This Is Why We Do Church!

This is by Lauren who comes to our church and has an incredible story. Recently, she shared this with me from her blog:

As a kid I was usually made to attend church every Sunday, but this is the first time in my life that I've actually wanted to go, and I'm really getting something out of it. The past couple of weeks, I've been tagging along with The Pernecky's to church, and it has been really beneficial for me so far. The church's "sermons" are more like messages. They are totally relatable and keep my interest the entire time. Amazing, I know! The first Sunday that I attended, the pastor's message spoke directly to me. It applied to my situation SO closely it was scary. I had tears running down my face for most of the service. Ever since then, they've had my full and undivided attention...

To Read The Rest, Click HERE

You can also follow Lauren on twitter:

Tony Morgan Coaching Network (6)

[Simply Strategic Volunteers]

  • Helping people find their place in ministry. has stuff on their “open” sight.
  • Teach the shoulder tap to the volunteers. It is their job too!!!
  • Invite, select, equip, engage, evaluate.
  • It is hard to strategize when the bullets are flying.
  • What does the process look like when someone wants to volunteer? How do you follow up? What are the steps? Is it easy or hard? Do you even know it? How can you do more “Show Up and Go”. Challenge with “Show Up and Go” is you have to have someone there to be their “buddy” or “leader” that day.

[Volunteer Development]

  • Identify a target and a time frame.
  • Teaching (from the stage, message series).
  • Invest and invite in the context of volunteering (teach them to shoulder tap someone to join them)
  • Need leaders over the high volume volunteering areas.
  • Make sure the systems are streamlined (training, scheduling, forms)
  • Make serving THE next step for someone attending.

[Financial Stewardship]

  • Begins with teaching… do people know they are supposed to.
  • Preaching in series on money is more productive.
  • Financial counseling and seminars also work.
  • Model it as a church first! (Debt? Reserves? Tithing?)
  • Good financial planning for the church.
  • There is a season for sharing the financial realities of your church.
  • Track the numbers and trends.
  • Vision, vision, vision.
  • Make the offering an event.
  • What are the practical giving goals (get people connected to online giving???)

[The Four Helpful List]
What’s right? (Optimize that!!!)
What’s wrong? (Change it!!! One issue at a time)
What’s confusing? (Clarify it!!!)
What’s missing? (Add it!!!)

[Leading from the Second Chair]
Begins with trust with the lead pastor.
Recognize the leaders calling is different than yours.
If you can help accomplish the leader’s vision you win.

[Leadership “It”]
Relationship with Jesus
Able to build a team
Being a constant learner
Clear vision

[Church “It”]
Outward focus
Gifted leaders
Giving away ministry to the people
Clear visionKnowing who you are

New Art for Local Magazine

Thank you to Adelicia for letting us put this ad in your magazine for FREE. You guys rock!!!

Promotion Strategy (Fall Launch)

The fall is one of the big times a year that churches seem to get a bounce in numbers like Easter and Christmas. Once church leaders started seeing this they also started promoting this time of year like they also do Easter and Christmas. Church of the Suncoast is the same. We are 3 1/2 years old and each fall we have done a marketing blitz.

This year we tried something different though. I picked this up in a passing conversation at one of my coaching network meetings with Tony Morgan in South Carolina. Someone in passing said something about "If you can get your people excited about something then you don't have to market". So I started thinking about it and the more I thought about it the more I felt like we should give it a try.

Here was my frustration that led to this also. We get these awesome bumps from a marketing blitz, or if you do church in Florida you get a medium bump... anyway that is another post. But the very next week it is back to normal. Maybe you pick up a few people down the line but it is a one time shot for the most part.

So this fall for our Fall Launch we focused 100% on getting our people jacked up about the new fall series "Living on the Edge" and then put the ball in their court to bring people.

Here is what we did:
  • Invite cards for the series
  • Invite card sleeves with hints
  • An internal mailing list postcard
  • Free t-shirts with the tag line "Don't Jump" on the front and info for the series on the back
  • A vision video
  • Two weeks of on stage announcement
  • A special "From the Pastor" e-mail about inviting on Wednesday of that week
  • Lots of tweets!

Here are the REAL results.

We had 13 first time guests on the first week of the series and a modest bump. We had 14 first time guests this week and a bigger bump! In fact we were up 11% on the second week of the series over the first week where all the push was made. Now, the bump was not spectacular like if we had done a 60,000 piece postcard and a bunch of yard signs, but then again we have never been higher the second week after a big push than the week of the push.

Now, I am not saying we should all stop promoting to the community at large. But, the next time you say something like, "Well we just don't have the money to market like those guys" stop complaining and focus on getting your own people jacked up about what God is about to do. The results just might be more lasting in the long run!!!

Funny Video for THIS Sunday

OK, so normally I don't let you see what we have planned for the upcoming Sunday. Normally, I make you wait until the week after and then I will post some stuff or a creative element. Well, not this week. This week we are moving to part number two of our new series "Living on the Edge" and we are talking about time. For a blurb click HERE.

Here is how we are setting up this weeks talk. Take a look:

It's Monday (By Clayton King)

It’s Monday. Be Careful, Pastor.
Clayton King

If you are in any kind of ministry, leadership role, or work in a local church setting, you need to read this. Why? Because today is Monday, the most vulnerable day of the week for you. The day you are most susceptible to temptation, pride, irritability, fatigue, and discouragement. If there is one thing I know about Mondays in ministry, it’s simply this; after God uses me on Sunday, Satan and my flesh will come against me on Monday.

Sundays are game day for ministers. It’s more than just going to church and doing your ministerial duties. Sundays are the time when it all comes together; the lesson, the sermon, the conversations, the meal afterward with a family, the anticipation of what attendance will be, what the offering will look like, and what the response will be to the gospel. The stress and pressure can literally beat a minister to the ground, but the strange irony is that it can also create within us an excitement that energizes us for the assignment. It is actually the stress and adrenaline that do both; they motivate us to carry through and then they cause us to crash and burn both emotionally and physically. Many ministers have no idea why they feel the way they feel on Monday. They think they’re just tired. It is so much more than that...

To read the rest head to Clayton's Blog:

Tell A Story

Hey Church of the Suncoast... who have you told a story to this week??? On Sunday we begin our big fall launch series called "Living on the Edge". And, what I am asking everyone to do is this:
  • Pray about just one person you think God wants you to bring this Sunday.
  • Give that person an invite card or a postcard.
  • Tell that person a simple story about the Suncoast. People remember stories. It can be about what your first time was like, it can be about a service that stands out, it can be about what the church has meant to you, just share a story.
  • Then ask them to come with you. Don't just invite them, ask them to meet you at a specific location at a specific time.
  • Wear your "Don't Jump" t-shirt this Friday if you can. Tell some stories with what you are wearing.
  • Leave your impact cards at some of the places listed on the card holder.

Tell stories this week.

Pray for this Sunday.

Awesome things are going to happen!!!

Too Much for Me

Thought I would take a minute to let every church leader out there know that right now there is just too much for me. I am in over my head. I can't do it. Does that sound like you? Let me explain:

We have several families right now at our church that just need a lot of help. I won't go into all the details but financially, emotionally, even legally just a lot of need! Can't do it, too much for me.

We are about to have our Fall Launch for 2009 on September 13th and there is just too much to do and keep track of.

Financially... our church has $900 in the checking account (Thank God we have some back up money we saved from the good economic times) but that is the reality right now, that is a lot of pressure.

The stress of starting a church from nothing 3 years ago and trying to get to the point where everything doesn't rise and fall on me has proved too much for me.

NOW, before you think I am crying a story to you, THIS IS NOT THAT!!! My point is simply to reach out to every pastor and church leader right now and say, "Are you there too? Is it more than you can do? Is it too much for you too?" Perfect! No really, perfect.

I am reminded daily that I am not a good enough leader, preacher, vision caster, and boss. Not to mention husband and Christ-Follower. But, I am convinced that is where we need to be more often. To be honest the amount of "Know it All" self-promoting church leader / bloggers is nauseating me these days, and I think it also nauseates our God!

I can't do it all, be it all, know it all and I would never lead someone to believe I did. The intro to my blog says I am a church planter that hasn't arrived yet and I think that is a good thing because that means I have to depend on Jesus for everything!!!

So if you feel like it is all too much for you, you are right! It is too much for me too. Let's encourage each other to depend on Jesus even more and know that He has great things in store for us. He never said it would be easy or that we would not want to throw in the towel. But don't. He is able to do far more than we ever think possible.

Living on the Edge Promo

Promo for our Fall Launch on September 13th

9:30am & 11:00am

(Shot on the roof of the Italian Club in Ybor City, Florida)