The Evangelistically Healthy Church

6 Actions Leaders Can Take To Lower Their Church Conversion Ratio

On average, it takes 50 church members a year to lead one person to Jesus.

Thom Rainer suggests that an evangelistically healthy “church conversion ratio” (CCR) is about 20:1 (that is, 20 church members leading one person to Jesus per year).

Less than 5% of churches in the U.S. hit this particular target.

But is it possible to move closer to, say, a 3:1 church conversion ratio? Or (and this is really going to blow your mind), what about a 1:3 church conversion ratio?

Imagine every member in your church making at least one disciple each year! 

What would it take to get there? 

The Last Visit: A Loving Remembrance of Kenneth Byrum

You may not know Kenneth Byrum.

Kenneth Byrum was an ordained United Methodist minister and missionary for nearly 60 years. He served in Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. As a skilled brick mason, he did major renovations and new building projects at almost every appointment where he served. He was survived by his wife, Lois, 4 married daughters and 4 sons-in-law, 8 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.

I am grandchild number three and on January 8th, I had the privilege of preaching at my Grandpa’s memorial service.

In this post, I want to share two remembrances that were shared at that memorial service: The Last Visit (written by my Mom), and This One Thing Remains (written by me).

“I Hope the Resurrection is True”
by Nathan Creitz

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In 1 Corinthians 15:17, Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”

Can you imagine what it would be like to discover that everything you believed was worthless? In this message I first explain that everyone who believes anything should question everything. Whether you are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or Atheist somebody is wrong and I “hope” it’s not me.

The second part of the message has to do with the hope we do have in the resurrection. If the resurrection of Jesus actually happened, then Jesus is alive, our message is true, we are forgiven of our sins, and more! So we need to hold on to hope in the resurrection of Jesus.

Finally, there’s a distinction between worldly hope and biblical hope. Listen to the end to catch the distinction. [Hint: Saying, “I hope the resurrection is true” really means “I know the resurrection is true”!]

I would love to hear your thoughts on this message from 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 in the comments below.

Against Preaching: Preaching In A Media-Saturated Culture

This post is part of The Disciple Making Preacher series. This series attempts to answer those who are against preaching and to propose that preaching is an irreplaceable means of disciple making in the church today.

The prophets of doom in today’s Church are confidently predicting that the day of preaching is over. It is a dying art, they say, an outmoded form of communication, ‘an echo from an abandoned past’. John Stott

Modern forms of communication have had a profound effect on preaching, preachers, and parishioners today.

Some preachers have shortened their messages to cater to the dwindling attention spans of their people. Others have supplemented their sermons with video clips and other visual aids in preaching.

But perhaps worst of all, there are those who have decided that preaching is completely outdated and must be replaced altogether. While supplementing a sermon with video or drama on occasion is not inherently bad, supplanting the sermon completely is a big problem.

A Media-Saturated Problem

The average American watches nearly 5 hours of video each day on TV’s, phones, and computers according to the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report.

The average YouTube video is 2 to 3 minutes. Most hour long TV shows might have 6 or 7 commercial breaks.

Hollywood movies have even found a mathematical formula that lets them match the effects of their shots to the attention spans of their audiences.

The Disciple-Making Preacher

Preaching is under attack.

Many have already abandoned preaching for newer, more trendy methods. Others have decided that Jesus and the apostles never preached the way we preach today. Still others have problems with authority. Finally, there are some who simply have never heard a good sermon or have never delivered one themselves and have concluded that sermons are ineffective in the church.

Some have not only abandoned preaching but have made it their mission to preach an anti-preaching message. They constantly oppose the straw man preacher who hides behind a pulpit and delivers a boring 30 minute monologue to a disinterested congregation.

This assault on preaching leads us to carefully consider the following questions:

What is the goal of preaching?”

“Is preaching still a helpful means of making disciples?”

“What are the features of a disciple making sermon?”

“How do we respond to those who have abandoned preaching?”

5 Responses to the Anti-authoritarian Mood Against Preaching

This post is part of The Disciple Making Preacher series. This series attempts to answer those who are against preaching and to propose that preaching is an irreplaceable means of disciple making in the church today.

Some wisdom from the late John Stott (27 April 1921 – 27 July 2011) on responding to the anti-authoritarian mood against preaching:

The prophets of doom in today’s Church are confidently predicting that the day of preaching is over. It is a dying art, they say, an outmoded form of communication, ‘an echo from an abandoned past’. Not only have modern media superseded it, but it is incompatible with the modern mood.

What is the anti-authoritarian mood against preaching?

Seldom if ever in its long history has the world witnessed such a self-conscious revolt against authority. Not that the phenomenon of protest and rebellion is new.

What seems new today, however, is both the world-wide scale of the revolt and the philosophical arguments with which it is sometimes buttressed…All the accepted authorities (family, school, university, State, Church, Bible, Pope, God) are being challenged.

Stott gives 5 responses to the anti-authority mood against preaching: