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 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…

Leading Ideas
0 3 Questions to Preserve Energy and Passion in Ministry

Heather Bradley and Miriam Bamberger Grogan are executive coaches with a particular concern for the wellbeing of clergy. They say that spiritual leaders are often held hostage by their own belief that their work never ends, that they have to do it all, and that whatever they do, it isn’t enough. Bradley and Grogan suggest three key questions that can…

Leading Ideas
0 Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church in 2016

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., reports that despite a modest but steady increase in the number of young clergy in the United Methodist Church over the past decade, the percentage of active elders over 55 has reached an all-time high. The Lewis Center’s annual report on clergy age trends also reveals a trend toward delayed retirement and, for the first time…

Leading Ideas
0 Does Your Church Need a Disaster Ministry Plan?

Jamie D. Aten and David M. Boan, who head the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, say that you may never have thought about your church’s role in disaster response. But if your doors are open after a disaster strikes, people will come to you for help. The time to plan is now. It can be the difference between calm…

Leading Ideas
0 God and Guns – Do Something!

Amy Butler, pastor of The Riverside Church in New York City, writes that the epidemic of gun violence in America is no longer a matter of opinion or politics; it is a matter of life and death. Because Protestant churchgoers are 40 percent more likely than other Americans to own guns, pastors and church leaders are in a key position…

Leading Ideas
0 Good Leaders Still Face Problems — Just Different Ones

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., writes that effective leaders are never free from problems. In fact, as they make progress, they are likely to confront more complex and consequential problems. So, ironically, facing “higher quality” problems is a marker of success. A governor not known for his intellect was once asked at a press conference about a rash of prisoner escapes from…

Leading Ideas
0 Church Bell Calls Kids to Summer Food and Fun

Pastor Daniel Kerlin’s Pennsylvania church hosts a free summer lunch program. When kids who were on their own or couldn’t tell time were having difficulty showing up on time, they started using their church bell to signal the start of lunchtime. In an era when many church bells stand silent, theirs is inviting a new generation of young people to…

Leading Ideas
0 Volunteer-Savvy Leadership

Jake McGlothin, a staff member at Floris United Methodist Church in Virginia, shares perspectives on recruiting volunteers and keeping them happily engaged in ministry leadership. He explains the importance of the mindset he brings and the vocabulary he uses when asking people to serve. McGlothin says, “I want our ministry leaders to love what they do.” Many church leaders struggle…

Leading Ideas
0 Leaders Know Themselves

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., discusses the importance of leaders having a mature, self-aware understanding of themselves. He writes that in order to achieve a healthy and accurate knowledge of one’s self, a leader must reach out to actively seek feedback, and then withdraw to reflect on that feedback and use it in self-examination. Leaders can err in two directions. Many begin…

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