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 Reimaging Stewardship Season

Pastor Laura Heikes shares strategies for making stewardship season something people don’t dread, but to which they look forward. “It’s not impossible,” she writes. “Dream a little, try some new things, and don’t be afraid to talk boldly about giving. After all, Jesus did.” Who says stewardship has to drive people away? Last year during our stewardship drive, 14 people joined…

Leading Ideas
0 Five Questions for Discerning Your Annual Giving Theme

John Zehring and Kate Jagger describe five questions that can help you define a theme that can serve as an effective framework for your annual stewardship campaign. A well-chosen campaign theme, they say, can help make your annual focus on giving invigorating and spiritually uplifting. Special offerings to aid individuals or communities in the wake of natural disasters or other…

Leading Ideas
0 What Churches Do Young Adults Attend?

Lovett Weems examines the findings of a new report on engaging young adults and shares clues about the types of churches those ages 18–34 are most likely to attend. Perhaps the most important finding of the research is that the characteristics of churches with thriving young adult engagement are virtually the same factors that contribute to overall vitality and growth…

Leading Ideas
0 Building Multicultural Relationships

Mark DeYmaz and Bob Whitesel say that the church must reposition itself to maintain credibility in an increasingly diverse community. They stress the importance of “getting outside your bubble” to connect with the diversity present in your sphere of influence. And, because structural change begins at a personal level, leaders must invest in meaningful multicultural relationships. According to the latest…

Leading Ideas
0 Lessons from Churches that Reach Young Adults

Lovett Weems examines the findings of a new report on engaging young adults and shares clues for improving ministry with younger people. He notes that churches that assume they can engage young adults in the same manner as anyone else virtually always fail. To have young adults involved beyond a token level, there must be a specific strategy to reach…

Leading Ideas
0 Is Your Coffee Hour Chaotic Enough?

Researcher Kirk Hadaway has discovered that coffee hour in rapidly growing Episcopal churches is different than in the average congregation. It tends to be more vibrant, even chaotic, but in a good way! Taking steps to make coffee hour more vibrant and engaging is a simple way for any church to develop a sense of community and draw in new…

Leading Ideas
0 Too Few Sunday School Teachers? Try a Team Approach

John Wimberly reports how creating a team of four teachers for each children’s Sunday school classroom had the paradoxical effect of easing the burden of recruiting teachers at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. It also led to a greater sense of camaraderie and more creative problem solving. I had been having the same conversation with Christian educators at Western…

Leading Ideas
0 Why You Can’t Build a Church around the Pastor

Reflecting on the forced resignation of a mega-church pastor in South Carolina, Roger Lovette says serious problems follow any time a church is built around a particular individual. Pastors and congregations must remember that the church belongs not to them, but to Jesus Christ. Since I have been back in South Carolina the last four years, I have heard the…

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…

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