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 10 Ways to Master the Art of Asking

Learning how to be effective in asking others to support your ministry is a key to fruitful leadership, says Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff. She provides ten practical tips from her new book Synergy that will enhance your volunteer recruitment and fundraising. Whether you’re recruiting Sunday school teachers, amping up your praise team, or raising funds to support…

Leading Ideas
0 What Church Leaders Need to Know About Grants and Crowdfunding

Many churches need to think more creatively about funding their ministries in today’s environment. Church planter and consultant Rosario Picardo provides tips and resources for those interested in exploring the potential of grants and crowdfunding. Grants are often a mystery for churches and are overlooked as a potential funding source for new projects or programs. While it is true that…

Leading Ideas
0 10 Ways to Strengthen Relations with Police and Public Safety Officials

Baltimore pastor Dr. C. Anthony Hunt says congregations need to work proactively to strengthen community relations and build trust with police and public officials. He provides ten suggestions for strengthening these critical relationships in the wake of recent police-involved shootings and violence toward police. One key to a church’s vitality is the quality of the relationships it establishes with a…

Leading Ideas
0 Doing Mission Fundraising Well

Do you wish your church could do more to support mission? Pastor Lisa Kipp gives tips for how special fundraising for mission can be done effectively to enhance stewardship and increase a congregation’s overall mission giving. Several years ago, our congregation decided to try an experiment. We wondered what might happen if we held specific fundraisers through the year for…

Leading Ideas
0 The Importance of Why

Healthy churches know why they do what they do, says pastor and author Graham Standish. When what we do is based on a clear why, we act with purpose. When we don’t know why we do what we do, we lose focus. Why do some churches flourish and others struggle? Those that flourish generally know why they do what they…

Leading Ideas
0 Effective Church Websites

Web designer and consultant Scott Dixon shares tips for designing a good church website. He says three traits are essential — great content, good design, and easy navigation. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked “What makes a good website?” Or, better yet, “What can I do to make my website better?” I’ve learned there are three essential traits…

Leading Ideas
0 9 Things Preachers Should Never Say

Many preachers shoot themselves in the foot when they start off with hackneyed or formulaic phrases that fail to capture the fleeting attention of those in the pew.  Charley Reeb, a Florida pastor known as a gifted preacher, outlines nine opening lines that good preachers avoid. Preaching is challenging. When someone suggested to Winston Churchill that he ought to put…

Leading Ideas
0 How Best to Use Overflow Worship Space on Easter

Tom Berlin describes strategies for encouraging your regular attenders to worship in overflow spaces outside the sanctuary when additional seating is needed on Easter so that visitors will feel welcome and have a quality worship experience. Increased worship attendance on Easter Sunday requires some churches to set up spaces beyond the sanctuary for overflow seating. Sometimes this is space just…

Leading Ideas
0 Blessing Boxes Energize Churches to Meet Needs

The idea of a Blessing Box, shared widely on social media, has inspired many congregations to take direct action to meet community needs. Amy Forbus describes how Blessing Boxes have energized churches in the Arkansas Conference of the UMC to provide for their neighbors in creative, participatory ways. The concept is simple: Stock a container with nonperishable food items, toiletries…

Leading Ideas
0 Keychain Leadership

One core commitment that can help a congregation engage younger people is a willingness to entrust teens and emerging adults with the “keys” to real influence and agency by giving away access, power, and responsibility. The authors of Growing Young call this empowering style of leadership “keychain leadership.” Is leadership style a critical variable in helping a church reach younger…

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