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 Does Your Church Need a Capital Budget?

Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr., describes how formulating and funding a capital budget can help a church stay on top of building maintenance expenses. In the absence of such a plan, congregations often defer routine maintenance until they are confronted with a major crisis — and then don’t have sufficient resources to respond. Churches face a common dilemma…

Leading Ideas
0 Do Your Church Events Serve a Healthy Purpose?

Is your church calendar crammed with one event after another? Church consultant Tony Morgan says many congregations just keep scheduling the same events without ever evaluating whether they contribute to the congregation’s goals. He lays out a set of criteria for distinguishing between productive and unproductive events. Many churches are over-programmed and event-driven. Generally, the thought behind all the events…

Leading Ideas
0 The 75 Percent Rule to Reach Younger People

Lee Kricher, pastor of Amplify Church in Pittsburgh, says it’s unlikely that younger adults will be drawn to a service where the people in visible leadership are significantly older than they are. So his church has instituted a rule requiring that 75 percent of worship leaders in visible roles be 35 years old or younger, since that’s the average age of…

Leading Ideas
0 Why Year-End Evaluations Rarely Help Leaders Grow

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., explains why year-end performance evaluations are insufficient to help people grow and improve. While year-end reviews are important, ongoing feedback that occurs “along the way” during the course of the year is not only less anxiety producing; it is also more effective in helping someone do their job better. Year-end reviews are common for most of…

Leading Ideas
0 10 Things Great Preachers Do Differently

What separates good preachers from great preachers? Charley Reeb, a Florida pastor known as a gifted preacher, says talent is less important than approaching the task with the right perspective and preparing effectively. He outlines ten things that you can do to become a great preacher. While I wouldn’t argue that some great preachers are also gifted communicators, great talent…

Leading Ideas
0 Adopting a Missionary Mindset

Douglas Ruffle, who works with the Path 1 church planting initiative, says the role of church leaders in a culture that is increasingly estranged from the Christian context is much like that of a missionary in a foreign country. Those who have grown up in the church are called upon to learn the language and customs of the people we…

Leading Ideas
0 3 Common Communication Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Ryan Holck, an expert on church communication, says that leaders tend to throw so much information at their congregants that nothing sticks. There’s also a tendency to use insider language while never addressing what people really want to know: “What’s in it for me?” He shares some simple fixes for these common communication challenges. We’ve got great ministry ideas, and…

Leading Ideas
0 The Power of Core Values

Anthony Hunt, pastor of Epworth Chapel in Baltimore, describes how discerning and naming core values can help a church stay focused and on track. Clear core values are essential in implementing mission and vision, setting goals, and evaluating new ministry opportunities. They also help individual church members live out their lives as Christ-followers. As is the case in any organization,…

Leading Ideas
0 6 Ways to Jumpstart Leadership Formation

Pastor Mike Slaughter says one of the key factors determining the effectiveness of a congregation is the presence of principled leaders who demonstrate a vital personal faith. And, he says, “if you look across your congregation and can’t identify a core group of principled Christian leaders, then you better start growing them!” Slaughter provides six practical ideas for jumpstarting leadership…

Leading Ideas
0 Blessing of the Bikes

Pastor Daniel Kerlin’s Pennsylvania congregation wanted to reach people who wouldn’t normally come to church. They came up with a novel idea — a motorcyclist worship service followed by a “blessing of the bikes” in the church parking lot. “It was a pretty cool sight,” says Kerlin, “to see 80-year-old church ladies across the table from tattooed motorcycle enthusiasts clad in…

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