The Top 10 Most Read Articles of the Last Year

with related SUMS book summary

Fall kicks off another exciting ministry year for churches all across the country. And this Fall, we want to help you maximize your leadership by having great vision-driven conversations with your team. To do that, we harnessed the magic powers of the inter-webs and pulled together our Top 10 Most Read articles of the last ministry year.

Each article listed below has seen resonance with thousands of leaders just like you. Some are fun, some are more challenging, but every article has the potential to unlock conversation with your team that could impact someone's eternity.

The Auxano team took a few minutes and also dug into the SUMS vault (SUMS are leadership book summaries, geared for pastors and church leaders) to pair each Top 10 article with a leadership resource for you.

So, enjoy these articles and plan some time in this back-to-school season to start great conversations with your team. Thanks again for being a part of this growing clarity tribe, we love serving alongside you!


- Will Mancini and the Auxano team


The Top 10 Most Read articles of the last ministry year, from highest to lowest:

 #1. Top Ten Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time Guests

Dr. Thom Rainer, President and CEO at LifeWay and renowned author, kicks us off with the Top 10 with a Top 10 list of his own, based on responses from first-time guests on what experiences caused them not to return to a particular church.

Learn from the best in the Guest Experience business on what it takes to create a culture of hospitality and welcome with the SUMS on "Be Our Guest."

#2. 15 Ideas to Help You Evaluate Your Church Bulletin

Pastor and blogger Rich Birch examined more than 100 church worship bulletins and gives practical tips on how to leverage vision through this often overlooked weekly communication piece.

Learn how to focus messaging for great communication in the SUMS from Kem Meyer's "Less Clutter, Less Noise."

#3. Can You Handle the Truth? 3 Reasons Guests Aren't Returning

Geoff Surratt, lead visionary of Exponential and former lead staff member at Seacoast Church and Saddleback Church, brings another examination of the practices of many churches that are unknowingly driving away first-time guests.

In this SUMS from "Judgment on the Front Line," take a look at how every member of your congregation - and not just the staff or welcome team - stewards and shapes the first-time guest's experience.

 #4. The Official 2014 Church Vision Statement Generator

Bryan Rose, Lead Navigator for Auxano, brings his satirical wit to the seemingly random process that churches undertake to create a vision statement in the New Year's season.

Check out the playbook for crafting clear and contagious vision in your church leading to breakthrough clarity with the SUMS for Will Mancini's book, "Church Unique."

 #5. 3 Critical Changes the Growing Church Must Make

Author and leadership expert Eric Geiger examines the big ways in which a growing church must change to continue to grow.

Go behind the scenes of North Point Community Church in the SUMS for Andy Stanley's "Deep and Wide" and learn how their experience as one of the nations's most influential churches can impact your church today.

 #6. Staying in Ministry May Be Harder Than You Think

Thought leader for local churches, Steve Caton, shares practical helps for pastors and local church leaders on staying healthy in the high-demand world of full-time ministry.

In the SUMS of Gary Hamel's "What Matters Now," examine five issues that are make-or-break in determining whether the next few years will see you thriving or diving.

 #7. 3 Driving Factors in Creating Culture in Your Church

Innovative thinker, executive pastor, and leadership expert Dan Reiland examines the real driving force behind the culture of your church.

Learn how to create and sustain culture from pastor Tim Keller, through this SUMS of his book "Center Church."

 #8. 8 Tips for Better Church Announcements

Rich Birch brings another Top 10 article examining the announcement time in the average church's Sunday morning worship service, and eight tips on how to make it more engaging.

Karen Hough, master of using improvision and speaking, brings help for the average speaker on how to captivate and motivate an audience through this SUMS from "Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever."

 #9. One Huge Opportunity Churches Are Missing in Their Greeting Every Week

Carey Nieuwhof is a pastor and strategic thinker who examines the biggest miss in connecting the typical congregation to each other and the church.

In this SUMS from "What Great Brands Do," go deeper into the key principles that leading organizations follow to stay connected with their tribes.

#10. Lessons from Netflix: Church Leaders Who Can See the Future Can Seize the Future

We finish the Top 10 with more great insight from Carey Nieuwhof on how church leaders can learn from the culture shift taking place as more and more people "cut the cable" and engage digital media.

Finally, the SUMS from "Leaders Make the Future" takes a look forward into the future and how the discipline of foresight can help leaders make better decisions today.


We hope you enjoyed these Top 10 articles and their accompanying SUMS! The team at Auxano is honored to lead alongside you as we seek to make disciples who make disciples.

If the content above generates conversation with your team in which a strategic outsider is needed, let us know. We're glad to offer our input - your vision is at stake.