communication
Charles Stone

How to Make Boring Church Announcements Memorable

I grew up in the church and by my calculation I’ve heard 10,931 church announcements, or thereabouts. I only remember one of them. Why did I only remember that one? Before I give you the answer, I must confess that for me announcements are often the most boring part of a service, yet mostly necessary. I’ve felt

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Leadership
Charles Stone

Are you a People Pleasing Pastor? Take this Assessment and Find Out

I based my third book, People-Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Approval Motivated Leadership on significant research around people pleasing. As a scripturally based book, it incorporated fascinating insight about how our brain influences our leadership and our tendencies to appease and please others in unhealthy ways. To discover how pervasive people-pleasing is in the ministry I gathered research

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Church Growth
Charles Stone

Tithing: a Simple and Effective Way to Encourage People to Tithe

I believe every pastor should help his church grow in generosity. One tool I’ve used for many years is called a “Tithe Demonstration Day.” It’s essentially setting aside one Sunday each year, usually in a stewardship sermon series, when we challenge every person in the church to tithe, give 10% of one week’s income. It’s

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

5 Reasons Why Every Church Needs a Staff-Board Conflict Resolution Strategy

The board meetings have begun to sour. Increasingly the pastor and his board have heated conversations about the church’s direction. The conflict has bled into every meeting for months. Emotions are running high. Conflict reaches a flash point. There is no written plan on how to deal with it. What happens? The board either sends the

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

3 Ways to Defeat Leadership Discouragement

Discouragement comes with the territory for ministry leaders. Unmet goals, putting out fires, staff issues, displeasing people, and general tiredness all contribute to discouragement. When it weighs us down, how can we dig out? The life of the prophet Elijah gives us hope. I Kings 18-19 tells the story of his amazing confrontation with the prophets

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Uncategorized
Charles Stone

Insights on Learning that can Improve Preaching

Every communicator needs to understand the science of learning, including those who preach. In this post I give a few insights about the science of learning.  Between 1997 and 2004 the late Professor Graham Nuthall of Canterbury University in New Zealand conducted some of the most robust research ever on learning. His Project on Learning, a

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Uncategorized
Charles Stone

Memory and the Speaker, Teacher, and Preacher, Part 2

To speak, teach, and preach well, it’s important to understand how memory works. That’s the theme of today’s post, a continuation of my prior post. Scientists classify memory storage into three stages: stage 1– sensory memory, stage 2 — working (short-term) memory, and stage 3 — long-term memory. Memory processing begins with sensory memory, some

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Uncategorized
Charles Stone

Memory and the Effective Speaker, Teacher, and Preacher

Understanding memory is crucial for public speakers, teacher, and preachers to speak most effectively. In the few posts, I will unpack how memory works Think about the most memorable class, sermon, or speech you can recall. What made it so memorable? The answer lies in the word, ‘memorable’ that comes from the word ‘memory.’ You would

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Compassion
Charles Stone

14 Questions Pastors should Avoid if they Fear Vulnerability

Some time back I read an incredible book – Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Dr. Brene Brown. I highly recommend it. Her TED talk on this subject has garnered over 30,000,000 views. She strikes a chord for leaders about risking vulnerability. As a pastor vulnerability is

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

5 Ways to Make Brainstorming More Creative

Brainstorming sessions have become standard fare for ministry teams that seek solutions to problems. The two key rules are to generate as many ideas as possible and don’t criticize the ideas. These concepts came from Alex Osborne’s book Your Creative Power published in 1948. Since then it’s been common practice to avoid criticizing the ideas in

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