Creating a New Image for Our Congregations

I confess that I’m not much of a professional sports fan. However, I do watch the Super Bowl mainly to socialize with friends and to watch the commercials and the halftime show. Did you notice how different the commercials were this year? Many of them featured cute animals, positive self-esteem, values, relationships and sensitive dads. Given all of the scandals in the NFL this past year I wondered if we were seeing the softer side of the NFL. It was astonishing. Of course, I began to wonder about congregations. (read more)

Rules for the Too-Busy

by Sarai Schnucker Rice
“While I understand the reasons for believing the pastor needs to be the primary evaluator of staff, my personal concern comes from my sense of overwhelm-ment I already experience sometimes with this work. There is not enough time to do all that needs to be done…” This is the comment of a student in a webinar I’m leading on aspects of small church ministry. And I get it. I, too, feel as if I don’t have enough time to do all that needs to be done. (read more)

Who Speaks on Behalf of Soul?

by Susan Beaumont
Who speaks for the congregation’s soul? When it comes to discerning mission, vision and strategic direction, who gets to name the congregation’s giftedness and vocation? Is it the senior clergy leader, the governing board, the congregation, or someone else? (read more)

The Importance of Shared Identity and Purpose

by David Brubaker

Since every congregation occupies a spectrum of beliefs and values, all congregations experience conflict. Most manage their differences with grace and respect, while others—with no greater disagreements—blow apart. Why do differences tear some congregations asunder, while most manage them with relative aplomb? (read more)

The Post-Construction Blues

by Dan Hotchkiss
Few projects excite and galvanize a congregation more than a new building or a major renovation. People complain about construction delays, capital campaigns, and the general din and dust, but their blood pumps, their wallets loosen, and their enthusiasm rises. Lyle Schaller went so far as to generalize that congregations that build capital are happier than those that spend it. (read more)

Where’s Alban?

by Dan Hotchkiss
The work of the Alban Institute continues—you just need to know where to look for it. Like rich man’s fortune in the Parable of the Talents, Alban legacy has been divided into three parts, each carried forward by a different group. (read more)

Calculating the Cost of Ministry

by Sarai Rice
If the “cost” of something is “the price paid to acquire, produce, accomplish, or maintain it,” and calculating it is going to require manipulating numbers, then I’m pretty sure your first instinct when reading this article’s title was to run for cover! We’re just emerging from the glow of Christmas and the sparkle of the New Year. Who wants to talk about math or money? (read more)