Browsing: Leading Ideas

Delivered every Wednesday, our free e-newsletter Leading Ideas offers articles by thoughtful, cutting-edge leaders on subjects you care about — navigating change, reaching younger people, financing your ministry, communicating effectively — to help you be the leader God is calling you to be.

The Lewis Center is committed to helping congregations and denominations thrive and grow by providing ideas, research, resources, and training for vital and fruitful leadership. Through Leading Ideas, we share vignettes of leaders and congregations, book reviews, leadership quotes, and helpful “right questions” built around the premise that leaders don’t need answers — they need to know the right questions.

Leading Ideas
0 Living Through a Church Renovation

Daniel Hilty says that any large-scale facility renovation requires a congregation to tolerate a tremendous amount of change and disruption. It’s critical to share information, listen to concerns, and acknowledge grief and loss. But perhaps the most important task is reminding the congregation of the “why” behind all of the changes. Any church that has ever considered a building renovation…

Leading Ideas
0 Leadership for Worship

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., says that few areas require more sensitive and creative leadership than worship. Merely asking someone what worship practices they prefer does not take account of the multiple values inherent in worship leadership. An interactive approach is needed to take into account theology and history as well as the perspectives of the pastor and the congregation. I…

Leading Ideas
0 Ten Hints for Leading Volunteers

Jill Fox lists ten things to keep in mind to develop a ministry team with healthy and happy volunteers, and one that is also attractive to new volunteers. The best leaders, she says, share responsibilities and help make their team members’ jobs clear, relevant, and fun. What do volunteers on a ministry team need? How can you prepare for success?…

Leading Ideas
0 Four Questions for Congregations

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., says vital congregations are clear about their mission, outwardly focused, oriented toward the future, and concerned more with results than processes. He outlines four questions that can help keep a congregation on track when it comes to these essential attributes. “How are we doing?” is a question that all leaders within a congregation need to keep…

Leading Ideas
0 Five Keys to Becoming a More Inclusive Community

Mark DeYmaz and Bob Whitesel maintain that congregations must become more inclusive communities that embrace oneness across race and class distinctions. They advise that churches examine their worship, leadership, language, resources, and planning to consider whether these five key areas of congregational life reflect openness and a true commitment to diversity. Churches can no longer ignore the systemic segregation of…

Leading Ideas
0 A Better Way to Report on Giving

Stewardship experts Kristine Miller and Scott McKenzie explain why publishing weekly and year-to-date giving amounts in the Sunday bulletin with a “woe is us” message can undercut people’s desire to give by creating the impression that your church is not financially stable and fiscally responsible. Income for churches never comes in fifty-two equal installments, so long-term giving trends must be considered…

Leading Ideas
0 Coffee Shop Conversations

Scott Chrostek, pastor of Resurrection Downtown, visited thirty-three coffee shops during his first month in Kansas City with a daily goal of having thirty-five conversations that led to discussion of his church. He says these encounters were often “holy surprises,” even when his conversation partners were seemingly uninterested in church. Scott shares strategies for maximizing the opportunity to meet neighbors…

Leading Ideas
0 Six Ways to Make Change Stick

Pastor Charles Stone, who has studied how brain chemistry impacts our ability to process change, recommends six specific strategies to help congregational leaders embrace change. Getting leaders on board first is a critical step that avoids organizational disruption and ensures that the change will be a lasting one. Wise leaders understand that lasting change requires that individuals change first before…

Leading Ideas
0 Congregations as Political Systems

David Brubaker says that while every congregation is a political system, political activity doesn’t need to be manipulative, polarizing or demeaning. He outlines four requirements for a church to function as a healthy political system. Congregations, like all organizations, are arenas for political activity. While we tend to think of politics as pertaining to governmental entities, the phrase “workplace politics”…

Leading Ideas
0 A Simple Planning Process

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., outlines a simple planning process that churches can use to identify issues and concerns and develop realistic plans to address them. Key to the success of this process is narrowing the focus to the five concerns most critical to the congregation’s future and coming up with one or two action steps for each. Several years ago I…

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