Effective Pastoral Connections In the Larger Church

A critique of the “silo system” that happens by default and a call to Great Commission pastoral relationships. In churches over 250, pastoral staff often embrace their major assignment only, care for that silo effectively, become administrators of their major area, check on pastoral care on their assigned days, and maybe disciple a few. Continue reading “Effective Pastoral Connections In the Larger Church”

The Senior Leader’s “Reports” and “Cabinet”

The_Senior_Leader’s  Download
Thoughts on who and how many should report to the president or CEO of a ministry or senior pastor of a church. Based on 43 years of experience, reading, coaching others, and trends


1. Every organization should have a reporting flowchart that shows towhom everyone reports, and all directions flow upward to the senior (and no one else, except for possible dotted lines for communication). Continue reading “The Senior Leader’s “Reports” and “Cabinet””

Steps Toward Succession

Steps toward Succession

Leadership during Transition

  1. Interim pastor

ü  Two year appointment

                +                                                              –

    Avoids “sacrificial lamb”                                         viewed as “hired hand”

                                                                                        some are “floating”

ü  From staff

ü  From outside

  1. “Stated pulpit supply”
                      ü  Pulpit only, not daily leadership

Continue reading “Steps Toward Succession”

Disciple Accountability Group (DAG)

These are guideline questions based on scripture verses, for DAG groups of 3 to 7 men or 3 to 7 women. They are about either the church or character.

True discipleship involves TLC –Time together, Love, and Content of the scripture that meets the heart.

They are meant for a two-year schedule, with the group meeting twice a month at least, with some of the subjects taking two weeks instead of one.

They are clearly meant for all men or all women, and not more than seven.

After two years new groups can start out of the group as new people are added. Then they go through the same questions, because they never get old.


The 4 Boundaries

“The Soccer Field” – a model for the ministries of the board of a church,  to distinguish that from the Sunday and daily ministries of the pastoral staff

 The Four Boundaries,  and policies or goals that can guide actions related to those


Statement of faith

   …We will not change this,  unless a clarification is needed.
…We will have a way it is posted so anyone can see it easily.

Constitution Continue reading “The 4 Boundaries”

Story of Growth

Story of Growth Download

By dates and physical (approx.)



1934          Began with 30 people in store front. Carl Burnham, pioneer

1938          Moved to small building near university

                  Emphasis on evangelism – personal and end-of-service

1955          Built on Fir Hill, contingent to University of Akron

1962          Carl Burnham dies in surgery; son David becomes pastor

1960’s        Emphasis on huge music ministry, pulpit, home studies

1973          Move into 1900-seat sanctuary

1970’s        Grow to two duplicate services, strong evening service

1980          First branch church in Marlboro – 25 miles away

1981          People and staff start Hudson Chapel – 10 miles away

1983          Knute Larson becomes senior after 14-month period with no senior

1984          Big 60-second TV and radio spots on secular stations.

1985          Start branch church in North Canton – 14 miles away

                  Build gym, kids rooms, youth area ($13 M paid in three years)

                  Start “Super Monday” to help pastors

                  Tried three main senior associates for staff leadership

1986          Go to three worship services

                  Begin partnership with Arlington Church and racial reconciliation ministry

1987          Began using “business advisors” related to finances

1990          Go to four worship services, with ABFs all four hours

1991          Begin branch church in Kent – 7 miles away

                  Totally rewrote constitution

1994          Build more CE space ($3.5 M, paid for in three years)

1995          Craig Williford first executive pastor (director of ministries) since ‘84

1996          Go to five worship services – 4 in the morning, duplicate at 6:30

1997          Began Chapel Association of churches

1998          Begin stated journey to 50% of money to go “outside our walls”

2000          Begin urban ministries and a lot of city outreach

2001          Begin branch church at Wadsworth – 12 miles away

2002          Raise $25 M for new campus, camp, three buildings overseas (paid totally in five years)

2003          Second main campus begins with 3500, first day

2004          Emphasis on Home ABFs along with ABFs

2005          Start very contemporary worship at 6:40 p.m.

2006          Paul Sartarelli joins as associate senior (senior to be)

                  Clear plan announced.

                  Started “Imagine Unity,” coalition of six church organizations, four African-American

2007          Start extra venues on campus (live worship, screen sermon)

2009          Larson leaves; Sartarelli senior


Financial Practices


  1. “Faith Promise” each October for missions budget only.
  2. All building programs: raised 3-5 year pledges ahead.  All finished on exact date as planned.
  3. Monthly supply of offering envelopes sent.
  4. Budget based on actual of previous year.
  5. Trustee finance committee decides all salaries, perks.
  6. Total confidentiality as to giving.
  7. Salaries studied with other church surveys and local schools.