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Aspen Group Blog

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

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church facilities | Church Security | Church Safety

3 Ways to Increase Security at Church

By: Marian V. Liautaud
September 10, 2019

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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Church Design | church facilities | Church Culture

How Better Sightlines from the Pastor to the People Makes for Better Preaching

By: Marian V. Liautaud
August 15, 2019

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.

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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.

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Church Design | church facilities

When Your Church Is Portable: 5 Ways to Create Effective Ministry Space

By: Shannon Jirik
August 07, 2019

Churches are popping up in schools, community centers, and warehouses. They’re meeting in movie theaters, coffee shops, and even comedy clubs. While many churches plant roots in permanent facilities, churches often start out mobile and borrow or rent space that's primarily used for another purpose.

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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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Multisite | church facilities | Church Culture

3 Myths About Church Facilities that May Be Keeping You from Multiplying

By: Greg Snider
March 12, 2019

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.

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Church Design | church facilities

3 Reasons Why It May Be Time to Re-Design Your Church

By: Derek DeGroot
November 01, 2018

It happens to most churches. You’ve been in the same church building for many years. It was great in the 70s and the 80s, but as your ministries have evolved, your building hasn’t. What worked well when you had adult Sunday School classes or when your children’s ministries didn’t include a large-group worship time, may now be misaligned space. Too often it's the physical space within a church building that defines the type of ministry that occurs. When we miss ministry opportunities because we have a facility misaligned with who we are as a church, it can become a serious stewardship issue.

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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 V. 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 V. 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 V. 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 V. 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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