rich_headshot_smallThanks so much for dropping by unSeminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days!

I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 20 years.  Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North America. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,500 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 17 locations with somewhere over 6,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner.

For seven years I served as a part of the four-member Lead Team at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing communities of New Jersey. In my time with the church we grew from 1 campus to 6 … and our attendance grew to over 3,500 people. (That’s actual numbers not “Pastor Inflated Numbers!”) Drop by this link if you want to see a sample of me teaching at Liquid.  At Liquid I oversaw communications, weekend service programming, campus expansion, and special projects.

I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers.

I speak at conferences like Orange, WFX and various regional multisite church events. I’m a featured writer on Auxano’s Vision Room, and MinistryBriefing.

My first book, UNREASONABLE CHURCHES: 10 Churches Who Zagged When Others Zigged and Saw More Impact Because of It, is an Amazon bestseller in the Church Leadership category. It’s designed to help church leaders think a new thought and take new risks in impacting their community.

My latest book, Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church, has helped thousands of church leaders reach more people in their community. It was also the forerunner to Church Growth Flywheel Masterclass, a proven step-by-step system for helping your church reach more people than ever before by dramatically increasing the invite culture in your people!

I’m married to Christine and together we parent two wonderful teens, Haley and Hunter. Collectively we try to keep our dog, Rory, from chewing everything that lands on the floor.

twitter / skype / facebook: richbirch

So this is a place to collect some thoughts about local church and doin’ stuff right in local church. I really am not a “know it all” or “expert” but really just somebody who has made a lot of mistakes in leadership and is attempting to pass along some learning so you don’t have to pay the “stooopid tax”.

“. . . helped us get the big picture and then got dirty in the details of making it happen.”    – Bruxy Cavey, Teaching Pastor, The Meeting House

“ . . . ‘get-it’ factor on the kind of church we’re trying to become . . . has customized his approach to be tailor made to our setting. We’re so grateful for his investment in helping us expand our Kingdom-building capacity.”   – Jeff Lockyer, Lead Pastor, Southridge Community Church

“ . . . I LOVE Rich’s experience-driven insight and people-focused approach . . . couldn’t be a better fit for us as we seek advice and feedback in accomplishing what we feel God is putting before us.”    – Mike Leahy, Executive Director, Liquid Church

“… you have helped me bridge the gap between careful, strategic, logistical leadership and passionate love for Jesus and the people His forming.”    -Greg Hill, Executive Pastor, Living Faith Church

“Rich Birch has added so much value through his messages to and interactions with our students. His practical insights are super helpful for church leaders of any level!” – Andy Dykhouse, Nebraska Christian College

“We love Rich Birch! Rich recently spent a weekend with our team at Grace Central Coach where he provided invaluable coaching for our outreach strategy through the use of intentional outreach “Big Days.” He not only brought compelling research, but fantastic ideas that fit in our unique ministry context. Our team was challenged and we are taking practical next steps in our vision to share the Gospel with the Central Coast of California and the next generation, thanks to Rich. We can’t wait to have him out to Grace Central Coast again.” –  Tim Theule, Senior Pastor, Grace Central Coast

“Super practical, super helpful…it actually IS stuff I wished they would have taught in seminary.” – David Rice, Pastor

“The resources offered are very practical, applicable, relevant and innovative!” – Neal Mathers, Pastor

You are always introducing ideas and topics that are practical and timely. I always learn something and enjoy “meeting” all the people you bring to the podcast.” – Lisa Gaugler, Captial Area Church

“I sometimes wish I had gone to “unSeminary” rather than “Seminary”!” – Terry Embke, Pastor

Invaluable stuff if you are serious about growing your church. The resources are real world practical.” – Josh Schoon, Pastor

“I love unSeminary. The practical resources of ministry available here are essential to any church with the mission of making devoted Christ followers. From first time guests to discipleship to leadership and more, it’s all here and so helpful!” – Angie Hochstedler, Pastor

“A quick and easy way to glean some fresh perspectives on cutting edge ministry.” – George Cladis, Pastor

“unSeminary provides practical insights and resources for “doing church” with excellence and impact.” – Leann Carrick, First Baptist Olathe

“I love the friction that you bring to my mind and spirit with healthy, authentic conversations that challenge me. Also, the practical aspects of what/how other churches do their thing.” – Stefan Hall, Pastor

“We are constantly searching for great examples of real-world-in-the-trenches-practitioners from church-world to put in front of our students, as well as pastors in our region. Rich never disappoints. His heart for the Church, and his heart to raise the next generation of those who are going to serve her is contagious. ” – Dave Miller, Nebraska Christian College

“Rich helped our leadership team move from “an idea and a passion” to “a vision and a strategy”. His enthusiasm for the mission of the church is infectious. I appreciated his practical wisdom and insight from his own experience which helped us understand both our challenges and our potential. His approach brought clarification to our calling as a church and allowed our whole team to “buy in” to how we are going to pursue it.” – Andrew Gordon, Lead Pastor, Compass Community Church

“It was wonderful to have Rich speak at EvFree Fullerton. One 78 year old man was deeply touched by how Rich laid out the life stages that a church can go through. That man wants to keep our church fresh and alive for years to come.” – David Fletcher, Executive Pastor, EvFree Fullerton

“I pastor a church in Hawaii for the past 16 years and wish I had your resource back then. It would have saved me a lot of mistakes! Your equipping resources are some of the best I’ve found! You’re a great communicator!” – Dave Barr, New Hope Church

“Rich led us recently at a fall staff-day launch. I loved how one of our staff described him – ‘That guy is disarrogant and unpresumptive!’ Rich’s creative, engaging and insightful teaching, including some really oddball statistics (including stuff about driving cars!) helped us think through cultural trends that are impacting the Church.” – Terry Smith, Executive Director, Canadian Baptist Ministries

“We recently had Rich help us think about our ministry and multi-site model. Rich attended our campuses and hung out with our staff. This was one of the most beneficial things that we have done for the ministries of our church. Rich provided an invaluable outside perspective on what we are doing right and what we need to improve on. It seems like there are no ministry topics or problems in ministry that Rich doesn’t have wise, creative solutions for.” – Bobby Herrington,  Lead Pastor of Ministry Operations, Mercy Hill Church

“Rich was an immediate asset to our church when we were transitioning to a multi-site model. He walked us through strategy, philosophy and decision making. He helped us design a game plan and a roadmap to become a multi-site church that will eventually lead to several additional campuses.
Rich had instant chemistry with our team. He added value and was a breath of fresh air every time we met. I highly recommend Rich to any church wanting to become multi-site or needing to develop better strategies in growing a healthy church.” – Travis Spencer, Lead Pastor, The Fields Church, Mattoon, IL

“Applying and implementing many of the practical tools and strategies that come out of unSeminary has been a game a changer for our church. There’s a lot of good content out there but Rich has a way of making it doable in our church.” – Ron Baker, Lead Pastor, Forest City North Church

“Rich is the real deal. Not only is he incredibly knowledgeable about all things related to growing and multiplying churches, but he is able to communicate with excellence and passion. His energy and enthusiasm for seeing churches reach and disciple more people seems inexhaustible and is absolutely contagious. I can’t wait to see the fruit that grows out of the investment he made into our leaders!” – Len Denbraber, Assistant Superintendent, BC & Yukon District, Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada

“Rich is intuitive, kind and insightful. We loved spending time learning from him and his broad exposure to the corner of “Church World” we are trying to live in. He provided practical and actionable insights that we are moving on immediately, and a 60,000 foot perspective on the church, culture, and trends that were simply gold.” – Chris Figaretti, Lead Pastor, The Vineyard, Wheeling, WV

“Our team’s time with Rich was helpful, clarifying and invigorating. We appreciated how he brought best practices from his extensive experience while also catering his coaching to our specific context. We left our time together with a clear roadmap for moving forward which fits our church culture.” – John Boyle, Executive Pastor, Calvary Bible Church, CO

“The three days our teams spent with Rich far exceeded our expectations. His ability to listen and learn before offering advice is unlike anyone we’ve ever had in to share with us. Rich was incredibly respectful of our operations while sharing ideas and insights for how to make great improvements. He is not only a brilliant thinker, but he’s got the heart of a pastor and cares for the Church. Our church will be strongly impacted by Rich’s wisdom and experience. I can’t wait to have Rich back in the future to continue helping us refine our strategy to reach Kentucky and address our weaknesses and overlooked details.” – Chris Hahn,  Lead Executive Pastor, Southland Church, KY



    1. Just read your article on how to respond to complaints about the music being too loud…apparently, this is a very real issue in a lot of churches today.
      I am VERY disturbed at the attitude projected in your article. At no point do you acknowledge that if members say it’s too loud, maybe the problem IS that it IS TOO LOUD.
      You outline a defense for your indefensible position in the same manner that a radical liberal shouts over and shuts down anyone who dares to express an opinion contrary to their beliefs.
      There is NO place in church for such a condescending, arrogant and disrespectful attitude toward the members who faithfully attend services to worship God and learn more of His Word.
      You seem to forget that church members are the ones who make it POSSIBLE for YOU to play your instruments and sing on Sunday. You don’t have a job or a church without them yet you act as if any feedback from members is an “us vs. them” situation in which you must crush all opposition.
      Your ATTITUDE is the problem. How dare you state that members who don’t “like” it loud should wear hearing protection. We live in flesh and blood bodies with LIMITATIONS. Wisdom dictates that we protect our bodies as “temples of the Holy Ghost” or is that NOT in your “worship leader 101 manual”?
      Who started the BIG LIE that the bass has to reverberate inside your body in order to “touch your heart” so you can experience a move of the Holy Ghost? Did the Apostles in the Upper Room miss out because they didn’t have electronic instruments?
      Shame on you. You are in GROSS error.
      You need to step down, step back, repent and reevaluate just what praise and worship is for. Too many “worship” leaders have turned their sound board into an altar of idolatry seeking to recreate the sound they covet from another church that has MORE money to spend on equipment.
      Keep in mind that Lucifer was the “worship” leader in Heaven before he got FULL of himself and desired to be greater than God. By your self-righteous arrogance, you walk a slippery slope that could take you to the same disaster…..
      God help us all if you are the “future” of Christianity…

      1. I’ve read the comments regarding “It’s Too LOUD.” I am sorry to say I too have had to leave (not the church) congregation(s) where the pew or chairs vibirated with such loud music. The drum solo’s were just too much for my nerves, letting alone my ears bleading.
        Yes, I am a senior. This is the first time in my life I have not had a church family. I felt convicted for forsaking the assembly of the saints. I’ve asked GOD to lead me as to what I should do. I have been comforted knowing so many others have taken to hearing GOD”s Word by way of television, radio or internet.
        I am careful to be a Berean as there are my false teachers along with the loud music.
        Thank you for your article, I consider it answer to my prayer.

  1. Hi Rich,
    I just read your article about sound volume, and I “dare you” 🙂 to do a Google search and read about gender differences in hearing. Note that all the men who agree with you are men.

    I’ve gone to rock and roll churches since 1972, big and small, and the volume keeps getting louder as worship leaders and sound guys get more deaf, especially to the bass wavelengths, which drown out singing. Foam earplugs do nothing because these wavelengths penetrate human tissues and can be heard from the inside of the eardrum.

    God our exalted Creator made our ears as part of His genius design, as a delicate instrument. Blasting people is not loving, and I think it hurts Him if His sheep are hurting. It says to people with good hearing, “Go away,” and we do.

    M Renfrew

  2. Hey Rich,
    Just found out about unSeminary from Carey Nieuwhof daily email. Just checking it out. Why “unSeminary”? Just curious.

  3. Rich,

    I love your podcast and content! Thank you so much for ministering to ministers!

    I did want to encourage you to do a podcast talking about the importance of small groups during COVID. We are in the suburbs of Denver. We aren’t allowed over 100 in our building. We were averaging close to 3’000 a weekend before COVID hit so this regulation has not allowed us to have regular in-person gatherings since March. I CANNOT imagine what we would do without Small Groups meeting in homes and online during this time. When we look at churches in other countries where the Gospel is exploding, they are doing small groups in homes. I love in-person church as much as anyone but small groups are our lifeblood right now. They are allowing us to be obedient and still “assemble”. America needs to get out of the mindset that church is something that only happens once a week. It is a lifestyle of living on mission. It is about being a minister personally in your home, in your neighborhood, in your community. It is small groups that allow churches like Saddleback and Northpoint to be able to have peace and know that even though they aren’t meeting in person in a big group, their church is open and being a light in their community. Enough preaching on my end. I just know that if we are in this situation, there are many more churches in similar situations. I know we will be stronger and have deeper roots after this. We are upping our online service game and communication strategy as well. It isn’t a sacrifice of one for the other but we have chosen to focus on what we CAN do and not what we CANNOT do.

    Shellie Dameron
    Executive Director of Next Steps

  4. […] Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He has led numerous churches in going multi-site. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly, and through excellent execution. He recently shared 5 tips with us that will help your church successfully transition to multi-site status. […]

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