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Aspen Group Blog

Knowledge to navigate the intersection of culture, leadership, ministry, and facilities.

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Culture | Church Construction | Managing Facilities

3 Keys for Discovering Your Church's DNA

By: Marian Liautaud
April 04, 2018

What makes your church your church? The distinctive elements within your building that tell the story of who you are as a faith community? Kevin Miller, Senior Pastor at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois, shares insights he gleaned from his own experience leading his previous church—Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois—through a major adaptive reuse building project. He explores three keys for discovering the essential elements that make your church distinct in a video series titled, “Telling Your Church’s Unique Story.”

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Culture | Millennials

Conquering the Challenges of the 21st Century Church

By: Ed Bahler
March 09, 2018

When asked about the biggest challenges facing the church of the 21st century, church missiologist and president of Lifeway Research, Ed Stetzer, replied:

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Making Space for Millennials Executive Summary

Making Space for Millennials Executive Summary

Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.

Blog Feature

Culture | Multisite | Communication

Could Your Next Multisite Campus Be Online?

By: Dana Byers
January 31, 2018

When I talk with churches about how to launch an online campus, I always share my own story of how I became connected with Church Online. I married an Oklahoman, and we initially settled in his state. We moved into our first little house and lived across the street from this church with very loud music. When I was pregnant with our first child, I felt terribly sick one Sunday morning. We were part of a great local church, but in that church, I had to wear heels and a nice dress to service. I told my husband, "I cannot do that today. I just can't do it, I'm so sick." He said, "Well, I'll just walk across the street to that church where you can wear jeans."

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Blog Feature

Culture | Millennials

Millennials Need a Bigger God, Not a Hipper Pastor

By: Drew Dyck
January 24, 2018

You’ve seen the statistics. If you’re in ministry, you’ve probably witnessed the problem firsthand. The Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are leaving the church in droves...and staying away. Approximately 70 percent of those raised in the church disengage from it in their 20s. One-third of Americans under the age of 30 now claim “no religion.”

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Culture | Leadership | Multisite | church facilities | church planting | Ministry

How to Think Strategically (and Spiritually) About Church Expansion: An Aspen Podcast with Thrive Christian Church

By: Marian Liautaud
October 03, 2017

Whether you're considering the launch of your first multisite campus, thinking about planting your tenth church, or exploring the relocation of your existing church space, you must think strategically about that expansion process. The two guests on this fifth and final episode of the Alignment Conference Podcast know that reality all too well. For nearly three years, Bob Gray, project developer at Aspen Group, and Graham Richards, senior pastor at Thrive Christian Church, worked alongside each other exploring new growth opportunities within the church. And this past summer, all that work came to fruition with the opening of Thrive's new site in Westfield, Indiana. In this episode, Bob and Graham reflect back on that process, discussing the questions they worked through, including:  How do you know when it’s time to make a change, and, what kind of change should be made? On October 17, Thrive Christian Church will host the 2017 Alignment Conference, giving church leaders a chance to see firsthand the impact that a new, strategically-designed space can have for a church. Listen to this podcast, and you'll be well prepared for this year's event.  

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Culture | Leadership | Multisite | church facilities | church planting | Ministry

How to Respond to Your Church Planting Call: An Aspen Podcast Featuring Patrick O'Connell

By: Marian Liautaud
September 19, 2017

The tug. The calling. The spiritual tap on the shoulder. However you describe it, you're certain that God has laid it on your heart to plant a church. But you're less certain on what to do next. Where would you plant it? How do you gather a team? Do you have staff ready to launch these new churches? And if so, how will they actually do it? Who's going to pay for it? What kind of budget is even needed? Or maybe you're on the other end of the spectrum. Maybe you're an experienced church planter who now leads multiple campuses. How do you not only hold it all together but also maintain energy as you try to keep your organization moving forward? In episode 4 of the Alignment Conference podcast, Patrick O'Connell, director of NewThing Network, answers several key questions about church planting and expansion strategies. Whether you're brand new to church planting or a seasoned veteran, Patrick shares a wealth of information for church planters and leaders who are eager to answer God's call to plant a church.

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Culture | Leadership | Multisite | church facilities | church planting | Ministry

Taking New Ground for the Kingdom: An Aspen Podcast Featuring Dave Travis

By: Marian Liautaud
September 05, 2017

Whether it's pursuing a new geography, a new people or ethnic group, or a new generation, growing or expanding your church through a multisite approach involves taking new ground for the Kingdom. But what are some of the biggest challenges you'll likely face as a pastor when launching your first multisite church? And how about church mergers? Is that a consideration for your church? What's your plan for leadership succession? Better yet, what makes a great multisite leader in the first place? Don’t worry. You’re not the only one asking these questions. In episode 3 of the Alignment Conference podcast, Dave Travis, CEO of Leadership Network, pulls from his 20+ years of experience with multisites to offer his thoughts on the obstacles you'll confront along the way toward launching your next congregation, ways to prepare your leadership team, and what to consider with church mergers, acquisitions, and adoptions.  

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Culture | Leadership | Multisite | church facilities | church planting | Ministry

Is Your Church Ready for Multisite?: An Aspen Podcast Featuring Jim Tomberlin

By: Marian Liautaud
August 16, 2017

You've thought about going multisite. You've even talked about what that could mean for your church. But how do you know if you're ready to make the move? After all, multisites seem risky—church planting too. You've seen other churches in your community try them and fail. If only you knew what mistakes they may have made, and how you can avoid them. Fondly referred to on this podcast as the "godfather of multisite," Jim Tomberlin is the founder of MultiSite Solutions and a recognized leader in the multisite movement. In Episode 2 of the Alignment Conference podcast, Jim offers three questions you can begin asking now to know if you're in a good position to move toward multisite, along with several lessons learned from churches who made some mistakes along the way to launching their next church.

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Culture | Leadership | Multisite | church facilities | church planting | Ministry

Responding to Your Vision of Church Expansion: An Aspen Podcast

By: Marian Liautaud
July 27, 2017

If your church wants to expand to more locations, you must first know the questions to ask:  What does "going multisite" mean? And a "church plant" . . . is that the same thing? How do other churches make a decision to expand? How might it affect the leadership and operations within my church? In Episode 1 of the Alignment Conference Podcast, Brooke Hempell, senior VP of research at Barna Group, shares what she learned when asking church leaders around the country these same questions—all compiled in the More Than Multisite research study. And if you're not a numbers person, don't worry. In this conversation, Brooke helps make sense of the data in applying it to your vision of church expansion.

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Church Design | Culture | Church Construction

Church Design Through a Mother's Eyes

By: Rosie Mitchell
May 11, 2017

When I first started working on architecture projects for churches, I began to see ministry space with a more critical eye. I became aware of traffic flow, aesthetics, and details of how church buildings were laid out. But it wasn’t until my first child was born that I began to see ministry space through a new lens—a mother’s eyes.

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