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The Secret to Creating a Highly Motivated Team

One of the most significant challenges of leadership is aligning a group of people around a common mission, vision and strategy.

Some of you are trying to rally a dozen people around a common cause. Some of you are trying to rally hundreds, others thousands.

Sometimes I feel like I spend half my time as a lead pastor trying to keep people aligned around a vision mission and strategy that’s bigger than all of us.

How do you do that?

There are a lot of factors.

But today I want to share a secret with you.

Something that I think has gotten us more mileage than many of the other things we’ve done.

And something you can do too. If you have the courage.

And I believe you do.



We Discovered the Secret By Accident

We have groups of leaders visit our church on a fairly regular basis. They usually come to see how we do portable church, what it’s like to be an Orange church or details on being a North Point Strategic Partner.

To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever called us up asking to study our volunteers.

But almost every team—without fail—wraps up their visit with a question that goes like this. What is the deal with your volunteers? How do you motivate them? 

I can understand the question. It takes between 300-400 volunteers to run our church at this stage. We only have 10 staff spread out over two locations.

We’re a fully portable church at this point.

That means volunteers roll out of bed as early as 3:30 a.m. to pick up trailers full of gear and drive them to our sites.

Others arrive between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. to start set up, and others flood in to serve in our production, family ministry, guest services and other environments.

And what’s amazing even to us is that they do it with a smile. You can’t buy the kind of energy, commitment or joy they bring.

For a while, we didn’t have a good answer to people’s questions about our team’s energy and motivation.

We usually said “I don’t know” and “God’s been good to us”, both of which are true, but neither of which is particularly helpful to the leaders who were  asking the question.

Then one day our team sat down to talk about it, and we came up with an answer.


So What’s the Secret?

So how do you motivate a team to serve with joy and without pay?


5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church (Especially Millennials)

Ever wonder why generating momentum in the local church seems harder than ever for most leaders?

You’re not alone; the conversation about momentum and shifting attendance trends is happening at every level of church, including some of the largest and fastest growing churches in North America.

Everyone is feeling at least two realities:

First, even people who attend church have stopped attending as frequently as they used to (I wrote about how to reverse that here).

Even in communities that are home to growing churches, the overall percentage of the population that attends church continues to drop, especially among under 30s.

Recently, the Barna Group released a new survey citing (among others) five compelling reasons church attending continues to decline, particularly among Millennials (those 30 and under).

The good news is that once you spot the trends, you can work at reversing them.


5 Reasons People Have Stopped Attending Your Church

In the study, Barna cites 5 specific reasons Millennials have stopped attending church that drew my attention:


6 Keys to Breaking the 200, 400 and 800 Attendance Barriers

While there’s a lot of ‘sensitivity’ around the subject of large churches v. smaller churches, the reality is many church leaders I know sincerely want to reach more people.

Which means, in the end, they are hoping their church will grow.

Surprisingly, only a tiny percentage of churches ever make it past 200 people in attendance. Why is that?

Well, as I shared in this post (which is also by far the most read post on this blog), there are at least 8 reasons why churches don’t make it past the 200 attendance mark.

In this post I want to offer 6 keys to breaking church growth barriers and address 6 more reasons churches don’t get there.

church growth barriers

Here’s What’s Missing

I’m going to assume leaders are praying and that the church is biblical and authentic in its mission. I’ll also assume that leaders want to church to grow.

But even with all those conditions in place, too many churches just can’t push through.

And even once you get past 200, some churches can’t make it past 400 or 800.  Again, not for lack of desire or opportunity.

So why can’t they grow?

They simply haven’t structured for growth.

My first post explores this in detail and I’ll also remind you again of the best book I’ve ever read on the subject: Carl George and Warren Bird’s, How to Break Growth Barriers. They go into detail about some of the barriers I raise in this post and the previous one.

Wise leaders position their church today to make an impact tomorrow.

And by the way, if you’re tempted to criticize this as ‘yet another strategy piece’, please read Exodus 18Luke 10 and Acts 6. (Apparently, God likes structure and organization too.)


6 Keys to Breaking 200, 400 and 800 in Attendance

While embracing all 6 things won’t guarantee your church will grow, every church I know that has successfully pushed past the 200, 400 and 800 barriers has navigated these changes (and dealt with the 8 problems in the other post).

Here are 6 keys:


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