Text-only Version of Leading Ideas, July 11, 2018

July 11, 2018
Leading Ideas from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary

The Bright Promise of Alternative Faith Communities
A new type of congregation is emerging that combines religious practice with a distinctive element of local culture or community identity, such as artistic expression, missional engagement, table fellowship, or nature. Researchers Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris studied the key characteristics of these alternative faith communities in their book Divergent Church. Read more: https://www.churchleadership.com/leading-ideas/the-bright-promise-of-alternative-faith-communities?id=li20180711

Episode 14: Leading Ideas Talks Podcast: “Divergent Church”
Does your church have the “church plus” factor? Lewis Center Director Doug Powe speaks with Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris about their book Divergent Church.They examine innovative, alternative faith communities that combine religious practice with a “church plus” factor — a dedicated focus on some unique aspect of their church’s cultural DNA like gardening, table fellowship, artistic expression, and more. Listen now: https://www.churchleadership.com/podcast/episode-14-divergent-church-featuring-tim-shapiro-and-kara-faris?id=li20180711

4 Tips for Experimenting with Change This Summer
Lewis Center Director F. Douglas Powe says that the summer is the perfect time for a congregation to test possible changes through short-term experiments. He offers four considerations to guide an experimental approach to implementing new ideas. Read more: https://www.churchleadership.com/leading-ideas/4-tips-for-experimenting-with-change-this-summer?id=li20180711

“Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.”
When considering launching a new ministry, use the questions Tony Morgan suggests:
* Do we know what type of good fruit we expect?
* If so, will the new ministry produce it?
Want more Right Questions? Read “Right Questions for Church Leaders” at https://www.churchleadership.com/books/right-questions-for-church-leaders/

Looking for Adult Education Studies for Fall?
The Lewis Center is the home of the Wesley Ministry Network — insightful video-based ecumenical studies that encourage energetic discussion and personal reflection. Ideal for your congregation’s small groups, adult Bible studies, and Sunday School classes, courses include video lessons, Leader’s Guides, Participant’s Guides, and more. Learn more and order now: https://www.churchleadership.com/product-category/wesleyministrynetwork?id=li20180711

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. “50 Ways to Take Church to the Community” provides tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service. Read and download free: https://www.churchleadership.com/50-ways/50-ways-to-take-church-to-the-community/?id=li20180711

Quotable Leadership
“The overabundance of process in most organizations suffocates the sparks that drive innovation: creativity, inquiry, and risk taking.” — Lisa Bodell

What about Tithing and the Prosperity Gospel?
Many Christians tend to oversimplify the essence of scripture’s teaching with regard to money in such statements as “Christians must tithe” or “the faithful will prosper.” But neither maxim accurately reflects the Bible’s message. Drawing on the work of New Testament scholar Ben Witherington, To the Point: What about Tithing and the Prosperity Gospel? outlines a more nuanced, holistic, and contextually informed understanding of faith and money. Read now and download free: https://www.churchleadership.com/to-the-point/to-the-point-what-about-tithing-and-the-prosperity-gospel?id=li20180711

Now Available — “Protect, Sustain, Grow: Best Practices for Handling Your Church’s Money” Video Tool Kit
Managing church finances requires skill, dedication, and know-how, but also the heart of a steward. Protect, Sustain, Grow: Best Practices for Handling Your Church’s Money provides practical advice, best practices, and resources for pastors, finance committee members, church treasurers, financial secretaries, and bookkeepers — all those charged with the sacred trust of protecting, sustaining, and growing the resources God has entrusted to your church. Learn more and watch an introductory video: https://www.churchleadership.com/product/protect-sustain-grow-best-practices-for-handling-your-churchs-money?id=li20180711