Do you remember the first time you shook someone’s hand after Covid restrictions were lifted? The moment for me was when I had someone visit my house, and even though restrictions had eased, we had this awkward social moment of not knowing if we should shake hands, or just say hello. It was kind of funny because we didn’t quite know what to do with our hands. For the first time in my life, I went many months without the normal day-to-day interpersonal experiences of shaking hands, hugging, or even sitting in a chair next to someone. It presents us a fascinating learning moment.
Is it possible to build excitement and momentum within your staff and congregation during a church construction process, even when things get a little dusty? The answer is yes! The construction process can grow ministry in unexpected ways. Our team partnered with The Bridge Church in Bradenton, Florida on a sanctuary renovation recently. Goal one was to help them keep their sanctuary open during construction, an approach we refer to as “Ministry in the Dust.” Now, the team looks back on the project with a fondness for how it energized their congregation. What did it take to build ministry amid construction?
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
While most people wind down the work week on Fridays, those of us in construction pick up the pace. Especially if we’re working on an Aspen Group “Ministry in the Dust” project. Recently, we had the privilege of partnering with The Bridge Church in Bradenton, Florida, using this type of approach for their sanctuary renovation project.
As a KidMin Specialist for Orange, I coach children’s ministry teams throughout the country and get a glimpse behind the leadership curtain of many different churches. During COVID-19, no area has been fraught with as many safety and logistical challenges as your children’s ministry. If you don’t have a kidmin leader who’s part of your church leadership team, it’s time to include them!
Most churches have learned how to use digital tools to continue to share the gospel and help people find an anchor in this storm. Week by week throughout the pandemic, churches have become more adept at producing online worship services and conducting small groups and children’s ministry via social media and video platforms. Now, the urgency of trying to figure out how to shepherd congregations virtually is giving way to a new question—what shape will ministry programs take in light of all we’ve learned during the pandemic?
Recently, I spoke with Pastor Ricardo Smith, also known as Pastor Ricky, the founder of Classic City Conference, and Josh Gregoire, Aspen's Church Relations Coordinator, to discuss this sold-out in-person event, still open to virtual attendees. Designed to reach pastors, ministers, church leadership teams, and community leaders around the country, the Classic City Conference features top-level speakers that will challenge, encourage, and equip attendees.
At the beginning of the COVID experience, within the Aspen leadership team, we discussed the importance of pacing ourselves as leaders because we had a sense that the pandemic was going to be its own marathon. Perhaps this season has felt like that for you, too—a marathon with more miles than you ever anticipated.
What do you need to recognize about shifts in culture now that will affect your church in the coming year? How can you find unity within your church? How can you keep running the race? These are questions we explored in a recent conversation with Karl Vaters, one of the leading voices for equipping leaders of small churches. Karl is the Teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and author of several books including, The Church Recovery Guide: How Your Congregation Can Adapt and Thrive after a Crisis, which was released this summer.
Churches are working hard to determine when and how to reopen their facilities in the midst of ever-changing COVID-19 parameters. As you relaunch your church for this next season of ministry, I want to offer some basic principles about design and space. There are two basic roles of your ministry space:
Typically, when we think of church parking lots, we consider issues of traffic flow, volunteer attendance, maintenance, and how many parking spaces we need to support our weekly guests. But during this COVID-19 season, we’re seeing a shift in thinking about parking lots. They're no longer merely a means to access the building. These expansive, open-air spaces have become an extension of the building and a crucial part of relaunching ministries in this COVID-19 era. In the following post, we share innovative ideas from our design team for how to maximize your church parking lot for weekly ministry during the pandemic and beyond.