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Southern Baptist Convention (Part 2)


If you did not read PArt 1 check it out here.

The big reason is FEAR!


  1. Fear of offending some one. Many decisions of change that could result in seeing the truly unchurched reached are never made because leadership fears they will offend “long time” members. What is offensive is the fact that most of these “long time” members never lead anyone to Christ!


  1. Fear loosing people. The truth is, we loose people every Sunday when we continue to do church the way we did it 40 years ago.  God knew we would not be smart enough to alter the message—so He made it perfect and unchangeable.  But, after endowing us with creativity, intelligence, and common sense, He did entrust to us the job of sharing that perfect message. Why would He not expect us to use all the tools He gave us to figure out the best way to present the message to people who need to hear it? I am not talking about the method being traditional or contemporary,  I am talking about it being effective


  1. Fear of work. I am still looking for the verse of grace that says it is ok to spend as much time in the local Starbucks as we do sharing Christ with a lost world!  Most church staffs lack accountability. Personnel committees put up with ineffective, lazy staff members who they would never put up with in their own personal businesses.  Their money appears to be more important to them than the stewardship of God’s money



Southern Baptist Convention: Where is Everybody? (Pt.1)


The Southern Baptist Convention—how did we get in the shape we’re in?

I have been attending the Southern Baptist Convention this week for the first time in many years. How things have changed. I am asking the same question many pastors ask every Sunday—where is everybody? In my opinion, the “where is everybody” questions seems to be a lot more important than the “how to get rid of the gay scouts” questions. Don’t get me wrong, the issue facing the Boy Scouts is one that Baptist –and all Christ followers—should address.

But in years past when our vision was strong, our passion for influencing the world was unmatched by any cult, and our Leaders led us to focus on winning the lost over all other causes, the scouts would have feared our reaction to their decision more than they feared the repercussion of a small but loud group of scout leaders who are using boys to further their cause.  What brought us to this point of weakness? What brought us to the point of dreading the day the numbers from the previous year are released?  What brought us to the point of our baptisteries being filled with smooth waters?

I realize that there are a lot of incredible young SBC pastors who are creative, innovative, and highly committed to reaching this world for Christ, however, most of them are too busy to come sit thru 2 days of reports that could be posted on a web site for their review and vote. That is the forward thinking that often is missing from the SBC thought process.


While I have had the pleasure of serving on the staff of and consulting with some of the finest pastors Southern Baptist have, I have also seen Southern Baptist churches that are dead, without vision, and have baptistery waters that never ripple. I am afraid that our numbers say that this is the norm.  The big question is WHY?  (Part 2 will address my thoughts on the reasons)

Church Construction ReDefined 2012


Why another conference? In 2004 when I founded Partners In Church Consulting, one of the driving factors was to help churches avoid the train wrecks that were often the end product of building projects.

 Reasons for the train wrecks:

  1. Poor Planning: Churches often are not led to do a quality assessment of their needs or their financial capacity. It is often very difficult for church leadership to separate their needs from their wants.
  2. Poor Selection Criteria: Construction companies and architecture firms are often selected based on the “slickness” of their presentations rather than on their body of work.
  3. Poor Team Leadership: In the traditional process, the architect is chosen first and the contractor is brought in once the design is complete. This greatly reduces the ability of the contractor, who is responsible for the final cost, to influence the cost of the project.

 Church Construction ReDefined presents a new paradigm in church construction. You will learn how your church can experience a true assessment of your needs and what your real financial capacity is. You will meet a team of professionals who have developed a process of design and construction that was developed specifically for churches. This process has resulted in millions of dollars in church facilities being completed, all within budget. You will learn how to choose the best construction team for your church and the best leadership structure for your team.

 Best of all, the conference is free to the first 20 churches who register.  To find out if your qualify to attend, go to

 Avoid the Train Wreck!

“How to Make Debt Reduction Campaigns Exciting”


Most pastors and churches experience anything but excitement when it comes to debt reduction capital campaigns. Talk to the typical capital campaign company and they will tell you that debt reduction money is “the hardest money to raise”.  The truth is, it is hard to get anyone excited about a campaign that does not include a new site for relocation or a new worship or childrens facility.

Obviously the funds to pay down debt is the primary result of a debt reduction campaign, but here are 5 other exciting results that come from a successfully planned and implemented capital campaign to deal with debt.

  1.  Increase the number of your people who embrace the vision God has given your church.  Our philosophy at PCC is that every campaign should be about the vision, not the building. Your facilities exist only as they assist your church in accomplishing the vision God has given you.  A debt reduction campaign allows you to totally focus the attention on the vision. It allows you to recast the vision in creative ways and greatly increase the number of your people who “get it”!
  2.   Free up funds to support current or future ministries.  An obvious result is to free up cash flow that is going to mortgage payments to be used for ministry.  With the economy where it has been the last few years, many churches are struggling financially. Even in a down economy, most churches should see an increase in their regular giving as a result of a properly executed capital campaign. This is in addition to the funds raised in the campaign.
  3. Fund special projects. The cash offering of a debt reduction campaign can be a great opportunity to fund a special mission project, a renovation project, or even the start-up of a satellite campus. Many times these type projects have to be postponed in a down economy or if the church is struggling with their debt load.
  4. Strengthen the core leadership.  In a capital campaign much time has to be spent in “selling” the project to the congregation. A debt reduction campaign allows you to invest that time in leading your leaders and potential leaders to embrace the vision.  The time sent here will pay great dividends long term in the ministry of your church.
  5. Position your church for future projects.  Many churches have large expansion projects in their not so distant future. Few plan to accomplish these projects without some debt. With the recent changes in the banking industry, churches are finding it harder and harder to get the financing needed for these large projects with their current debt load, even if it is manageable.  By doing a “short term” debt reduction campaign, a church can position itself to get the necessary funding it will need for the future project.

Visit to find out more about PCC led capital campaign.

PCC is Changing the way churches contract for Capital Campaign Assistance


It is a new day for churches when it comes to getting outside help with Capital Campaigns. PCC has been a leader in reducing the fees charged for assisting churches with Capital Campaigns. The Campaign Coach is another leap in reducing your cost. Most pastors need help in 3 areas when it comes to campaigns: 1. Knowledge of best campaign practices 2. Creativity in communicating the vision 3. Accountability for his volunteers & staff.

There is a term in the “campaign industry” called perceived value. This comes from the idea of charging enormous fees and therefore having to make it appear that the church is getting a lot of “stuff” to justify the big fee. Examples of this are non-essiential trips, multiple consultants (usually the extra consultants are new guys being trained at the churches expenses), a very large notebook, of which only about 5% is actually necessary or used, and great promises of follow-up that are never kept.

While there are some companies that do a great job, many are still doing campaigns the way they did them years ago without taking advantage of the latest communications technology and other advances. As you probably have realized, several companies who used to be leaders in this field are no longer around or, if they still exist, or no longer viable.

If the things I have mentioned resonate with you, the Campaign Coach may be for you and your church. This can save your church thousands of dollars. It will give you a team of seasoned veterans who understand campaigns, communication, and how to cast your vision. You will have access to your coach throughout the process and an incredible graphic artist to do all the design of your print pieces. All this for under $20,000.

There are obviously a limited number of “spot” available for this program in an limited number of cities. To find out the details and if there is a training location near you, go to

PCC wants to be your coach!

I Put Jesus Back In The Box Today


I put Jesus back in the box today. Today was the day. Shortly after Christmas my wife diligently took all of the Christmas decorations down and put them into the garage. Since it takes 2 pick-ups and a trailer to haul the decorations from the storage unit to the house and back, I generally put the return trip off as long as I can. There is no complaining here, just reporting the facts. Some of the decorations exist solely to give me something to haul around at Christmas; they never make it farther than the garage.

Some of the unused decorations are ones made by my mother-in-law in past years and could never be discarded, and then there are those that every year just make “honorable mention”. They somehow deserve the ride, but it stops there. They don’t make the cut. They are never seen!

So today was the day of this annual ritual. Once the key to storage is found, which is always an adventure, the caravan back to the storage unit commences! The most challenging item is a very large statue of baby Jesus.

You cannot break the baby Jesus. If you do you will not go to Heaven, you don’t pass go, you go straight to hell. Great care is taken to secure baby Jesus and all other breakables. There is also the large container of wrapping paper that will have to wait until next year. By the way, if said wrapping paper is not properly secured in the back of a pick-up, you can wrap the entire street. You’ve been warned.

Now it is time to unload. But before that can begin, the annual rearranging of the priceless items I pay to store must happen to make room for baby Jesus and friends. How the junk in the storage unit grows between Thanksgiving and mid-January is a miracle within itself.

So, it is time to make room for baby Jesus.

Things that have to be moved are:
• 400 Bennie Babies-when they make their comeback, I will cash in!
• The giant futon bed that I will never assemble again
• The adult child’s belongings—the nest is not empty until their junk is out of your storage!
• Books, books, books, books,–aren’t there some kids in Africa that need a library?
• Furniture—if the adult children ever leave, their apartment will be well furnished. Wouldn’t want lack of furniture to be a deterrent!
• More books!
• Stuffed animals: A farm that makes old MacDonald’s look like a petting zoo.
• Sporting equipment: this justifies the existence of the storage unit. Good stuff. Needed stuff!

Behind all this, the baby Jesus in the box is placed. He will be fine until we bring Him out again next year.

Where do you keep Jesus? How often do you bring Him out? Is He seen by the world or do you keep Him in a box? What is He behind in your life?

Is He in a box behind the junk or on the throne of your life?

A New Process in Church Construction


Church Construction Re.Defined ’10, November 16-18 in Dallas, Texas is an innovative conference that presents a new process in Church Construction. This process has resulted in over $300 million in church projects being completed without a single one being over budget. It eliminates change orders and allows you to know your actual cost prior to your capital campaign.

The presenters include:

billy picBilly Goff, owner of Goff Companies has constructed projects from California to Florida. This body of work includes projects as small as $800,000 to projects over $25,000,000.  From his first church, First Baptist Church of Euless, to the completion of The Church at Pinnacle Hills (now Cross Church), Billy has been on the cutting edge of responsible stewardship in Church Construction. He has developed this process as a direct result                                              of God’s call on his life to build the Kingdom.


Ken FranchKen Franch
, Director of Religious Architecture for Halff Associates has built his career as an innovator in the area of church design. He recently was asked to direct the division of Religious Architecture for Halff Associates, a nation wide Architecture firm. While many things can be said about Ken, the greatest is that when it comes to working with Pastors, he “gets it”. He listens. He understands Stewardship. It is not about the structure he can design, it is about the people who will be reached though it.


lamar picLamar Slay, President of Partners in Church Consulting, directs the conference. Lamar has served on the teaching teams of both Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in Southern California and Ed Young at Fellowship Church, Grapevine, TX. He consults with some of the leading churches in America. The desire to develop this process came after seeing so many Pastors lose credibility and trust with their congregation as a result of poorly executed building projects. He leads the PCC Network, which is made up of companies who desire to support the local church.





If your project meets the minimum criteria, all of your expenses for the conference could be paid for by PCC. Go to to see if you qualify.


Click on the Church Construction Re.Defined link at

or call Partners In Church Consulting at 214.965.9225.

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