For church leaders seeking to better understand their congregation, it pays to listen. Everyone knows the value of one-on-one conversations, yet it might not always be the most efficient use of time for a busy leader. In these situations a focus group can help. Simple in design, it honors the experience of congregants in the stories they tell, the questions they ask, and the concerns they express.
Team talk can build a strong ministry team. Of course, some may not think of conversation as an important task, viewing it as getting in the way of work and slowing it down. On the contrary, conversation plays an important role in the life of a team and must not be ignored. Team talk builds group durability and sustains effort. Talking about the work helps to reinforce the reasons for doing what we are doing.
This is a true story of how church educators stood up to a large publishing company to stop perpetuating racism through our children.
"The best and most effective partnerships are formed in the context of communities, organizations, and families within whom these values and this way of being are deeply formed."— Karen Ziel
Vital congregations reach out to strengthen the communities where they are located. Different denominations give different names for this ministry, including mission and outreach, home missions, and social ministry. But where do congregations get the strength for mission? How do they retain that strength in the midst of providing food and clothing, mentoring individuals, or advocating community change? How do they keep from burning out? They do it by building capacity.
"Faith is more caught than taught." —Debbie Gline Allen
Empower the parents, grandparents, and caregivers in your congregation to take back their role as Christian educators and faith-formers in the home.
Some neighborhoods feel more secure once neighbors have become acquainted. Church leaders wanting to get to know their community could organize a block party. It can be a great way to meet the neighbors and develop friendships. A key goal of a block party, besides having fun, should be to build relationships among the strangers in our midst. The first steps when planning a block party are developing a simple theme (such as a color or a holiday) or highlighting a community issue that needs to be ...
With the news of last week’s shootings in New Zealand I again offer these resources for talking with children.
Make your congregants' "mountaintop experiences" a part of your worship and programs throughout the rest of the year.