that! Don’t you know it’s impolite to run up and down the aisles in church?” It was clear why that church had a hard time attracting families. Julie (not her real name) made it known that she didn’t like children. But Julie wasn’t the problem. She was only a symptom. Several

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How to rise above conflict

Hostility, sabotage and open conflict. That is the lot of the pastor who leads change. Anyone brave enough to be pastor must possess steel in the spine, ice water in the veins and a steady hand at the helm. The American church needs a pastor “who is less likely to become lost in the anxious

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Break the Sound Barrier: An Essential for Restoring Relationships

  Multiple issues challenge churches, marriage, and interpersonal relationships that experience conflict.  Two are nearly always a part of unresolved conflict.  Both involve the tongue.  Everyone recognizes the first—gossip. For example, in a suicide, a woman wrote, “They said . . .” and never completed her statement before she took her life. The gossip was

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A Tale of Two Barns –A Tale of Two Churches

Dr. Gordon E. Penfold Co-founder of Turnaround Pastors, Inc.   The Two Barns   “It was the best of times and it was the worst of times . . ..” So begins Charles Dickens’,  A Tale of Two Cities.  I would like to parallel that truth with two barns and two churches. The analogy will

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1 powerful tool for building turnaround leadership teams

The Birkman Method™ takes the guesswork out of building a great church staff! The light snapped on when he realized that “grabbing the bull by the horns” threatened his ministry colleague. The colleague saw the light when he realized that standing back, content to let his friend run things, contributed to the problem. Their three

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When it’s a waste of time to train pastors …

Pastor Fred (not his real name) was excited, energized, and confident after attending a Turnaround Pastors Boot Camp. He learned what to do and how to do it. Tom (not his real name), a key lay leader in the church who attended the Boot Camp with Fred, was on board. Maybe, just maybe, this would

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Why must elders be good family leaders?

After his older brother was baptized in church, little Tommy sobbed all the way home. Three times his father asked what was wrong. Finally, Tommy replied, “The pastor prayed that Billy would be brought up in a Christian home. I want him to stay with us!” Every parent enjoys a moment of delight, often brought on

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The high cost of low expectations

The American Church is suffering the high cost of low expectations. I’m not referring to the low expectations that consumer driven churches have of their members. I refer to the low expectations our American way of “doing church” places on pastors. They burn themselves out, and churches use them up, chasing low expectations. Although these

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10 steps to benefitting from conflict

It’s like ripping off a bandage to bathe the wound in healing sunlight. Unpleasant. Even painful. But the end result is health and restoration. That’s what church conflict is like. Painful but, when treated properly, the path to a healthy church and a stronger, more confident pastor. At least that’s the results of a survey

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