With churches across the country forced to close their doors to avoid the spread of COVID-19, many pastors and leadership teams have been scrambling to figure out new ways to assemble for worship and fellowship. A church in Kentucky held a worship service in an unused drive-in movie theater, and many others are trying to learn how to livestream for the first time.
Editor's Note: Greg Snider and Josh Gregoire of Aspen Group presented a talk to a full room of leaders from across the country at Exponential in Orlando on March 3, 2020 on "3 Myths About Facilities that Keep Church Planters from Multiplying." Their presentation drew heavily from the same content featured in the post below. Based on positive feedback on the content of their talk, we're featuring this post again on our blog in case you missed it in previous weeks. Pastors who are focused on church planting and multiplying often focus on leadership and ministry as the key aspects of launching new churches. But one critical piece is almost always missing from the multiplication plan—a facility strategy.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Orland Park Christian Reformed Church in Orland Park, Illinois, was built in 1970. Over the years, pastors have experienced several physical barriers that inhibited the worship experience. In the sanctuary, there was a disconnect between the pastor and the congregation because of the positioning of the existing worship platform, which was too high and not wheelchair accessible.
In Europe, there are Gothic Cathedrals that draw visitors from all over the world. There’s one in Spain that took 400 years to build. (You thought your building campaign was long!) But, if you walk into that building today, it’s a museum. Additionally, the U.S. is filled with grandiose churches that seat 500, but only average 12 attendees on a Sunday. Churches that were once vital, powerful places that would make a difference in the community are closing. They were the hub of the immigrants, the places where the gospel was preached, where people were married, buried and baptized. Now they’re demolished or repurposed into condos. As a pastor in Chicago, I started to wonder, should we just abandon these buildings? Something struck my heart as I began to read scripture: What if these stained-glass window cathedrals were filled with young people attending these older churches? What if we were able to take what people sacrificed to build for the Gospel and now redeem these buildings for God?
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.
Churches once held a place of influence at the center of our communities. In the past, many hospitals, colleges, and social services were launched out of a vision to obey Jesus’ admonition to give to the poor, clothe the naked, care for orphans, and visit the imprisoned. Churches were viewed as an anchor in our communities, and they literally were given a central place in the town square.