Elizabeth Evans Hagan, ordained Baptist minister, most recently served as senior minister of the Palisades Community Church in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Brave Church: Tackling Tough Topics Together (Upper Room Books, 2021) and Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility (Chalice Press, 2016). Hagan is the executive director of Our Courageous Kids, a foundation that serves young adults who grew up in international orphanages. She is an alumna of the Lewis Center’s Lewis Fellows leadership development program.

Ann A. Michel has served on the staff of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership since early 2005. She currently serves as a Senior Consultant and is co-editor of Leading Ideas e-newsletter. She also teaches at Wesley Theological Seminary in the areas of stewardship and leadership. She is the co-author with Lovett H. Weems Jr. of Generosity, Stewardship, and Abundance: A Transformational Guide to Church Finance (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) available at Cokesbury and Amazon. She is also the author of Synergy: A Leadership Guide for Church Staff and Volunteers (Abingdon, 2017), available at Cokesbury and Amazon.

Leading Ideas The word "PASTOR" written in vintage metal letterpress type in a wooden drawer with dividers.

I’ve been a part of several conversations lately with new church attendees and community members where I have been asked the question: “Now, I know…