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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. She shares stories about how Aspen designs, builds, and furnishes space for ministry impact.

Blog Feature

Multisite | Ministry | Community Impact

Strategies for Community Impact: How 3 Pastors and Their Churches Are Making a Difference

By: Marian V. Liautaud
January 23, 2020

What will it take for the church to regain its place in the center of our culture? I posed this question in a panel discussion with three visionary leaders: Tom Elenbaas, Harbor Churches; Mark Jobe, New Life Community Church; and Dave Ferguson, Community Christian Church. (You can see the full conversation here.)  

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Blog Feature

church facilities | Church Security | Church Safety

How to Prevent a Shooting and Other Security Risks at Your Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
January 15, 2020

Carl Chinn, a church security writer, researcher, and consultant, has been tracking deadly force incidents at churches since 1999. According to his findings, 2017 was the worst year for church violence with 118 violent deaths reported at houses of worship. Though statistically an active shooter is a low security threat for churches, gun violence is what makes the news and creates a ripple effect of fear among churchgoers.

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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 Culture

Top 5 Church Building Topics in 2019

By: Marian V. Liautaud
December 23, 2019

Every year we like to look back and see which topics featured on website addressed the top felt needs of our readers. Here is our round-up of the top five most-read articles and resources for 2019:

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Blog Feature

Church Design | church building

3 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Church Building Partner

By: Marian V. Liautaud
December 10, 2019

Your church has decided it’s ready to renovate or build a new facility. Your next big decision will be to determine who you’ll hire as your church building partner. Many church bylaws and rules of governance dictate a due diligence process that includes soliciting multiple firms with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) as a primary means for comparing building partners.

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Blog Feature

Leadership | Church Culture

5 Truths for Building Generous Givers in Your Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
November 12, 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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Blog Feature

Church Design | Project Profiles | Church Construction

Should Your Church Build a Gym?

By: Marian V. Liautaud
November 06, 2019

Anyone who considers adding a gymnasium to a church construction project or upgrading an existing gym space knows how large of a project it is to tackle. For some churches, building a gymnasium is a massive undertaking that reaps significant ministry rewards. For other churches, however, building a gym is a diversion from God’s plan and a waste of precious resources.

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Blog Feature

Church Construction | church facilities | New Additions

How to Create Intimacy in an 1,100-Seat Auditorium

By: Marian V. Liautaud
October 30, 2019

Since 1997, Community Christian Church has relentlessly pursued its mission of helping people find their way back to God. By 2010, however, it had become harder and harder to accomplish that mission at their main Naperville, Illinois, location. They had been holding five services every weekend in the “gymnatorium”—a gymnasium that doubled as an auditorium for Sunday worship.

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Blog Feature

Leadership | Communication | Church Culture

5 Steps for Building New Leaders in Your Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
October 21, 2019

When you see leadership potential in someone at your church, how do you develop them into leaders, especially when they’re new in the faith? According to Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church, a multisite church with 12 locations throughout Chicagoland (including 2 within prisons) and cofounder of NewThing Network and Exponential, it takes an intentional strategy of leadership development to grow new leaders.

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Blog Feature

church facilities | Church Culture | Community Impact

If Your Church Were Gone, Would Anyone Notice?

By: Marian V. Liautaud
October 11, 2019

When Brady Boyd was brought on as pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, it was to replace the founding pastor in the wake of a public scandal. “The staff was hurt and wounded and wondering if the church’s best days were behind,” said Boyd in an address he gave at the 2019 Outreach Summit. One hundred days after Boyd started at New Life, a gunman opened fire on the church’s campus, killing two teenage girls before committing suicide in the children’s wing. “Everyone wrote off New Life with these two tragedies,” he said.

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Blog Feature

Church Design | Church Construction | Renovations

When Your Community Changes: How One Rural Church Renovated in Response to Development

By: Marian V. Liautaud
September 25, 2019

When Christ Community Church was originally built, Simpsonville, SC, where the church is located, was a rural setting. Today, Simpsonville is a rapidly developing suburb. Streets surrounding the church have become much more heavily travelled, and the increased noise from traffic was making it difficult to hear within the sanctuary during worship services.

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