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How to Be a Chief Encouraging Officer At Your Church

Posted by Aaron Buer on January 16, 2020


My senior pastor often talks about the word “encourage” and how it contains the word “courage.”  The word comes from Old French, “to make strong.”   Have you noticed that ministry takes courage?   Walking with a family as they grieve the loss of a loved one—that takes courage.   Sharing the message of the cross with people who are far from God—that takes courage. Confronting each other’s sinful behavior—that takes courage. Asking the people of your church to serve and give—that takes courage....

Say No to Saying Yes in Your Ministry

Posted by Aaron Buer on January 9, 2020


Welcome to 2020!  I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m living in a sci-fi movie.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in the 1900s but the year 2020 feels like hover-boards, vacations to the moon, and robot butlers.   Anyway, a question for you: Do you have any goals for 2020?  Maybe you’re a resolutions person, or perhaps you have goals in mind for your church or ministry.  Perhaps God has placed something on your heart to run after in 2020.   Recently, I spent some time in the book of...

What To Do When You're Too Busy For Your Ministry

Posted by Aaron Buer on January 2, 2020


Ninety percent of the small talk conversations in my life start like this: How are you doing? Busy!  How about you? We’re busy.  Maybe it’s ministry.  There’s always another person who needs help, another volunteer to recruit, another question to answer, another meeting to prepare for.  Ministry keeps us busy.   We wear busy like a badge of honor.  It feels important to be busy. I must be important because I’m so busy.   Don’t get me wrong, I think busy is good...when we are busy in the right...

How to Make an Awesome (or Terrible) End of Year Donation Receipt

Posted by Jon VerLee on December 23, 2019

Advice, Updates

As the end of the year approaches, holiday music fills the air, there's lines for santa at the mall, and for those involved with receiving donations at a church or non-profit, the dread of having to send out end of year donation receipts sets in. Rather than seeing this as a necessary evil hovering over January, we think that end of year tax statements can not only be easy to create but also incredibly strategic for your church.  In order to do this, we think there's four key principles to keep...

How to Become an Older Church Leader That People Actually Like

Posted by Aaron Buer on December 19, 2019


I have the privilege of spending a lot of time with a few veteran ministry leaders who still love ministry, are still effective, and are actually fun to be around.  In other words, people still like them. Can I just say, I want to be like that when I grow up. I’m deeply interested in veteran leaders who aren’t cynical, jaded or washed up.  We all know that there are many ministry leaders out there who probably should have walked away a decade ago.  I don’t want to be that kind of senior...

How to Engage Mental Health in Your Church

Posted by Aaron Buer on December 12, 2019


There’s something going on in our culture that we need to talk about.  The latest statistics I’ve read show that around 18% of Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  I think most experts would argue that this number is low because many people are struggling with various levels of anxiety without professional help.  A second statistic that is staggering is that suicide is the second leading cause of death for people aged 10-34.   Mental health is a serious issue for our...

The Importance of Church Engagement in Community Service

Posted by Aaron Buer on December 5, 2019


If your church is like mine, you’re probably really good at caring for and investing in the people connected to your ministry. If people walk through your doors and engage with programs, they are likely to get plugged into the church community and grow. They likely believe that you care for and about them. But, what about the people who don’t walk through your doors? If our churches are unengaged with the surrounding communities, this is a huge missed opportunity.  Most people around us don’t...

Welcoming Church Visitors: 3 Questions to Examine How Your Church is Doing

Posted by Aaron Buer on November 20, 2019


There are the things we say and then there are the things we do. You know how this goes. When your significant other says, “I’m not mad at you.” But their hands are clenched and their face is purple. "I’m pretty sure you are furious with me right now.” The thing about hospitality for many churches is that we say to guests, “We’re so glad that you’re here!” But, what we don’t say communicates much more loudly, “Yeah, we kinda wish you hadn’t showed up.” If I’m a guest at a church, I’m...

Sermon Series - Ideas for Church Leaders

Posted by Aaron Buer on November 14, 2019


So, what are you preaching on next? This feels like the time of year when churches run out of creative energy. So much has been poured into the fall ministry season and then into Christmas services. There’s not much left in the tank! Can we just coast until Easter? But, the pressure is on. You have to deliver compelling sermons in January, February and March! I’m going to share some of the books that I’ve read over the last year or so that have helped shaped our preaching. And, whether you have...

Lessons From Past Employers That Helped Me Grow in Ministry

Posted by Aaron Buer on November 4, 2019


One of the questions I always ask in an interview is, “Tell me about the worst boss you’ve ever had.” I just used the question yesterday. I like to follow it up with, “What did you learn from that person?” How can you learn from a bad boss? Well, I think learning has more to do with me and my attitude than the person leading me. I’ve been thinking about this idea. I’ve been thinking about all the bosses I’ve ever had and what I’ve learned from them. Here’s an abridged list... Resilience My...

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