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The Unstuck Church Podcast with Tony Morgan
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The Unstuck Church Podcast with Tony Morgan

Author: Tony Morgan

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With THE UNSTUCK CHURCH PODCAST, we invite you into the real-time conversations our team is having about church leadership every week.

Hosted by Tony Morgan, this podcast explores common challenges in ministry and practical steps for tackling them. It’s like getting to be a fly on the wall of our staff meetings.

Tune in weekly for:

* Insights, observations and trends for church leaders from Tony Morgan.
* Benchmarks in church growth and health from The Unstuck Group’s work serving hundreds churches across North America each year.
* Practical advice to help you lead your church towards sustained health.

We think that after listening to The Unstuck Church Podcast, you’ll want to start these discussions with your own team at your next staff meeting.

Add your thoughts to the conversation on social media using #unstuckchurch.
179 Episodes
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How do you structure your team for a hybrid church model? Many churches are wondering what roles they need on their team, what to measure, and how to align their staff around a hybrid church model with both online and in-person ministry strategies.  In this week's episode of The Unstuck Church Podcast, Tony Morgan and Amy Anderson unpack the 3 new keys to staffing and structure for a hybrid church.  For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode177. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 177] in your post for reference.
You did it. You survived one of the most disruptive, unpredictable years we've ever seen.  And your church survived too. But the stop-gap strategies that helped churches stay afloat through the last year are not the strategies that will set them up for long-term health and growth.  In this week's episode of The Unstuck Church Podcast, Tony Morgan and Amy Anderson unpack the foundational principles of building a hybrid church and what the post-covid church can look like. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode176. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 176] in your post for reference.
2020 was a year of unprecedented change and unwanted tensions and an unknown future. As we welcome 2021 and look back at the year behind us, Tony Morgan shares some insight into what he's grateful for at The Unstuck Group and a challenge for churches moving forward. 
What strategic shifts do churches need to make due to the coronavirus?  This week, we take a look back at our most popular conversation from 2020 and dig into the practical ways that churches need to change their ministry strategies to continue not just survive but thrive in the new normal and continue making disciples. 
How do you structure your team for a hybrid church model? How do you staff for a digital-first ministry strategy? Many churches are struggling to optimize and align their staff team around a hybrid church model and make the mental shift from being a church with online options to being an online organization with in-person options.  In this week's episode of The Unstuck Church Podcast, Tony Morgan and Amy Anderson unpack the 4 steps church leaders need to take to align their team for digital ministry. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode173. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 173] in your post for reference.
One of the biggest questions we've been asked since the pandemic hit is: What should we be measuring now? So this week we're going to walk through what to measure and what matters in the world of online disciple making. There are a lot of easy-to-see metrics clamoring for your attention. But at the end of the day, there is a simple principle that will help you navigate what to measure regardless of the platform or channel: Everything you measure should help you make better decisions. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode172. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 172] in your post for reference.
How do you make disciples online? If you want your church to thrive in 2021, you need to figure out how to both reach new people and engage with your current congregation digitally. At this point, 10 months into the pandemic, many churches are seeing less and less engagement online. In order to create a strong, successful digital ministry strategy, you need to understand the spiritual journey and how to reach people where they are. In this episode, Tony Morgan and Amy Anderson share what we’re learning about how to just that. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode171. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 171] in your post for reference.
What does it take to create an effective church board? Over the last 11 years of working with churches, we've found that church governance is a key difference between healthy, growing churches and churches that are stuck or in decline.   In this week’s episode, Tony Morgan and Sean Bublitz dig into the best practices for selecting board members and structuring your church board to be healthy and effective.  For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode170. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 170] in your post for reference.
What makes an effective church board? What roles should they take on and what's the responsibility of the staff team?  After working with close to 500 churches over the last 11 years, here's what we've learned are common mistakes church board's make and the 5 key roles they need to own.  For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode169. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 169] in your post for reference.  
The demands and expectations for leading ministry seem to be surging.  We're all changing how we do ministry, serve people in our communities, and care for the sick.  The workload has grown exponentially, and none of us can do it all. You, and the people on your team, are only human. In last week's episode, we talked about how pastors can stay emotionally healthy as they are under greater pressure and being criticized more than ever. The order of these two episodes matter—you need to listen to Episode 167 first. In this second part, we're talking about how what your team needs from you as their leader has changed, and how pastors can help their teams stay healthy in a turbulent season. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode168. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 168] in your post for reference.
You're under greater pressure than ever… and being criticized more than ever… how do pastors stay emotionally healthy right now? Pastors are telling us they feel like they just can't make a right call. It doesn't matter which decision they're making—they've got people criticizing them from every angle.  It’s been an exhausting year, and it’s likely you’re running on reserves. We hope this episode helps you take a deep breath. Amy Anderson interviews Lance Witt on some shifts in your mindset and some practical adjustments in your schedule and habits that will help you take the reins again on the care of your own soul and become the healthy leader God wants you to be.  For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode167. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 167] in your post for reference.
What if we had to rethink the importance of getting new people to a building or a program... for the long haul? As part of a recent Unstuck Masterclass, Tony had the opportunity to interview Nona Jones and Jeff Brodie on the shift that's happening from engaging new people with in-person services to engaging them online. Nona serves as the head of Facebook's faith-based partnerships, and Jeff is the lead pastor at Connexus Church in Barrie, Ontario.  Nona summed up the situation we all found ourselves in back in the spring... and if we're honest... the pull most churches are feeling strongly right now: "Somewhere along the line of the history of the Church, we've come to define church as a place you go or a program you watch, and because of that, people have been slow to adapt to anything other than strategies that get people to a building. When you think about how social technology has been used thus far, it has predominantly been for marketing to get people to the building." Nona and Jeff each brought their unique perspectives as innovative leaders in local churches on how we can shift to engage and reach people in a digital culture. So in this episode, we're sharing portions of Tony's interviews with each of them that we think will give you some practical handles for doing so at your church as well. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode166. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 166] in your post for reference.
Approximately 1 staff person for every 18 people showing up for in-person church attendance... Approximately 1 staff person in dedicated roles responsible for digital ministry strategy for every 1,273 online viewers... We found some interesting—and some alarming—data points in our most recent survey on the state of digital ministry strategy. In collaboration with Blackbaud, we completed another survey in late September, and more than 260 churches participated with good representation across the church size spectrum.  The questions focused on how churches are adapting to digital ministry strategies, particularly in the areas of weekend services, online viewing patterns, staffing, outreach, etc. We found some significant differences from the trends churches were reporting back in the early part of the year. In this episode, Tony and Amy dig into what the data is showing us about where churches stand today in regards to their digital strategies, how they reach new people, and how they staff and structure for ministry. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download a copy of The Unstuck Church Report, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode165. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 165] in your post for reference.
  We need to acknowledge it: An in-person Christmas experience may not be a draw this year. Most people who are not connected with a church will probably not want to go to an in-person experience, wearing masks, socially distanced in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by an unfamiliar crowd of people.   The opportunity we have this year is to equip our attendees to bring church to their families instead of bringing their families to church. Christmas has always been the holiday when people are a little more open to faith and open to church. What could we create online that would reach people outside the faith? If you don’t start with this question, you’ll default to doing what churches have always done, which is to put the team’s best energy into designing an in-person experience and using the leftover energy to figure out how to put that experience on-line. In this episode, Tony and Amy are joined by Sean Bublitz to help you figure out where to start and what to consider. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode164. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 164] in your post for reference.
"Are there any examples we can follow??" That's the question we keep getting from pastors. You're realizing you need a digital strategy. You're getting lots of inspiration. But you'd really like to see what this looks like in practice. So in this episode, Tony and Amy share best practices and stories from real churches around the country who are implementing a digital engagement strategy effectively. You'll find some practical things you can implement right away, as well as clarity around the longer-term picture of where your church needs to make pivots. Before you listen, note that this is Part 3 of this series on The New Front Door, so if you haven't yet, go back and listen to the first part (Episode 161) on the three strategies churches need for connecting new people to faith and church, and the second part (Episode 162) on how churches build a digital engagement strategy. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode163. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 162] in your post for reference.
Having a digital strategy isn’t the win. Helping become disciples of Jesus—and then disciple makers—is the win. But the need for a digital strategy to help you do that isn’t going away anytime soon. The good news is that if you do the hard work of clarifying the big and small next steps for each part of the faith journey continuum, it gets easier to design strategies that work and monitor ministry health. In this episode, Tony and Amy share a practical framework—and real-world examples—for helping people take steps digitally in their faith journey. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode162. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 162] in your post for reference.
What is the FRONT DOOR of the church now? The COVID-19 pandemic moved churches online—but that shift wasn’t really our choice. And what has been revealed through all of this is a huge gap that churches have around their ministry strategies to reach people who are outside the faith and outside the church. While some churches are already returning to pre-pandemic attendance levels, most mid-size and larger churches are realizing that’s still many months away. And reaching new people? How do you reach new guests when most people are staying home most of the time? The need for a digital strategy isn’t going away anytime soon. In this episode, Tony and Amy share three critical strategies churches need to engage to open up the new front door of their churches. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode161. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 161] in your post for reference.
We’re hearing uncertainty on the lips of church leaders at organizations of all sizes. They’re asking this question: “Am I the right leader for our church going forward?” In most cases, yes, you are. God gave you the role you have for a time like this. But that questioning you feel might be a sign you need someone walking beside you. Every good player has a coach. Even the best of the best have a trusted advisor who can pull back the curtain, encourage them, say the hard things and ultimately make them better. Too often ministry leaders find themselves without that kind of support in their corner. In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss why coaching is vital to helping you be the best leader you can be, and how it will help you lead a healthier church into the future. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode160. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 160] in your post for reference.
It's the catchphrase of stuck organizations... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But healthy, thriving churches and organizations tend to initiate changes before they need to. And the leaders in those organizations are willing to step out in front and lead significant shifts other people may not be feeling the need to make. Almost every organization has had to pivot in some way in recent months. From shifting to more digital/less analog, to redeploying team members with new measures for success, significant change has affected nearly all of us. So what should we learn from those changes that will make us better in the future? In this episode, Tony and Amy discuss the organizational pivots pastors are asking about, pivots they have been leading at The Unstuck Group, and insights from what we’ve learned along the way. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode159. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 159] in your post for reference.
The last stop before it ends. If you wait until this phase to lead changes, the changes feel huge. You almost have to become a completely different church if you hope to ever return to sustained health as a ministry. From our research with 15,000+ churches, more than 85% self-identified as being on the declining side of the typical church life cycle before this crisis began. And more discouraging—17% landed in “life support,” the last stop before a church closes its doors permanently. Those churches are most susceptible to closing during normal circumstances, but in situations like we're experiencing now? Things go bad even faster.  In Part 3 of this conversation, Tony and Amy explore Life Support phase, sharing some of the warning signs to watch for and three options churches have when they find themselves here. For the full episode transcript, links mentioned during the show, and to download the Leader Conversation Guide, visit this episode's Show Notes at theunstuckgroup.com/episode158. Join the Live Conversation on Social Media If you're listening on Wednesday, when the episode first releases, join the live conversation The Unstuck Group's team will be having on social media about this week's topic. We use hashtag #unstuckchurch on Twitter. Or you can join in on Facebook. Ask your questions and add your comments about the topic. If you're catching this episode later, you can still join in! Just tag us @unstuckgroup or use #unstuckchurch, and include [episode 158] in your post for reference.
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Comments (2)

Paul Loeffler

I love these ideas, and am very much a planner. Still, I would love for Tony and Co. to be more aware of small churches, which are thankful if the have a full time pastor and volunteer worship leader and children's minister. Some of their ideas are definitely for churches of 500 or more.

Aug 26th
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