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 The Leader as Communicator

Effective leaders are good communicators, according to Lovett H. Weems, Jr. They understand the importance of all forms of communication and that communication is always two-way, receiving as well as giving information and feelings. One study of leadership analyzed how leaders spend their days, concluding “for formal leaders in organizations … the world consists of many activities (most of them…

Leading Ideas
0 The Mutual Benefits of Church-School Partnerships

Jake McGlothin, author of The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships, says it’s only logical that the two most important social institutions in our society should work together. He outlines what churches can share with schools as well as how engagement with schools can positively impact a congregation. Two of the greatest and most important social institutions in America…

Leading Ideas
0 The Lent Challenge

Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris United Methodist Church, challenges his congregation to deepen their spiritual journey during Lent by taking up the disciplines of worship, study, and scripture reading rather than giving up chocolates or dessert. Lent is a time for going more deeply into Christian discipleship. Church members are often aware that Lent is a season for increased devotion…

Leading Ideas
0 Should You Add Another Easter Worship Service?

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., encourages churches to consider whether adding an additional worship service on Easter Sunday will increase their ability to reach more worshipers. He says an unexpected, positive benefit of modifying your worship schedule is that you need to be more deliberate in sharing information with members and potential visitors. Easter is the special day of the Christian…

Leading Ideas
0 When Volunteers Aren’t Working Out

Churches often put up with ineffective volunteers because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, says Lory Beth Huffman, a pastor in Western North Carolina. She describes how to help volunteers succeed, but also how to remove a dysfunctional volunteer with grace and honesty when necessary for the sake of fruitfulness in God’s Kingdom. One of the hardest dilemmas we…

Leading Ideas
0 Ten Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah

Examining the biblical account of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, Lovett H. Weems, Jr., sees a compelling example of how a leader should function. Nehemiah defined the reality of the situation, named a vision, and then engaged the people to accomplish it. The prophet Nehemiah provides modern day leaders a wonderful model of leadership. Upon learning of the distress…

Leading Ideas
0 Organizing a Missional COMMUNITY

Hal Knight and Doug Powe discuss nine characteristics of transformative Christian communities that allow them to nurture spiritual growth while also remaining open to others and connected to the broader community. Whether starting a new church or renewing an existing congregation, leaders must be able to organize communities so that their members are growing in spiritual depth while also focusing…

Leading Ideas
0 Four Functions of a Church Choir

Choir director Brian Hehn has helped Arapaho UMC become a “singing congregation” by emphasizing the choir’s four key functions — to lead and enliven the congregation’s song, to sing music that the congregation cannot, to serve as a small-group within the church for faith formation, and to sing music that glorifies God and edifies the congregation. As the director of…

Leading Ideas
0 Lead Positively

Lovett H. Weems Jr., explains why leaders need to affirm the positive and assume the best of others — even when things aren’t what they ultimately need to be. Critique and judgment have their place — but not at the expense of projecting a grace-filled and hopeful attitude toward others. Leaders sometimes are reluctant to affirm good things among those we serve…

Leading Ideas
0 Is Your Vision a Mural or a To-Do List?

Tiffany Deluccia says that for too many churches, their de facto vision is nothing more than a list of the next things to be done. Instead, your vision should be an inspiring and compelling portrait of what God is doing in the life of your church. When someone asks you about your church’s vision for the next 3-5 years, how…

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