A Conversation About Current Issues Facing Pastors and Planters
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An Online, Interactive, Weekly Show, Tackling Current Issues Facing Pastors and Planters
Episode 11 — The New Megachurch Study Findings
Join us for Episode 11 with co-hosts Peyton Jones and Daniel Yang as they interview Warren Bird, leading researcher of megachurch trends and author or co-author of 33 books for ministry leaders on topics from healthy mergers to serial church planting.
This webinar is a preview of a 50-page online report to be co-released soon by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). This report is the nation’s largest research project on megachurches – ever!
Findings include answers to these questions:
- What’s different about megachurches that score highest for spiritual vitality?
- Does going multisite help or hurt a church’s likelihood of also doing church planting?
- How many church planters inherit a church facility through a merger?
- What causes a megachurch’s growth to increase? To decrease?
- What are megachurches doing well that churches of any size could easily scale and adapt?
- What causes financial giving in megachurches to go up or down, and what can other churches learn from it?
- What happens in a megachurch when the pastor who led during the church’s greatest growth era retires?
Dr. Warren Bird, who co-led the project, is perhaps the nation’s leading researcher of megachurch trends, and is author or co-author of 33 books for ministry leaders, on topics from healthy mergers to serial church planting.
The Frontlines program seeks to encourage and equip pastors and planters to better understand and navigate the current and future trends in church ministry. Hosted by veteran church multiplication leaders, each episode invites thought leaders and advanced practitioners in ministry to inform and inspire pastors and planters as they continue in day-to-day ministry.
The uncertainty, stress, and loneliness affecting church planters and pastors seems like it is at an all-time high. Each week, church leaders are faced with more and more complex issues to solve and decisions to make. And, even the best decisions made by church leadership teams seem to only result in more uncertainty and questioning by their congregation. This 12-episode weekly show will host conversations on the current issues church leaders are facing. Being on the frontlines of Kingdom advancement as pastor or church planter is a constant barrage of uncertainty and challenges.
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He has authored or co-authored over 30 books, receiving several awards along the way. For example, he received the prestigious Gold Medallion Award, the top honor given by the international trade association for Christian publishers. He has also contributed collaborative chapters or sections to 7 other books. He has published almost 200 magazine articles and more than 30 major research reports. He has served on advisory boards for several magazines and several other book projects.
An ordained minister, he served on staff for 11 years at Princeton (N.J.) Alliance Church, an innovative church with a worship attendance approaching 2,000. Other pastoral experience includes leading a C&MA church-planting team for four years. He has also served as a long-time regularly contributing faculty member at Alliance Theological Seminary, teaching in the D. Min Program.
Warren Bird’s Ph.D. is from Fordham University in sociology of religion. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and Wheaton Graduate School, Wheaton, Ill. (B.A., M.A.) and Alliance Theological Seminary, Nyack, N.Y. (M.Div.). He is licensed under The Christian and Missionary Alliance Metropolitan District.
In his early years of ministry , Warren Bird served on Carl George’s senior management team of the Pasadena-based Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. His responsibilities included visiting, interviewing, researching, and profiling many of the largest, fastest-growing, or newest churches in North America. In subsequent years, he did similar research and development for the Canadian-based International Leadership Centre – Willow Creek Canada and for the Asbury Theological Seminary-based Beeson Institute for Advanced Church Leadership.
More recently he served as Research Director at Leadership Network, North America’s leading organization to help entrepreneurial church leaders in growing churches move from ideas to implementation to increased influence and impact.
Today he is Vice President of Research and Equipping at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit accrediting agency designed to enhance trust and certify integrity in Christ-centered churches and ministries.
Warren and his college sweetheart Michelle have two grown children and they live in a suburb of New York City.
Peyton served as a youth pastor, assistant pastor, and interim pastor of the mega church Refuge Huntington Beach that has served as his sending church since 1999 when he embarked on a 12-year mission to Wales, UK. Originally serving as the Evangelist at Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s historic Sandfields church, Peyton served as the both the interim pastor, and helped them plant their first church. From there, he engaged in a replant of a Baptist congregation in West Wales, which grew and led to Peyton planting a collegiate church. He also planted a church out of a Starbucks which multiplied to three churches, and a church in urban Long Beach, CA, that planted two other churches.
In both the UK and USA, Peyton formed the New Breed Network, a small network that specializes planting in hard places utilizing 1st century principles. Peyton also co-founded Church Planter Magazine, the Church Planter Podcast, the Hardcore Church planting podcast, and the Ministry Ninja Podcast. His books include Church Zero 2013, Reaching The Unreached 2017, and an unpublished church planting textbook 2021, and he developed CityWide to train planters in collaborative church planting teams wired for multiplication.
Prior to church planting, Daniel was an engineer for eight years. He earned an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, and is currently a Ph.D. Intercultural Studies student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.