What is context in your community? What surrounds your church? Are you in the inner city? Are you in an affluent suburb? Do you have major employers that have moved to town or have moved from town? Is there a big plant closing? What are your demographics? Are you in Jerusalem or Judea or Samaria, or are you the end of the earth? Your context is what surrounds you. It is your culture.
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?”
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
When President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 into law in December of 2017, church leaders wondered about the new law’s implications for ministry in 2018 and beyond. In particular, would the substantial increase in the standard deduction affect pledges for capital campaigns and overall giving?
“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30). At Aspen Group, we have much to be thankful this year. We’re grateful to be fulfilling our mission—creating space for ministry impact—with a variety of churches in Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and beyond.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pastors: are you throwing your hands in the air, ready to quit? Not sure where to go next in your ministry or what God is calling you to? Experiencing burnout or exhaustion? Whether you're a seasoned pastor or you're diving into your very first church plant, chances are slim that everything in your ministry has gone off without a hitch. Maybe you're at a point in your life where you simply feel... stuck.
If your church wants to expand to more locations, you must first know the questions to ask: What does "going multisite" mean? And a "church plant" . . . is that the same thing? How do other churches make a decision to expand? How might it affect the leadership and operations within my church? In Episode 1 of the Alignment Conference Podcast, Brooke Hempell, senior VP of research at Barna Group, shares what she learned when asking church leaders around the country these same questions—all compiled in the More Than Multisite research study. And if you're not a numbers person, don't worry. In this conversation, Brooke helps make sense of the data in applying it to your vision of church expansion.