I will never forget a conversation I had with one of my heroes, Dr. Thom Rainer. To me, what Billy Graham is to evangelism, that’s what Dr. Rainer is to leadership. To say that I respect him would be an understatement!

During our conversation, I shared with Dr. Rainer my discontent with what seemed to be a large amount of people in the church I lead who didn’t seem to be making forward progress. He asked me what I meant by that, and I said, “Many of those that call our church home show up 50% of the time and, candidly, I am of the opinion ‘they’ want a gold star and a lollipop from me for their attendance. I mean, if you’re going to go to Disneyland on a Sunday at 10 AM, don’t brag about it and post it to Social Media.” I continued, “Our church continues to grow, yet the giving has stayed the same. When churches grow shouldn’t the giving also grow? After all, more people means more ministry needs to be done and of course that comes with the cost of time and financial resource.”

I am sure I shared a few more things that day, however, I think you get the point. With grace and tact, Dr. Rainer said what may be obvious to you, but clearly it was not obvious to me. He said, “Charlie, what is it you would like to see the members of your church do?”

I answered, “Show up for church, give, serve, you know the stuff Christians do.” By the way, if you have yet to realize this saying (as I did), ‘You know the stuff Christians do,’ is not helpful nor is it clear!

He asked if there was anything else besides coming to church on Sunday, Serving and Giving that I would like to see happen with our members. I said “Of course.”

He responded, “Then write it down. Write everything down and then share it with your church.” That’s exactly what I did, I wrote it down.

We now share this list of expectations with those who attend our New Members Class. We continue to remind our church of the expectations. Bottom line, we are now clear. Clear on what we, as leaders, are asking our members to do.

Is your team clear? Do they know what you are asking of them? It may be time to find out. Here is our list, use it as an idea starter and may it serve you.


Charlie Moulton

  1. Attend Sunday Morning Service: Make it a priority
  2. Serve
  3. Prayer Night: Attend 1 prayer night per month
  4. Give: Support the church financially
  5. Community Group: Join and commit to a group to go through life with

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