2017 was an incredible year of change, in the world, in the church and often, in your life.
You, the readers, also made it the best year to date on the blog. I can’t thank you enough for the encouragement, the interaction, the ideas and the friendships we make online.
The blog was accessed over 3.9 million times by leaders around the world, making it the best year yet around here.
Below are the Top 10 posts for 2017 as determined by page views.
But first, as we head into 2018, I’d love you to ask yourself…what do you wish was different?
If 2017 was perfect…awesome, scroll right down.
But if you’d like to do a little better, I’m inviting you into a journey that I think could change everything for you next year. It’s available for a very limited time.
Become a High Impact Leader in 2018
So you 2018 to be your best year yet?
Everyone does. And yet constant interruptions and distractions keep many leaders from getting their most important priorities accomplished. In addition, work keeps bleeding into family time. And before you know it, all your hopes for a better year get dashed.
What if you didn’t need to live that way anymore?
The High Impact Leader online course can help you solve that but getting time, energy and priorities working in your favor. Last year, it helped over 2500 leaders get their life and leadership back.
The High Impact leaders gives you highly practical, proven strategies that I’ve tested over the last decade
We limit time and enrollment because I do personal coaching inside the High Impact Leader private Facebook group. So you get a ton of peer support and some personal interaction with me.
The Ten Best
And now, onto the posts you read and loved the most.
Each snippet below is just a brief introduction to the overall article. Click on the links to read the full piece, and maybe bookmark this post as a short guide to this year’s best pieces.
You can share it with your team for team discussion to see how you’re handling the top challenges church leaders are facing, or just keep it for personal reflection. Your call.
I include a link to each post below, along with a quote from the main article.
Here we go….
The culture continues to change rapidly around you as a church leader.
You get that.
And yet sometimes the change is easy to miss.
Here are the 6 disruptive church trends that I thought would rule 2017.
In the future church, only the engaged will attend because only the engaged will remain.
So you want your church to reach people who don’t go to church.
That’s wonderful because that’s basically the mission of the church: to share the love of Christ with the world in the hopes everyone will come into a relationship with Jesus.
The challenge is that unchurched people aren’t exactly flocking to most churches, and many Christians seem stumped as to why that is.
If God has all the same opinions your political party does, you’re probably not worshipping God.
(I think I see a trend here…lots of stuff Christians do that bother non-Christians.)
Spend two minutes talking to almost anyone outside the Christian faith and you’re almost certain to hear a list of complaints they have about Christians.
The problem has been around awhile. As Mahatma Ghandi famously (and sadly) said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
He’s not alone.
The problem with many non-Christians isn’t that they don’t know any Christians. The challenge is they do.
So what gives?
Very few people get judged into life change. Far more get loved into it.
The trend is practically universal: fewer people are attending church every year.
You might have even asked the question yourself. Why bother?
There are many reasons why that’s happening (
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of the church. But I get why more and more people have simply stopped attending. Let me explain.
You don’t attend church. You are the church.
I don’t do a lot of guest posts on my blog, but occassionaly I’ll have a friend contribute. This is the first time a guest post became a Top 10 post, which is awesome.
This one was written by my Executive Assistant, Sarah Piercy, who’s also a long-time friend of my wife and I and a first-time mom.
Moving in the same God-given direction is POWERFUL. It doesn’t happen when we are disengaged.
It’s hard to believe, but according to people who study these things, first-time guests to your church make up their minds whether they’re coming back or not in the first ten minutes of their visit.
Think about that.
Before they hear the first note of music, before they hear the first word of a sermon or before anyone stands up and says “welcome” in the service, most first-time guests have already made a conscious or subconscious decision about whether they’re coming back.
What might be hanging in the balance is someone’s opportunity to embrace Jesus.
Often the barrier to Christ isn’t ‘spiritual’—it’s us.
Any church leader who’s been in ministry for more than a few months has heard different variations of it:
I’m looking for a church that meets my needs.
What are you going to do to better meet my needs?
I’m leaving this church to find one that better suits my needs.
The longer a Christian has been in church, the more likely it is that they’ve uttered a phrase or two like this from time to time.
A church that meets all your needs is probably a church that’s off-mission.
Ever wonder if you’re burning out? I know a lot of leaders and people who wonder that.
There’s a fine line between being tired and actually burning out.
The challenge is, once you cross the line, it’s so difficult to get back.
A passionless leader will never lead a passionate ministry.
The Barna Group pegs the average Protestant church size in America at 89 adults. Only 2% of churches have over 1000 adults attending.
According to Carl George and Warren Bird, fully 85% of all Protestant churches in North America never break the 200 attendance mark.
Please understand, there’s nothing wrong with being a small church. I just know that almost every small church leader I speak to wants his or her church to grow.
I get that. That’s the mission of the church. Every single day, I want our church to become more effective in reaching one more person with the hope that’s in Christ.
So why is it that most churches never break the 200 attendance mark?
If you want your church to reach more people, structure bigger to grow bigger.
If you lead a small to mid-sized church, you face struggles leaders of large churches don’t.
I can totally relate to the dynamics of leading a smaller church.
When I began in ministry, I spent about 3 years leading a small congregation (under 100) that grew into a mid-sized church (under 500) and then grew into a larger church of 1200 I’m part of today. You learn a LOT about leadership (and yourself) at every stage.
I remember the emotions that swirl around small and mid-sized churches. I also have lived through the struggles those congregations face.
Everyone can’t know everyone. Instead, create a church where everyone is known.
Make 2018 Better
What would your life look like in 2018 if you got time, energy and priorities working in your favor rather than against you?
Listen to Isaac’s story. He recently completed the High Impact Leader course:
If you asked me earlier this year if I would want a repeat of 2017 I would have said, no way.
After walking through the High Impact Leader though, I would and will repeat what I have been doing in the last few months.
It has allowed me to be more strategic with my time, energy, and priorities like never before. I have held a full schedule for the last few months and unlike ever before, my family did not feel the weight of it, my family was prioritized at the top of it.
Thank you, Carey, for helping the end of 2017 be great and I’m very excited about what 2018 is going to hold!
Pam from Red Rock Church in Colorado Springs calls the High Impact Leader “a gamechanger.”
Dave from Invitation Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a married pastor of a new church plant who has two kids under the age of five says:
“Just wow. Thank you. The course helped me identify my priorities and work to bring clarity in all phases of my life. I feel SO, SO, SO much more freedom.”
And that’s the goal. I hope that’s what will happen in your life.
We’re currently offering some free, limited time bonuses for everyone who jumps in on this offering of the High Impact Leader course.
We also offer some nice discounts on team packs of the High Impact Leader. Imagine your entire team crushing goals for 2018.
Over to You
In the meantime, any posts you love that didn’t make the list?
And what would you most like me to write about in 2018?
Scroll down and leave a comment!