CNLP 088: A Step By Step Guide to Breaking the 200 Attendance Barrier: An Interview with Martin Daland

How do you break the 200 attendance barrier? Martin Daland became the senior leader in a conflicted small church of 180. Within two years, he saw his church grow to more than 300. He talks about how he changed pastoral care, fought burn out, and got the church healthy. Amazingly, he did this in Norway, where only 5% of the population attends church. But the application is universal.

Welcome to Episode 88 of the Podcast.


Guest Links: Martin Daland

Skien Misjonskirke

Martin on Facebook 

Links Mentioned


Josh Pezold; Episode 87

Josh Gagnon; Episode 61

How to Break Growth Barriers: Capturing Overlooked Opportunities for Church Growth

Who Wants More Time?


Andy Stanley; Episode 1

Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend

Push Down Decision Making

Things You Can Do Right Away

God gave Martin a vision, and he couldn’t believe he was chosen to do something so powerful for Christ. After an exhausting journey led by faith, he became the senior pastor of a church in Norway. Here’s how he handled the challenges he faced.

  1. Start with self-care. If you’re not ok, the staff won’t be ok, and the church won’t thrive. Martin had many questions about his new role and God’s plans for him, and transitioning into senior leadership was taking a toll on his personal life. He saw a counselor, walked in faith and slowly began to restore balance. Though he wasn’t the source of previous conflict in his church, he knew that he didn’t seek help for himself, the future of the church would be unstable.
  2. Care for your staff. Martin believed he had to build confidence and trust back into his team if he wanted the mission of the church to thrive. He focused on building a healthy culture where constructive criticism and encouragement were welcome by providing a safe environment for conversation.
  3. Care for the congregation. Many church members felt hurt after previous leadership betrayed their trust. Martin placed emphasis on listening to his congregation, showing empathy and going back to the fundamental principles of what the church was founded on, Christ. He spent time having one-on-one conversations with the most influential people of the church and led from a place of humility.
  4. Place emphasis on the values. Martin says he focused on preaching into the church’s key values. The church is more than 160 years old, so he didn’t want to change them, but exalt them.
  5. Connect with other pastors in your region. As a new senior pastor in a new denomination, Martin needed to define his role, so he worked with his church about how to move forward. He decided to reach out and establish relationships with other pastors in the city so they could meet regularly and lean onto each other for support.

Lasting Impact Team Edition is available now!

I’m excited to announce that the Lasting Impact Team edition releases today! This is a compilation of eight videos designed to allow the teams in your church follow along as a supplement to the book. I highlight key points from the material and discuss additional hot topics that relate to your ministry.

To be the first to get your copy, visit! Plus, if you order right away, you will gain access to a private Facebook group where I’ll answer questions from time to time, and where you’ll have the support of many other leaders who are trying to lead the same conversations in their church. But hurry. Access to the private Facebook closes at 11:59 May 31st, 2016.

Get your copy of Lasting Impact today! 

My latest book is available now. It’s designed especially for church leaders and their teams.

Lasting Impact frames 7 pivotal conversations every church team needs to have, covering subjects like declining church attendance, team health, creating a culture volunteers love and how to engineer changes in your church.

Order on Amazon, or visit! The video team edition, featuring 8 videos where I teach through the key concepts in the book, is available now as well!

Quotes from this Episode


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Next Episode: Brian Houston

There are few stories like Hillsong and very few leaders who have had the impact that Brian Houston has had. Carey sits down in person with Brian on a recent Outcry tour stop in Toronto as they discuss the ingredients that have forged Brian into the leader he is today.

Subscribe for free now, and you won’t miss Episode 89.


  1. Michael Cutter on July 17, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Hi Carey, the link to download the Push Down Decision Making document is broken. Can we get an update?

  2. Marty Troyer on June 6, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Carey and Martin.
    Thank you for this great transparent and hopeful conversation. I love the consistent balance of church health and growth through holistic leadership.
    In the show you mention the importance of keeping a set schedule. It looks as if a document was meant to be made available called
    “Who wants more time.”
    I feel I would truly benefit. The link no longer exists. Can you make that doc available again?
    Keep up the good work guys!

  3. Zachary Verbracken on May 19, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Carey, thanks for another fantastic interview.

    The most interesting part to me was probably Martin walking us through how he made some serious changes to be strategic about his set schedule. I love that he is able to have more time for family, rest, and “doing what he is expected to do” as the pastor like sermon prep and leading the staff.

    I also really enjoyed hearing about his follow through and implementation as a result of your mentorship. He didn’t just learn about great new things he could do or changes he could make, but he seems to be like a sponge who not only takes in information but actually applies it. I love hearing about people winning in places where most people think that it can’t be done.

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