Since 2014, Aspen Group has supported and partnered with NewThing, a dynamic and growing movement for church planters. NewThing helps leaders, churches, and church planters plant healthy reproducing churches to achieve the Jesus Mission in Acts 1:8, to be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — Ephesians 5:20 ESV We here at Aspen Group have many, many things to be grateful for—not just now in this Thanksgiving season but throughout the year. God has been good to us in 2019, connecting us with churches that are creating some amazing ministry opportunities in their communities.
In today’s world, we are constantly connected. Whether it’s Wi-Fi on planes and trains, or Bluetooth-enabled cars, or even waterproof devices that allow us to check e-mails in the shower, people are wired—and weary. Based on an Aspen/Barna study, the next generation is looking for a place to rest from their highly plugged in, fragmented lives. The church may be the perfect place for them to find it.
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.
In my article, “A Formula for Navigating Change at Church,” I share a tried and true pattern to help leaders discern if their church has the right components to effectively guide their congregation through change. Once church leaders have processed how the Change Formula applies in their environment, leaders often ask, “What can I do to take my church through change? What are the needed skills and competencies I should be focused on?”
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.
A church building is more than a place of worship. It’s more than a multipurpose space or classrooms. The building is the body language of the church. Everything about the space communicates who the church is.
I believe that God has called the Church to bring Kingdom culture to its communities; to be a Church in and for the community.
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.
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.”