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 Room at the Inn

Doug Ruffle, who once served as a missionary in Argentina, shares the heartwarming story of a Christmas pageant that went off script, yet captured the true meaning of Christmas. It invites us to make room for the Christ Child in our lives. As a missionary in Argentina, I served Peace Community Church in Rosaria. It was an intimate community of…

Leading Ideas
0 A Birthday Party for Jesus

Margie Briggs, pastor of two small churches in Missouri, describes how the annual tradition of hosting a “birthday party for Jesus” has attracted children and families from their community into the church, helping to bring new vitality to an aging congregation. A few years ago, our small rural church in Calhoun, Missouri, wanted to do something at Christmas time for…

Leading Ideas
0 10 Qualities Your Church Doesn’t Need to Grow Young

What types of churches attract young people? Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin, the authors of Growing Young, dispel a number of common myths. Their research indicates that size, location, denominational tradition, worship style, and several other variables don’t matter as much as imagined and that congregations of all types have the potential to “grow young.” Whether you’re a senior…

Leading Ideas
0 7 Ways to Help Unchurched Guests Feel Welcome without Selling Out

Making new people feel welcome isn’t a sell out to a marketing and customer service mentality, says Rich Birch. It’s consistent with Scripture’s overarching theme of making space for the outsider. He outlines seven basic ways of making sure guests feel welcome. Some church leaders look down their noses at churches that go out of their way to create environments…

Leading Ideas
0 So That: Two Powerful Words for Mission Results

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., says that churches often invest a great deal of energy in activities without ever asking how they relate to what God is calling the church to accomplish. He says that one of the simplest ways a congregation can stay focused on the ends it seeks to achieve, rather than becoming preoccupied with the means, is to…

Leading Ideas
0 Does Your Church Have Barking Dogs?

Lee Kricher, pastor of Amplify Church in Pittsburgh, says every church has things that distract members and visitors from the church’s mission. He writes that churches sometimes need to eliminate things — even good things — to be able to focus limited time and energy on the most important things. Several years ago, I met an elderly pastor of a storefront church…

Leading Ideas
0 Management by Wishful Thinking?

Personnel matters in ministry settings are almost always more complicated than in business, says church leadership expert Mike Bonem. He names the shifts in attitude needed to manage and develop staff more effectively, including a shift from wishful thinking to a more realistic and intentional approach. Church leaders often carry a heavy responsibility related to staff. They are involved in…

Leading Ideas
0 5 Ideas to Increase Year-End Giving

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., says that giving at year-end represents an increasing portion of total giving in many churches. Recognizing the many different circumstances that may motivate people’s desire to give in December, he suggests strategies to maximize giving at the end of the year. Have you observed that more of your church giving comes in December than in any…

Leading Ideas
0 10 Ways to Reach Unchurched People at Christmas

Pastor Carey Nieuwhof says unchurched people want to celebrate Christmas, so there is no better time to connect with friends and neighbors who rarely, if ever, go to church. He offers ten ways your church can be involved in the unique opportunity to reach people at Christmas. Christmas provides a unique opportunity to reach people who no longer ordinarily attend…

Leading Ideas
0 Some Old Handbells Became Our Fish and Loaves

Pastor Rosario Picardo tells how selling two old sets of silver handbells that hadn’t been used for 20 years provided a surprisingly large infusion of cash to a fledgling church plant in an old building. He offers suggestions on how to inventory and sell smaller assets that have outlived their usefulness, but may be worth more than you think. The reality…

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