May/June Church Doctor Report – A Retiring Pastor: The Most Severe Earthquake Your Church Can Survive – For several decades, transitions of long-term pastors will represent one of the most traumatic experiences for most churches. A misstep, based on poor planning, is one of the most expensive mistakes your church can make — and you may pay for it for at least 10 years! Pastor transition planning is the best investment your church can make for a healthy and vibrant future. This issue of the Church Doctor Report focuses on the best practices of succession planning. It is based on real-life experiences from consulting dozens of churches that are saying goodbye to a pastor, while making the best informed choices about the next pastor to lead their churches.
March/April Church Doctor Report – The Broken Body of Christ: The Anatomy of a Declining Church – This issue taps the five stages of grief and loss used in counseling by psychologists, adapting them to the declining and dying church. The five stages are: (1) denial and isolation, (2) anger, (3) bargaining, (4) depression, and, (5) acceptance. This material does not accept that declining churches must die. The opposite: God is in the resurrection business! This issue will help you understand the behavior of those in a declining church, and guide you in your quest for a resurrection turnaround.
January/February Church Doctor Report – Programs are Good, Transformation is Great: The Missing Ingredient in Many Churches – This issue focuses on one of the most confused elements of how people look at an effective church. Swamped by exhausting programs, churches tire people out, yet achieve little of the goal Jesus gave to His followers: to make disciples. The biblical objective is to develop people, not programs. It sounds strange, but the Kingdom flourishes not because people do so much, but as they become different people.
November/December Church Doctor Report – Hopeless in America: Opportunity for Outreach – This issue focuses on the power of Christian hope. It demonstrates how God works among unchurched people who are in a season of hopelessness. Hopelessness is the unique environment for receptivity to the gospel. Church leaders can use this issue to help members learn about this special opportunity for outreach. It works for those in your social network. It also has implications for times when entire nations are discouraged and hopeless, or even pessimistic. This issue unpacks a useful strategy to reach a certain generation, whether they be the elderly, or millennials caught in environmental circumstances that cause them to be hopeless. As a Christian, our hope is in Christ. Therefore, we rise above challenging times. No wonder 1 Peter 3 says, “Be ready at all times to share the hope that is within you.” This issue describes the opportunities for sharing Jesus Christ to those who are struggling to find hope.
September/October Church Doctor Report – Election Year: A Good Time to Wonder, “How Should Christians Make Decisions? – This issue, written during an election year, is not about what to decide but how to make decisions. Each year you, your family, and your church make numerous decisions: some seemingly inconsequential, others that can change the direction of your life and others. Scripture provides many insights that speak to the process of decision making. This volume of The Church Doctor Report speaks to several issues that shape your decisions: (1) seeking the Kingdom of God first, above all else; (2) developing the mind of Christ; (3) what it means to say, “It seemed right to the Holy Spirit and to us” when it comes to making a decision; (4) the role of wisdom beyond knowledge; and, (5) the valuable practice of seeking counsel from others.
July/August Church Doctor Report – Fill the Gap: Helping High School Grads Discover Themselves Before College
The “gap year” is a social institution in many countries. It is the practice of young adults to take a year off between high school and college. The year ideally includes real life experiences that develop character and wisdom. The gap year provides clarity and understanding for young adults to understand how God uniquely wired them. It is a great benefit for those facing the challenge of choosing a major in college or a career path after high school.
This issue is a resource every pastor should give to young adults during their junior year in high school (and their parents). It should be sent to every Christian High School and guidance counselor. It should also be read by Christian College Admission Offices.
May/June Church Doctor Report – Is There Hope For Your Church? Evidence from a Real Case Study – This issue describes the profile of the types of churches in North America and elsewhere: #1 the denial church; #2 the program mania church; #3 the flash church; #4 the activity church; #5 the healthy church. The painful reality is that many churches are plateaued or declining, and the median age is getting older. The case study is from a church that started with 34 people. Eighteen years later, it was worshipping 1,500 on Easter Sunday. The report comes from the pastor.
March/April Church Doctor Report – How Are You Wired? Initiator or Nurturer? – Every Christian has spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit. Identifying your gifts helps you know your Christian service “job description.” When you focus on ministry that utilizes your gifts, you are most fulfilled. However, there is a more important discovery: in every church there are initiators and nurturers. When Christians know their profile as an initiator or nurturer, they will be greatly helped to understand their calling. In 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, Paul, the Missionary, says “I planted the seed; Apollos nurtured the plant.” Paul was an initiator. Apollos was a nurturer. As always, it’s God who brings the increase. For church leaders and church members alike, both profiles are important. They are important to an effective church. This issue of the Church Doctor Report will help you identify these distinctive profiles and understand how they work for staff teams, church leadership groups, and areas of ministry throughout your congregation.
January/February Church Doctor Report – Turning Your Church Inside Out: What Are You Missing? – Based on his own experience as the pastor of an inner city church in Detroit, Kent Hunter reflects on the movement power of reaching the least, the last, and the lost. After developing a mission culture among God’s people, reaching out to others becomes a primary focus. As new Christians become discipled missionaries, they share their faith with those in their social networks. This is when the church is transformed to a movement.
November/December Church Doctor Report – Is There a Four-Alarm Fire In Your Church?: Reaching Unchurched People Today – Lost people matter to God. The clock is ticking. There is an urgency to reach others for Christ. In this issue, you will learn of the spiritual cycle experienced by every nation. You will see the connection between hopelessness and receptivity. You will be challenged by data that demonstrates that, while the nation has become more secular, most churches have become less effective in reaching these far from God. New strategies are required. A church has no future without them.
September/October Church Doctor Report – Size Matters: Staffing Your Church – Good staff is the greatest blessing. Poor staff is a nightmare. This issue of the Church Doctor Report provides basic insights into the world of those in full-time or part-time paid positions in a congregation. Based on years of experience helping churches with staffing issues, this issue focuses on practical and biblical basics of staffing and how it may be necessary to change personnel as a church gets larger…or smaller.
July/August Church Doctor Report – Are You Weird? Jesus’ Counterintuitive Kingdom – According to Jesus, as a Christian, you are supposed to be weird! Your church is to be weird also. Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not like this world.” Christians and churches are supposed to be different: not “strange” different, but “unique.” When churches become too much like the culture around them, they face the danger of losing biblical integrity. Churches stuck in the “good ol’ days” are strange, as in “out of touch.” The greatest challenge is more subtle: Christians who operate with strategies that are not Kingdom culture, but the culture of the world. In the “how to” approaches to do ministry, many Christians drift from “unique” to “strange.” This is one cause for ineffective outreach. This issue is a great discussion guide for Bible classes or small groups.
May/June 2015 Church Doctor Report – Frozen Christianity: How Resistance to Change is Killing Your Church – Resistance to appropriate change is one of several serious roadblocks to the effectiveness of Christians and churches to reach unbelievers. Clarity is important: the content must never change. The style must continually change. Effective mission is indigenous: the target audience defines the vehicles you use to share God’s unchanging Word. When church leaders water down the message, the church is equally ineffective.
March/April 2015 Church Doctor Report – ISIS: What it Means for Muslim Outreach – POBLO, Golden Opportunity, Your Opportunity
January/February 2015 Church Doctor Report – Do the Math: How Your Church Can Reach Thousands – The Parable of the Corn Cob, Doing the Math, Making Disciples, One Mission, Why Every Church Leader Should Study Epidemiology, Holy DNA, Where We Get This Wrong, The Movement Begins With You, Ten Ways To Multiply
November/December 2014 Church Doctor Report – What Motivates Christians? Surprising Lessons from Jesus – The Law, What Motivates, Calling Vs. Job, Jesus Motivation, Ten Jesus Motivation Insights
September/October 2014 Church Doctor Report – Why Churches Struggle with Change: Jesus’ Amazing Approach to Leadership Development – The Common Focus, Leadership Confused, Great Commission Culture—Jesus’ Way, The Jesus Model, Ten Moves Toward Biblical Leadership
July/August 2014 Church Doctor Report – Can Your Spiritual Maturity Handle Technology? – Spiritual Health, Meet Mike, The Pastor Allen Options, Quit Killing Christianity, Ten Ways to Clean up Communication
May/June 2014 Church Doctor Report – The Power of Space: The Overlooked Influencer – Worship and Space, Staff, First Impressions, Outbound Ministry, Ten Ways to Increase the Power of Space
March/April 2014 Church Doctor Report – Setting the Congregational Atmosphere – Congregational Atmosphere; The Spiritual Barometer; New Testament Climate; Low-Control Balance: High Accountability; Climate Control; Ten Elements of Holy Air
November/December 2013 Church Doctor Report – When Your Church Faces Civil War – Holy and Unholy Discontent, Ten Ways to Manage Civil Unrest, Seven Causes of Civil Unrest, Civil War in Your Church
September/October 2013 Church Doctor Report – Lessons from Bankrupt Detroit – Opportunities for Any Church, Anywhere; Ministry in Detroit; Fallen Detroit; Eden in the Urban Desert; Universal Tactics; Church Health Assessments
July/August 2013 Church Doctor Report – What Makes Our Churches Distinctively Christian? – Jesus Used a Four Letter Word, Signs of Love, Diagnosing the Issue, Living the Loving Lifestyle, Catch the Love, 10 Ways to Increase the Love, The Risk Is Worth It
May/June 2013 Church Doctor Report – Young Adults Leaving Church – A Surprising Strategy of Hope, Think Movement, Beyond Institutionalism, Millennial Hope, The Strategy Paradigm, A Strategy for Reaching Millennials, Reaching Young Adults
March/April 2013 Church Doctor Report – The Paralyzed Church – What We Can Learn from the Centers for Disease Control,Do the Math, The Art of Inoculation, Epidemic Faith, Holy Infection, Exponential Spirituality, Rethinking the Christian Movement, Ten ways God uses you to regenerate the movement
January/February 2013 Church Doctor Report – Jumping of a Cliff: The Role of Risk in the Local Church – Hall of Famers, Safety Net, Not Just Money, Ten Issues: Faith & Risk
November/December 2012 Church Doctor Report – Making Disciples: Are You Focusing on What Really Matters? – Two Myths, Four Key Insights, Jesus’ Model for Making Disciples, What About Sally?, Ten Ways to Focus on What Matters
September/October 2012 Church Doctor Report – Yeast: The Missing Ingredient – Jesus, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees; Back to Bread; Five Ingredients; Smart and Healthy; The Recipe for Health in Your Church
July/August 2012 Church Doctor Report – Closing the Gap:Getting the Most out of almost great ministries – Missed Connections, Disconnect Epidemic, Connecting the Dots, The Formula, Ten Ways to Get the Most Benefit From Ministries
May/June 2012 Church Doctor Report – Rage of the Machine; Moving the Church from Maintenance to Mission – A Different Kind of Clutter, Feeding the Monster, Recapturing the Movement, Ten Ways to Return Church to a Biblical Form of Sanity
March/April 2012 Church Doctor Report – White Hot Worship – Transfiguration and Transformation, What Goes On In Worship?, Worship in Community, Ten Dynamics of White-Hot Worship That May Surprise You
January/February 2012 Church Doctor Report – Jesus’ Farm Club: Backfilling Education – The Accredited Maze; Demotivated, Bankrupt, and Disrupted; The Rise of the Farm Club; Ten Key Thoughts About Ministry Training
November/December 2011 Church Doctor Report – How Mission-Minded Church Leaders Handle Pushback – Jesus and Religious Pushback, Offload Your Baggage, The Fine Art of Yeast Watching, Your Kingdom Come, Ten Counter-Intuitive Truths Related to Pushback, Challenging Young Adults to Find God’s Plan to Change Their World: The J-Dog Journey: Where Is Life?
September/October 2011 Church Doctor Report – Missional Communities: The Buzz, The Blessings, and The Blow-ups – What is a Missional Community?, ey Relational Elements, The Makeup of a Missional Community, Beyond the Middle Step, Many Variations, Fourteen Realities about Missional Communities
July/August 2011 Church Doctor Report – When Staff Leave, Finishing Well – An Exercise in Extreme, Staff Comes, Staff Goes: Get Over It!, A Finishing Plan, Ten Ingredients for Finishing Well
May/June 2011 Church Doctor Report – Post-Modern Christians: “Here I Am — SEND Me!” The Birth of a Training Movement for Young Adults – Training for Ministry, Sheffield, England, The Birth of SEND, Boot Camp for Young Adults, THE SEND Movement, Ten Characteristics of Post-modern Young Adults
March/April 2011 Church Doctor Report – Worship that Engages – Worship Is Not A Concert, Seeker-Driven, What Does It Look Like?, Leaders Lead, Ten Elements of Engaging Worship
September/October 2010 Church Doctor Report – What Have I Gotten Myself Into? Leading from the Center of God’s Will – Leadership in the Church: A Real Challenge, How Do You Break the Cycle?, Think Multiplication, 10 Key Ingredients for Effective Church Leadership
July/August 2010 Church Doctor Report – Feel It: The Pilgrimage of Change for Your Church – When Changes Fails, Spiritual Pilgrimage, Kent’s Favorite Thoughts About Change (for Your Preaching, Teaching, Web Site, Bulletin, Newsletter, and Personal Application in the Pilgrimage of Change)
May/June 2010 Church Doctor Report – Sorry! No Quick Fix to Become a Thriving Church – Most Church Consultations Don’t Work; Good Soial, Good Seed, Good Results; Church Culture : The Key Ingredient; 9 Categories For Transforming Church Culture
March/April 2010 Church Doctor Report – Your Church Staff: Asset or Liability? The Invisible Hole in Your Church’s Financial Bucket, The Bucket Leak, Ten Investments in Church Staff
January/February 2010 Church Doctor Report – 20/20 Vision: What the North American Church May Look Like in Twenty Years – Christianity Version 5.0, Rummage Sale Version 5.0, 5.0 Strategies, Missional Movement Measures
November 2009 Church Doctor Report – Project Christmas: Overcoming Your Inner Consumer – The Roadblock of consumerism, Christmas Expectations, A Deeper Perspective, Christmas Consumerism Conflict, Overcoming Your Inner Consumer, Put “Sentness” Into Practice, Redesign Church Christmas Traditions, Redesign Church Christmas Traditions That Connect, Project Christmas Dos and Don’ts
September 2009 Church Doctor Report – Bad Behavior in the Church – The Reality of Fallenness , High Accountability/Low Control, Low Control/High Accountability, When Grace Works, What Do You Think Jesus Wrote In the Sand?, Ways to Practice Christian Restoration
July 2009 Church Doctor Report – The “Emergent” Church: What Is It? – A Church Historian Helps, God-Empowered Change?, Is Your Church Ready?, Tangible Redirections of The Emergent Movement, Most Important: Choose Your Strategy Carefully!, Four Choices, Prepare Your Church for the Future Revival
May 2009 Church Doctor Report – Great Ministry in a Great Recession – For Most Churches, Financial Giving Is Up!, Recession: Harvest Time…or Not?, Diagnosing the Harvest, The Great Commission and The Great Commandment, Recession Ministries
March 2009 Church Doctor Report – In the Crosshairs – Everyone Is a Leader, Becoming a Discipling Leader, Know Who You Are, The Discipling Crosshairs: Where Matthew 28:19-20 Meets Ephesians 4:11-12, 10 Steps In the Process Where Leadership Meets Discipleship