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Aspen Group Blog

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

Marian V. Liautaud

Marian joined the Aspen team in 2014 as Director of Marketing. In this role, she puts her 20+ years as a writer and editor to work by sharing stories of ministry impact of churches Aspen has built. Marian oversees business development and all communications for Aspen Group.

Blog Feature

Leadership | Church Culture

5 Truths for Building Transformational Giving in Your Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
June 20, 2019

Sometimes, churches fall into a trap of thinking that building generosity for community impact simply means building something external like a community center or a coffee shop in order to inspire people to give more to the church. According to Julie Bullock, Senior Generosity Strategist at Generis, cultivating true generosity, actually has less to do with what people are giving to and more about what people are giving from.

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Church Culture | Father's Day

4 Keys to Building a Dad-Friendly Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
June 13, 2019

Kids play a significant role in helping parents select which church they'll attend. If children enjoy the teaching and activities offered at a particular church, this can have a strong influence on a mom and dad’s decision about that church. Along with considering how well their kids acclimate to a church, parents look for a lot of features when it comes to selecting the right church home.

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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

church facilities | Church Safety

When Your Church Is in the Path of a Deadly Storm

By: Marian V. Liautaud
June 05, 2019

On March 3, 2019, a tornado outbreak hit the Southeast. Over the course of 6 hours, a total of 41 tornadoes ravaged portions of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. One violent, long-track tornado killed 23 people, injured 97, and decimated the Alabama town where it first touched down. By the end of May 2019, 500 tornadoes were reported in the U.S., followed by massive rainfall and flooding. Many churches were leveled or severely damaged in these storms, and others have served as shelters for residents during and in the aftermath of devastating storms.

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Church Culture | Mother's Day

4 Ways to Make Space for Moms at Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
May 07, 2019

If you’ve got children and teens in your church, you likely have their mothers to thank for bringing them. In Households of Faith, a study produced in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries, data finds that mothers—more often than fathers, or any other category of frequent participants in households—are seen as the confidants, providers of support, and drivers of faith formation. They’re also the ones most likely to take the kids to church (79%) and teach kids about the Bible (66%), God’s forgiveness (66%), and religious traditions (72%).

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Culture | Millennials | church building

What Notre Dame’s Fire Reveals About Our Love for Church Buildings

By: Marian V. Liautaud
April 23, 2019

When footage of an inferno engulfing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris flashed across our news feeds, it felt as if the world collectively gasped. How could this iconic cathedral be at risk of total destruction? What would Paris be without Notre Dame to anchor her? One day later, the fire barely extinguished, $300 million was donated to restore the nearly devastated 800-plus-year-old building. Before the end of the week, donations had reached $1 billion and counting.

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Church Design | children's ministry space | Church Security | Church Safety

How to Create Safe, Secure Children’s Ministry Space

By: Marian V. Liautaud
April 10, 2019

When it comes to designing children’s ministry space, safety and security are the top priorities. “Security is the number one conversation churches want to have with us when we’re discussing a remodel or building project where kids space is addressed,” says Greg Snider, account executive for Aspen Group.

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Blog Feature

Leadership | Ministry

Celebrating 5 Types of Givers in Your Church: How to Inspire Transformational Generosity, Part 2

By: Marian V. Liautaud
March 06, 2019

When Julie Bullock, Senior Generosity Strategy for Generis, guides leaders on how to inspire true, transformational giving in their church, she uses a “ham or eggs” model to illustrate the difference between transactional and transformational giving. Bullock discusses the high cost of output-focused giving. You can read about this in Part 1 of this two-part blog series on inspiring total generosity in your church. Instead of focusing solely on outputs (amounts and/or percentages of giving) when it comes to giving in your church, leaders should focus their people on the heart condition and place of all givers who are exploring and growing in their own discipleship journey. In this post, Bullock identifies five types of givers and how to celebrate generosity as part of their overall discipleship journey.

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Blog Feature

Leadership | Ministry

Ham or Eggs?: How to Inspire Transformational Generosity, Part 1

By: Marian V. Liautaud
February 27, 2019

Julie Bullock, Senior Generosity Strategist for Generis, likes to talk about giving in terms of ham and eggs.  “It’s the notion that when the pig produces the ham, there is a total transformation that happens,” she explains. “The pig is never the same. You can't get the pig back to its original form. For the pig, it was a total commitment.

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Multisite | New Facilities

5 Tips for Launching New Churches

By: Marian V. Liautaud
February 12, 2019

We hosted a panel discussion about launching multisite churches with three visionary leaders and pastors: Tom Elenbaas, Harbor Churches; Mark Jobe, New Life Community Church; Steve Poe, Northview Church. Each pastor addressed challenges multisite leaders face, what they’ve learned personally since embarking on a multisite strategy, and tips for healthy growth. Here are five practical tips from our conversation:

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Blog Feature

Culture | Millennials

4 Things Millennials Wish the Church Would Be

By: Marian V. Liautaud
January 15, 2019

The mass exodus of Millennials (those born between 1984-2002) from the Christian faith has caused many leaders to wring their hands about the future of the church. Some have answered Millennials’ criticisms that the church is irrelevant and boring by trying to be trendy and hip. But an Aspen/Barna study—Making Space for Millennials—reveals that Millennials may be looking for just the opposite.

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