What Were You Reading in 2022?

Word count – 1057.  Time to read … your call depending on where you choose to hit a link and review something more deeply.

Last week Dave told you about his reading habits and this week, we want to share a bit about yours … at least with Church Leader Insider.  Every week, Dave and I have a bit of our competitive spirit that surfaces as we review the number of reviews and open rate for the week’s Church Leader Insight post.  We suffer from the same numbers syndrome as many of you that lead, our metric is just a little different.  Truth be told the numbers for us are simply a measure of if we are addressing the things that are important to you which is important to us.  Just like worship attendance is not about the “butts in the seats” but about the impact of the weekend experience in drawing people to and deeper into relationship with Jesus.

So following are brief excerpts from the top 10 posts … according to you.  Each post is hyperlinked to the full article if something catches your attention that you missed or want to revisit.

Happy review!

New Normal

It has been a really hard time to lead in any area, especially the church.  I hear many leaders talking about “getting back to 100%.”  What if you considered who you have now as YOUR NEW 100%?  Perhaps the focus on closing the gap has created a mindset that is keeping our attention focused on the wrong thing.  One of the great tools for shaping your “what’s next strategy” is the application of the Three Box Solution, made famous by Vijay Govindarajan.  Box 1 represents THE PRESENT and contains all the stuff that is currently working in your church.  Box 2 represents THE PAST—stuff that has worked before but now needs to selectively be abandoned and forgotten because this (program, approach, ministry philosophy, etc.) is a dead horse that is never to run again.  Box 3 represents THE FUTURE—stuff that is on the near or far horizon that may one day be of value but calls for careful investigation.

Where did all the people go?

Recruiting – What we are doing to attract people to our ministry or to reengage our volunteer base.

Onboarding – Encompasses the time between the moment a person says yes, “I’m interested in serving,” to the point they are settled into a position with a team and ministry leader.

You should always be able to answer the question, “How many volunteers do you need?” with more than “a lot.” If you’re not specific about your needs you have, it gets complicated.

Clarity + Empowerment + Appreciation = Longevity. 

Get Small to Go Far

How can churches utilize micro-sites and micro-churches to expand the Kingdom? The pandemic has led to many reevaluations as to how to invest time in the next decade. Some pastors realize they have underinvested in familial relationships.

The Great Resignation and Pastors

What is driving the Great Resignation in pastors? Weight – The most prominent driver mentioned has been “the weight of leadership for today’s church.” The pandemic has not helped many in this case. Wealth – We all thought the pandemic season would DECREASE wealth held by typical Americans. It hasn’t. Those with funds invested have seen good growth in the past year. Pastors who have saved and invested have seen their contributions grow as well. Wellness of Church – Most of my clients lead relatively healthy churches. But they know that for the church to move forward in health, a new leader will be needed soon. The pandemic has led to many reevaluations as to how to invest their time in the next decade. 

Record Amounts in Accounts

Americans have record amounts of liquid assets in their accounts. How can the Church leverage this to increase giving? As a data point, the US average savings rate in February 2020 was 8.3%. In March 2021 it was 13.6%. Donor Advised Funds grew and gave out in record amounts in 2020. Think of a donor-advised fund as a giving tool that allows for a tax deduction in one year and future giving in future years. Those clients creating special purpose initiatives during the pandemic also had a good response – thinking in chunks to fund pandemic-related initiatives such as improved online efforts, food assistance, and other relief initiatives.

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Final five follow this note about how we would love to help you and your church in 2022.

Consulting Solutions

There are seasons in every organization where a team must lean in and solve a pressing problem or maximize an opportunity. For your church it may be reimagining your multisite, developing your next chapter strategy, preparing for leadership succession or more. My process helps you uncover solutions for the season you’re in and execute these strategies with speed and effectiveness. I help you leverage change for positive impact. 

One Day Assessment

My one day assessment takes you and your team through a focused and results oriented on-site session that drives to a diagnosis of what is and an exploration of what could be.

Comprehensive Consult

My multi-stage team oriented process will lead you and your team to strategic outcomes and measurable results.

Also coming in 2022 are new LeadWell Cohorts for Senior Pastors and Executive Pastors.  I am also launching a new online event called LeadWell Accelerator designed to bring you exposure to some of the greatest innovation and strong leadership around the issues that matter most to you.  To get onto the invitation list, send me an email at greg.ligon@generis.com.

And now back to the final five!


The Wedding Boom now through 2022

How can the Church leverage the wedding boom occurring in America right now? While many churches have exited the venue business for 90% of weddings (creating a huge industry of other venues), it’s essential to stay in the marriage business through various means, including marriage preparation. Some may want to raise fees to use venues to match other competitors and get back in the venue business. Marriage preparation and first-year mentoring could be a significant outreach opportunity for churches. Marriage preparation can be classes and can add couple mentoring to connect people to the church in the first year. It can even serve as a primary evangelism method for some. Numerous past studies show that significant life changes and rites of passage are important times to reach people. 

The Pandemic and Third Place Churches

First Place: Home, Second Place: Work, Third Place: Physical Social Spaces, Fourth Place: Digital Social Spaces often mediated by second or third places, Fifth Place: Digital Social Spaces where disparate groups gather for unique experiences. How can the church leverage the changes that the pandemic brought on for each of these places and create safe spaces in both digital and physical locations? The fourth space is where we see real opportunity. How can we create digital environments for ministry applications and purposes that are BETTER or 90% of the potential of physical gatherings?

Even Better than the Chicken Sandwich

Church leaders can take notes from how Chick Fil A operates from a posture of true central support. Everything is focused on making the individual store operator successful. Many times in multisite churches, that central support can be more about central control than central support. How can we make sure that our campuses are exhibiting the DNA of the church and delivering ministry with excellence? Chick-fil-A understands the truth that innovation happens at the edges. Chick-fil-A understands the value of relational networks. 

Senior Residents – The Big Opportunity for Large Churches

There is a great opportunity RIGHT NOW for expanded “Senior Residents.” Boomers are considering retirement at earlier ages due to the pandemic and robust retirement accounts. With the pandemic of 2020, there are new batches of mature, solid, qualified leaders leaving the marketplace for one reason or another. The Senior Resident’s idea is one where selected “Seniors” are invited to participate in your normal residency, without the option of being paid or having to pay for the process. 

Keeping Succession on Track

Succession is more about the current pastor than the next lead pastor. The first phase is Acceptance – Pastor Smart Succession starts when the current pastor decides in their mind that it is time for a new pastor to come and give leadership. The second phase is reformulation … reframing and reforming the current pastor’s identity as a leader. Most leaders HAVE to lead something. The third phase is the celebration and release phase. Celebration is less about the current leader and more about the congregation’s emotional journey to prepare for what comes next. But it is more about the emotional release of the congregation to let go and move forward.

If you’re still reading and you’re curious about who “won,” I am happy to report that we both did.  Dave had six of the top ten and I had the top 3 overall.  But who’s counting?

Wishing you a joyous finish to 2021 and a Happy New Year!  We are excited and honored to come alongside as we discover all that God has for you and your churches in 2022.


Email me your innovation experiments and stories at greg.ligon@generis.com.

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