Text-only Version of Leading Ideas 2024

 

 

 


February 28, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

8 Strategies for Reaching and Developing Gen Z
How can congregations build meaningful connections with young adults? Brandi Nicole Williams, Director for the African American Church Evangelism Institute, offers eight practical strategies for bridging the generational gap and fostering relationships with Gen Z to build a more relevant church community. Read more now.

5 Compass Points Guide Character Formation and Lifelong Discipleship for Youth
The Fuller Youth Institute’s “Faith Beyond Youth Group” research initiative explored character as the vehicle for both faith longevity and faith vibrancy throughout the week. Their research yielded five compass points to guide the formation of character in young people — cultivating trust, modeling growth, teaching for transformation, practicing together, and making meaning. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Clergy and lay church leaders regularly give presentations, whether sermons or reports. Roman Catholic priest Michael White suggests a question that may give great discipline and direction to such presentations. In one sentence, can you tell your congregation (or other group) what you want them to know and what you want them to do?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

LPLI Helps Good Church Leaders Become Better Church Leaders
LPLI Pastor Version | LPLI Staff Version
LPLI is a confidential, online, 360º leadership assessment inventory designed to help those working in the church identify individual strengths and weaknesses in order to improve their ministry effectiveness. LPLI users receive a personalized leadership profile report that can be used for self-discovery, discussing their results with others, setting goals for improvement, and tracking progress over time. For institutions with groups of members using the inventory, a customized aggregate report can be prepared for group leaders. Learn more now.

Free video and downloads
Planned Giving: What Every Church Can and Should Do
Learn simple steps that any church can take to encourage legacy giving. Includes links to the free downloads “26 Things Churches and Pastors Can Do to Encourage Bequests” and “Sample Messages for Your Church.” Watch now.

Discover more free Lewis Center videos.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now. 

In-depth interview with Doug Powe and Jessica Anschutz
Healing Fractured Communities
How can congregational leaders be healers and agitators at the same time? In this in-depth interview, Doug Powe and Jessica Anschutz reflect on the new book Healing Fractured Communities and the stories of pastoral leaders engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Read more now.

Discover many more in-depth interviews.

Watch. Learn. Lead.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

50 Ways tip sheet
50 Ways to Strengthen Ministry with Youth
How can your church help youth claim a vital faith? No question is more critical to the future of the church. Learn effective tips your congregation can use to improve ministry with teens and their families in 50 Ways to Strengthen Ministry with Youth. Read now, download free, and share.

Discover tips and strategies on more 50 Ways topics.

“Quotable” Leadership
“If changes need to be made in how the organization is run, try to build on existing cultural strengths rather than attempting to change those elements that may be weaknesses.” — Edgar H. Schein

New book by Doug Powe and Jessica Anschutz
Healing Fractured Communities
Healing Fractured Communities is written by alumni of the Lewis Center Community Fellows program who are pastoral leaders engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Each chapter paints a picture of the work of healing fractures like racism, education inequality, and/or poverty. Each chapter includes takeaways to inspire healing in your community, and questions for reflection. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Scholarship Fund. Learn more and order now.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of “Leading Ideas!”

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


February 21, 2024

Leading Ideas from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

Is Voting the Best Way to Make Collective Decisions in the Church?
Voting is part of the organizational culture of many congregations. But it can create winners and losers, leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths. While there are times when voting is necessary and even desirable, churches should consider, explore, and adopt other methods of collective decision-making whenever possible, according to Mary Gladstone-Highland, Katy Stokes, and Christina Wichert, authors of a new book on reducing conflict in churches. Read more now.

Leading Ideas Talks Podcast — Episode 140
New Approaches to Help Youth Form Lasting Faith
How can your youth ministry cultivate a faith that stays with a young person as they mature through adulthood? We speak with Brad Griffin of the Fuller Youth Institute about five compass points that can guide an impactful youth ministry. The approach emphasizes building trust and relationships while teaching in transformative and experiential ways that help young people make meaning of their faith and life experiences. Listen now, read transcript, and watch on YouTube.

3 Strategies for Doing Church Online
Heidi Campbell, who has studied online churches since the early days of the internet, describes three online church strategies that emerged during the pandemic. The most common strategies mirror or modify the aspects of normal worship. But she sees the greatest promise in strategies that reimagine worship to take advantage of the unique possibilities of digital technology. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, suggests we think of life as a story in progress. Some of her suggested questions include: If your life were a book, what is the title of the book? What’s the title of the current chapter? What are the titles of the chapters that got you here? What do you want the end of your story — the last chapter — to be titled? What chapters do you need to “write” to get to that final chapter?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

Courses begin May 2024
Apply by February 29 for Doctor of Ministry Tracks from Wesley Theological Seminary and the Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply now.

Church Leadership Excellence
With this track, clergy will receive the enhanced knowledge, skills, and motivation to lead churches to increased service, vitality, and growth. Church Leadership Excellence focuses on the personal development and public practices of those called to lead the church toward the vision of God’s reign. Learn more and apply now.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now.

50 Ways tip sheet
50 Ways to Strengthen Ministry with Youth
How can your church help youth claim a vital faith? No question is more critical to the future of the church. Learn effective tips your congregation can use to improve ministry with teens and their families in 50 Ways to Strengthen Ministry with Youth. Read now, download free, and share.

Discover tips and strategies on more 50 Ways topics.

Watch. Learn. Lead. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

Keeping Our Sacred Trust online ethics training
Assuring Financial Integrity

Learn practices to prevent fraud and financial misconduct in your church.

For pastors, church staff, finance committee members, church treasurers, financial secretaries, counters or tellers, bookkeepers, church secretaries, seminarians, and all others with responsibility for handling church funds.

Though one in 10 Protestant churches experiences some type of embezzlement, most leaders assume that fraud will never occur in their church. And they are caught off guard when it does. Protect your congregation with Assuring Financial Integrity. This online course from the Keeping Our Sacred Trust ethics training series explores issues of maintaining financial integrity and preventing fraud in congregational settings. Learn more, watch an introductory video, and enroll now.

Discover other online courses from the Keeping Our Sacred Trust series.

“Quotable” Leadership
“Young people have a remarkable ability to look at the world as it is, envision the world as it could be, and fight to bring our vision for a better world into action.” — Chloe Maxmim and Canyon Woodward

NEW BOOK
Healing Fractured Communities
Healing Fractured Communities is written by alumni of the Lewis Center Community Fellows program who are pastoral leaders engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Each chapter paints a picture of the work of healing fractures like racism, education inequality, and/or poverty. Each chapter includes takeaways to inspire healing in your community, and questions for reflection. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Scholarship Fund. Learn more and order now.

Discover more books from Lewis Center authors.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of Leading Ideas!

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


February 14, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

Build Resilience. Reduce Burnout.
Are you feeling underchallenged, neglected, or overloaded? Diane Owen shares three pillars that provide the fuel to avert these three types of burnout. She offers practical ways to make small changes to avoid the downward spiral toward burnout. Read more now.

7 Strategies to Thrive as a Single Person in Ministry
What are the opportunities, joys, and challenges for single persons in vocational ministry? Kevin E. Lawson and Jane Carr conducted focus groups and interviews with 45 single church staff members to answer these questions. They share seven ways unmarried staff can thrive in ministry. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Mónica Guzmán works with people having polarized views to help them communicate across their differences to foster greater understanding. She says if there is one question people should ask far more often than we do, it would be: What am I missing?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

Online courses from the Lewis Center
Protect Your Congregation and Your Ministry with Online Sexual Ethics and Boundary Training for Pastors
The Lewis Center’s Keeping Our Sacred Trust boundary training program offers two online courses to help prevent clergy sexual misconduct: “Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics” and “Maintaining Boundaries in a Digital Age.” Both courses are confidential, ecumenical, and refreshed for 2023. Each course is $49 and includes .5 CEU credits. Learn more and enroll now. 

To the Point
Metrics Should Be a Tool for Learning, Not Judging
The current focus on setting numerical goals for ministry and reporting results is not new, though now greatly expanded. In the past, virtually all goals churches set related to money. Today the same attention is being given to people categories, but the concept is the same. Lovett H. Weems Jr. explains the advantage and pitfalls. Read, share, and download free now.

Discover tips and strategies on more To the Point sheets.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now. 

In-depth interview with Kimberly Wagner
Preaching in the Wake of Mass Trauma
How would you preach next Sunday if tomorrow your community fell victim to a mass shooting or was devastated by a natural disaster? Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff interviews Princeton Preaching Professor Kimberly Wagner on approaching this increasingly unavoidable homiletical task in ways that hold in tension loss and grief and the promise of God’s healing and redemption. Read more now.

Discover many more in-depth interviews.

Watch. Learn. Lead.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

NEW BOOK
Healing Fractured Communities
Healing Fractured Communities is written by alumni of the Lewis Center Community Fellows program who are pastoral leaders engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Each chapter paints a picture of the work of healing fractures like racism, education inequality, and/or poverty. Each chapter includes takeaways to inspire healing in your community, and questions for reflection. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Scholarship Fund. Learn more and order now.

“Quotable” Leadership
“Almost always the right road is the one we find difficult to take.” — Francois Mauriac, The Lamb

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
Apply by February 15 for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of “Leading Ideas!”

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


February 7, 2024

Leading Ideas from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

Restoring Trust in the Institutional Church Requires Allegiance to Our True Purpose
Gil Rendle says all institutions eventually gravitate from serving their stated purposes to satisfying powerful institutional constituencies. The current deep mistrust of the institutional church is fueled by the fact that we focus more on our own people, clergy, resources, and rules than on our true, lifegiving mission. Trust can only be restored when leaders have the courage and capacity to help our churches do what we were created to do. Read more now.

Leading Ideas Talks Podcast — Episode 139
Healing Fractured Communities
How can congregational leaders be both healers and agitators at the same time, especially given our fractured landscape and the diversity of contexts where congregations exist? Doug Powe and Jessica Anschutz reflect on the book Healing Fractured Communities and the stories of pastoral leader engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Listen now, read transcript, and watch on YouTube.

5 Addictions the Church Must Overcome to Grow in the Future
Carey Nieuwhof explains that churches must respond to a culture that has become even more digital, mobile, and home-centered since the COVID-19 crisis. He predicts growing churches will focus less on place-based ministry and packed rooms and will adjust budgets and attitudes to fit a new reality. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
In working toward greater diversity and equity, leaders may use questions for group discussion to help surface unspoken assumptions affecting participants’ attitudes and actions. Examples used in one inclusion instrument are: What messages did I receive when I was growing up about different races and ethnicities? What messages did I receive about other dimensions of diversity? How might these messages be influencing how I see the world?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

50 Ways tip sheet
50 Ways to Increase Worship Attendance
Worship attendance is vital to the mission of the church. Our free “50 Ways” tip sheet provides practical strategies to help you invite new people to attend worship; improve the attendance of current members; make your church visible and attractive; welcome worship guests warmly; and make worship accessible to newcomers. Read now, download free, and share.

Discover tips and strategies on more 50 Ways topics.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now.

NEW BOOK
Healing Fractured Communities
Healing Fractured Communities is written by alumni of the Lewis Center Community Fellows program who are pastoral leaders engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Each chapter paints a picture of the work of healing fractures like racism, education inequality, and/or poverty. Each chapter includes takeaways to inspire healing in your community, and questions for reflection. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Scholarship Fund. Learn more and order now.

Discover more books from Lewis Center authors.

Watch. Learn. Lead. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

Lewis Center video tool kit resource
Building and Funding Your Capital Budget
Learn best practices to build and fund your capital budget.
Your capital budget isn’t just about facilities — it’s about using your facilities to further your church’s mission. Building and Funding Your Capital Budget helps you understand what a capital budget is, how to engage the big questions about your church, and how to assess your current situation. No matter your church size, this resource provides clues and wisdom to help your capital budget advance your mission and accomplish God’s vision for your congregation. Learn more now.

Discover more video tool kits plus adult Christian studies.

“Quotable” Leadership
“Young people have a remarkable ability to look at the world as it is, envision the world as it could be, and fight to bring our vision for a better world into action.” — Chloe Maxmim and Canyon Woodward

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
Apply by February 15 for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of Leading Ideas!

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


January 31, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

New Possibilities for Engaging Ministry Participants and Leaders
Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff says that churches need to think outside the box when seeking to involve new people in ministry and leadership. Church membership or even church attendance should no longer be the assumed starting point in the process. Read more now.

5 Tips for Pastors on Using AI
What is artificial intelligence (AI) and how can it enhance your ministry? Josh Burnett offers five things pastors need to know about AI. He also shares some ideas for using AI to strengthen your ministry so that you can spend more time cultivating relationships with the congregation and the community. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Rich Birch suggests three questions church leaders should be asking: What things that worked at one point are no longer working? What are we doing that needs to be refreshed? What new things do we need to consider adding?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

NEW BOOK
Healing Fractured Communities
Healing Fractured Communities is written by alumni of the Lewis Center Community Fellows program who are pastoral leaders engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Each chapter paints a picture of the work of healing fractures like racism, education inequality, and/or poverty. Each chapter includes takeaways to inspire healing in your community, and questions for reflection. Proceeds from the sale of the book support the Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr. Scholarship Fund. Learn more and order now.

50 Ways tip sheet
50 Ways to Multiply Your Church’s Leadership Capacity
How can you best support and affirm existing leaders? Help new leaders in your church get started? More effectively invite people to be leaders? Make meetings matter? Learn the answers to these questions and more in 50 Ways to Multiply Your Church’s Leadership Capacity. Read now, share, and download free.

Discover tips and strategies on more 50 Ways topics.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now. 

In-depth interview with Katie Phillips
Improv Church: The Power of Connection
How can an improv comedy show explore the intersection of faith and real life in community? Doug Powe and Katie Phillips talk about how Improv Church offers creative ways for engaging people in worship. Read more now.

Discover many more in-depth interviews.

Watch. Learn. Lead.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

NEW online course from Wesley Pathways for Ministry
World Religions: Passionately Christian and Compassionately Interreligious
Course begins February 12.
“World Religions” helps cultivate a missional presence that is passionately Christian as well as compassionately interreligious. You will learn how to graciously encounter and understand the various religious beliefs and practices of our neighbors. Then explore how you can think about Christian mission in such an interreligious world. Enroll now at Wesley Pathways for Ministry.

Discover more Wesley Pathways for Ministry courses and certificate programs.

“Quotable” Leadership
“The single biggest fueler of the rapid growth in those claiming no religious affiliation is nonversion: that is, the propensity of people brought up with a religious affiliation to lose it and, having done so, to feel little need to acquire another.” — Stephen Bullivant

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
Apply by February 15 for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of “Leading Ideas!”

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


January 24, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

5 Things You Need to Know about Donors who are Retired
What do church financial leaders need to know when discussing generosity with retirees? Stewardship expert Ken Sloane shares five considerations that might shape a recent retiree’s mindset when it comes to sharing their treasure and their time. Read more now.

Leading Ideas Talks Podcast — Episode 138
Preaching in the Wake of Mass Trauma
How would you preach next Sunday if tomorrow your community fell victim to a mass shooting or was devastated by a natural disaster? Preaching Professor Kimberly Wagner shares how pastors can approach this increasingly unavoidable homiletical task in ways that hold in tension the community’s very real experiences of loss and grief and the promise of God’s healing and redemption. Listen now, read transcript, and watch on YouTube.

5 Reasons Churches Suffer Management Chaos
Focused on ministry, churches often give too little attention to organizational management. Church consultant Rich Sider outlines five common management problems that can result in confusion and conflict. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Robert D. Putnam asked this question of religion in general, but the question may be appropriate for a congregation. Perhaps you want to add some other societal changes to those he names. How has religion engaged three major trends in American society: the revolution in women’s rights, rising income inequality, and growing ethnic and racial diversity?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
Apply by February 15 for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now.

50 Ways tip sheet
50 Ways to Encourage Faithful Giving
Helping people experience the joy of giving is more than a way of funding the church’s ministry. These 50 ways of encouraging faithful giving will help your church members grow in discipleship through faithful stewardship and extravagant generosity. Read now, download free, and share.

Discover tips and strategies on more 50 Ways topics.

Watch. Learn. Lead. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

NEW online course from Wesley Pathways for Ministry
World Religions: Passionately Christian and Compassionately Interreligious
This course helps cultivate a missional presence that is passionately Christian as well as compassionately interreligious. You will learn how to graciously encounter and understand the various religious beliefs and practices of our neighbors. Then explore how you can think about Christian mission in such an interreligious world. The course begins February 12. Enroll now at Wesley Pathways for Ministry.

Discover more Wesley Pathways for Ministry courses and certificate programs.

“Quotable” Leadership
“Bridges are built when two people develop authentic connections across their differences—when they can express their thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, ideas, emotions, and so on to each other in a relationship characterized by trust, empathy, vulnerability, and risk-taking.” — Tina Opie and Beth A. Livingston

Book by Douglas F. Powe Jr.
The Adept Church: Navigating Between a Rock and a Hard Place
“The Adept Church” helps congregations develop realistic road maps for navigating between a “rock and a hard place” with a clear process for defining reality — a process based on strategic decisions concerning where the church needs to go and not where it is currently. This theologically grounded yet practical guide is for church leaders seeking to save their churches. Learn more and order now.

Discover more books from Lewis Center authors.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of “Leading Ideas!”

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


January 17, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

Twenty-Five Percent of Churches Disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church
The Lewis Center has issued a final report on disaffiliating churches in the United Methodist Church covering 7,631 churches approved by annual conferences for disaffiliation by December 31, 2023. There continue to be more similarities than differences between the cohort of disaffiliating churches and the total pool of United Methodist churches. Disaffiliating churches are disproportionately in the Southeastern (50 percent) and South Central (21 percent) jurisdictions. Conferences with 30 percent or more churches disaffiliating are highlighted here. Read more now. 

Some Questions for Further Research from the Disaffiliation Process
The recent disaffiliation process in the United Methodist Church leaves in its wake grief, hope, and many unanswered questions regarding the impact of prior unifications, the impact of clergy and judicatory leaders in the process, and the various motivations for disaffiliation. Lovett H. Weems of the Lewis Center staff raises some of these significant questions and identifies areas where qualitative research is needed as the church strives to move faithfully into the future. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
To provide effective support for staff and volunteer leaders, it is helpful to ask: What are the stumbling blocks that make it more difficult for you to accomplish your work?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

New online course from Wesley Pathways for Ministry
Journey through the Psalms
This self-paced online course takes an in-depth look at the Book of Psalms — the ancient prayerbook of both the synagogue and the Christian church. Participants will study the scriptures meaningfully, consider how the arts can illuminate its dimensions, and explore the many interesting and wonderfully strange ways that the Psalms shape our lives and inform our worship. The course is $35 and offers 0.5 CEU credits. Enroll now at Wesley Pathways for Ministry.

Discover more Wesley Pathways for Ministry courses and certificate programs.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now. 

In-Depth Interview with Lydia Bucklin
Embracing Mutual Ministry
How can your congregation function as a community of ministers rather than a community gathered around a single minister? Lydia Bucklin of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan explains the Mutual Ministry Initiative and how this approach to shared ministry is flourishing among smaller churches in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. Read more now.

Discover many more in-depth interviews.

Watch. Learn. Lead. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

To the Point
Learn to Craft Better Financial Commitment Messages
Many churches have a one-size-fits-all approach to their stewardship appeal. Everyone in the congregation receives the same “Dear Friend” letter inviting them to prayerfully offer up their tithe to the church for the coming year. While this approach is simple and easy to execute, it’s generally not the most effective or meaningful way to communicate with people about their giving. Read now, download free, and share.

Discover tips and strategies on more To the Point sheets.

“Quotable” Leadership
“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” — Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
Apply by February 15 for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of “Leading Ideas!”

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


January 10, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

Leaders Help Their Communities Dream Big Dreams
Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech proposed a big dream for what America can become. What big dreams do you have for your congregation and community? Lewis Center Director Doug Powe shares four key characteristics of big dreams that propel us toward a future shaped by participating in God’s transforming work. Read more now.

Leading Ideas Talks Podcast — Episode 137
Improv Church: The Power of Connection
How can an improv comedy show explore the intersection of faith and real life in community? In this engaging episode, we speak with Katie Phillips about how Improv Church offers creative ways for engaging people in worship. Listen now, read transcript, and watch on YouTube.

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. Read more now.

The Right Question Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
When your congregation is wanting to contribute to the solution of a community issue, one early question is crucial: How can we leverage the power of partnerships with other organizations that share our concern?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

Lewis Center video tool kit resource
Engaging Local Schools
Schoolchildren, parents, and teachers across the country are in need of supplies, meals, tutoring, and support. This video tool kit resource guides your congregation in discerning a vision for a school partnership that responds to the needs present in your neighborhood and utilizes the unique gifts your church has to offer. Learn more and watch introductory videos now.

Discover more video tool kit resources and adult Christian studies.

Support the Lewis Center.
“Leading Ideas” is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now. 

Free video study
Learn to Talk Honestly and Openly about Faith and Race in Your Church
“Moving Faith Communities to Fruitful Conversations about Race” is a dialogue about race in America and may be used to help your church bring people together to talk about moving forward bravely and boldly in the name of Christ. The study is divided into four 15-minute videos which may be used in one or more sessions. Watch now.

Discover more free Lewis Center videos.

Watch. Learn. Lead. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

NEW online course from Wesley Pathways for Ministry
World Religions: Passionately Christian and Compassionately Interreligious
This course helps cultivate a missional presence that is passionately Christian as well as compassionately interreligious. You will learn how to graciously encounter and understand the various religious beliefs and practices of our neighbors. Then explore how you can think about Christian mission in such an interreligious world. Enroll now at Wesley Pathways for Ministry.

Discover more Wesley Pathways for Ministry courses and certificate programs.

“Quotable” Leadership
“The situation within this morally compromised American church is a scandal … in its historical theological sense — as a lack of integrity by the people of God that serves as a “stumbling block” to the world seeing Christ for who he is, the gospel for what it is.” — Russell Moore

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
Apply today for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

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Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

 

 


January 3, 2024

“Leading Ideas” from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

7 Trends Impacting Church Leadership for 2024
Ann Michel, Doug Powe, and Jessica Anschutz of the Lewis Center staff identify seven trends church leaders should keep in mind as they develop creative ministries to reach new people in 2024. Many of these trends are daunting, reflecting the long-term decline in worship attendance and the increasing percentage of Americans who claim no religious affiliation. But there are also glimmers of hope in giving trends, in the emergence of new, more nimble, often smaller, models of ministry, and in the expanding opportunities for laypersons to minister in meaningful ways. Read more now.

3 Ways to Listen Well
Effective leaders are skilled listeners. C. Kavin Rowe offers three practices that center on developing our attention and improving our ability to listen. Read more now.

The Right Question — Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
One church staff begins their weekly meetings with at least one member responding to this question: Where have you seen our ministry make a specific impact on someone’s life recently?

Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders.” 

The Doctor of Ministry — Howard Thurman: Prophetic Witness
“In a world that is all about drawing attention to one’s self, a prophetic witness moves us toward a new reality grounded in God’s grace.”
Apply today for May 2024.
What does it mean for a leader to stand in the gap between the way things are and what they could be? Howard Thurman’s prophetic witness exemplified this form of leadership. Thurman did not demonize those responsible for systemic ills. Instead, he emphasized a positive vision of the way things could be. This track of doctoral study from Wesley Theological Seminary focuses on the power of a prophetic witness like Thurman’s to draw people toward a positive new future. Learn more and apply today for May 2024.

Support the Lewis Center.
Leading Ideas is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you. Donate now. 

To the Point
Unclutter Your Church Now
Revitalizing congregations must strip away some of the vestiges of the past to make space for the new amidst decades of physical and emotional clutter. “To the Point: Unclutter Your Church Now” helps congregations unshackle from the weight of clutter and disorganization. Read now, download free, and share.

Discover tips and strategies on more To the Point sheets.

Watch. Learn. Lead. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for video podcast episodes, leadership strategies and tips, free video resources, and much more.

Lewis Center video tool kit resource
What is God’s Vision for Your Congregation?
“Discovering God’s Future for Your Church” is a turnkey tool kit to help your congregation discern and implement God’s vision for its future. This comprehensive resource guides your church in discovering clues to your vision in your history and culture, your current congregational strengths and weaknesses, and the needs of your surrounding community. “Discovering God’s Future for Your Church” includes engaging videos, leader’s guides, discussion exercises, planning tools, handouts, diagrams, worksheets, and more. Learn more and watch an introductory video now.

Discover more video tool kits plus adult Christian studies.

“Quotable” Leadership
“Not all religiously based movements are progressive, but most American progressive movements have had powerful religious roots.” — Robert D. Putnam

Online courses for laity and clergy
Winter Registration is Open for Wesley Academy for Advanced Christian Studies Courses from BeADisciple
The Wesley Academy for Advanced Christian Studies — created in partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary — offers online courses and educational materials that are theologically rich and deep. Courses are appropriate for anyone and may be used to earn CEU credits and a certification in Advanced Christian Studies.
— Courses beginning January 8, 2023:
• Women Speak of God — 1.5 CEUs | Led by Harriet Wilkin
• In God’s Time: The Bible and the Future — 2.2 CEUs | Led by Michael Beardslee
• Methodist Identity: Our Story — 2 CEUs | Led by Pamela Deck
Learn more about the Wesley Academy for Advanced Christian Studies from BeADisciple now.

Did someone forward this email to you? Click here to subscribe free for your own weekly copy of “Leading Ideas!”

Editors: Dr. Jessica L. Anschutz (janschutz@wesleyseminary.edu) and Dr. Ann A. Michel (amichel@wesleyseminary.edu)

Copyright © 2004-2024 Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary


Click here to view text-only versions of “Leading Ideas” from 2023.