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 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…

Leading Ideas
0 People Want to Attend a Generous Church

Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris UMC in Herndon, Virginia, says that for Christians to become generous, they need the help of a church that itself is generous. Congregations that embody their belief in the generosity and the abundance of God inspire those who want to be part of something bigger and do something more than they can do on their…

Leading Ideas
0 Leading Between Memory and Vision

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., explains that God’s leaders always live in the tension between memory of the past and hope for the future. Effective leaders draw from the heritage of faith to point toward a new vision of where God is calling us in the future. Church leaders stand today between a past that is gone and a future awaiting its…

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…

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