communication
Charles Stone

7 Keys to Help Church People Remember your Sermon Better

As a pastor I’ve been trained how to create a sermon so that it’s theologically sound (good hermeneutics) and applicable to the listener (good homiletics). However, seminary never taught me how I might help church people listen better and retain what they hear in a sermon. In the last few decades neuroscientists have learned much

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Church Growth
Charles Stone

A Simple Exercise that will Infuse Life into your Staff

Some time back our church staff held our annual in-house evaluation retreat when we reviewed the prior year’s goals and plans. God had given us a good year and we wanted not only to discuss how we could improve, but rejoice in His blessings. After we prayed, we did a simple exercise that infused life

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Leadership
Charles Stone

Leaders and their Listening: at which of the 4 Levels do you listen?

One of the greatest skills a pastor or leader can develop is to learn to listen well. We pay others a high compliment when we listen. We affirm others’ God-given value when we listen. We develop our own heart when we listen. The father of the field of listening, Ralph Nichols, captures the essence of listening in these

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Strategic Planning in a Nutshell

I’ve used this simple tool to capture the essence of strategic planning. Feel free to use it with your team. Related posts: How to Plan an Effective Solo Planning Retreat 5 Mistakes Pastors Make when Planning Staff Retreats

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Church Staff
Charles Stone

4 Traits of the World’s Second Greatest Leader

I believe Jesus was the world’s greatest leader. I would call the Apostle Paul the world’s second greatest leader because he wrote much of the New Testament and because he spread Christianity into the the west through his missionary journeys. The book of Acts details much of those early missionary journeys. Acts 16 describes four traits that Christian leaders

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Leadership
Charles Stone

How do Discover your Leadership Vibe in 10 Minutes

I love to read. As a life-long learner I learn from others’ writings and I believe integrous writers should always give generous attribution to authors whose ideas they embrace or write about. That’s why I often reference my ideas as I do here. Some time back I read Do More Great Work by Michael Stanier. It’s a short but

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Leadership
Charles Stone

9 Signals Your Hormones May be Hijacking your Leadership

God gave us a magnificent creation called the brain.Weighing less than three pounds, it wields incredible influence over how well leaders lead. Although we usually call the brain a computer, it’s more like a pharmacy that constantly dispenses drugs (hormones and neurotransmitters) into our bodies and brains which affect our emotions, our thinking, and our leadership. A

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change managemenet
Charles Stone

The Hidden Bias that Trips Up Leaders

Decision biases can negatively affect even the best church or business leader. Wikipedia lists almost 200 social, memory, or cognitive biases (I had to stop reading the list to keep from getting depressed). However, I’ve experienced one that I believe often trips leaders up. It’s called the confirmation bias. It’s a thinking bias that looks for information that supports our

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10 Ways Pastors Stifle Church Change

Einstein was right. If we want our churches to make the greatest kingdom impact, we must help facilitate change or else we become “insane” leaders. However, we often don’t manage change wisely. I’ve listed 10 blunders pastors can make that stifle church change. Force the change no matter who resists. Marginalize those who resist change. Don’t

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communication
Charles Stone

9 Insights about Adult Learning every Pastor should Know

Several years ago I took a 13-week intensive class on how to coach through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. One of my teachers, Anne Denmark, professionally coaches church leaders and trains speakers. As a highly credentialed and experienced coach she shares her insights on her blog. During one class she shared nine basic principles on adult learning. As I read them I

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