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.
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.
What will it take for the church to regain its place in the center of our culture? I posed this question in a panel discussion with three visionary leaders: Tom Elenbaas, Harbor Churches; Mark Jobe, New Life Community Church; and Dave Ferguson, Community Christian Church. (You can see the full conversation here.)
Healthy churches are led by leaders who are intentional about coaching up and leading others on their team. But how do pastors do this well? In Tom Verducci’s classic book, The Cubs Way, he chronicles the team’s owner Tom Ricketts’s acquisition of Theo Epstein to head all baseball operations, the subsequent construction of the team, and manager Joe Maddon’s leadership style, which he calls his “13 Core Principles Of Managing.”
When Julie Bullock, Senior Generosity Strategy for Generis, guides leaders on how to inspire true, transformational giving in their church, she uses a “ham or eggs” model to illustrate the difference between transactional and transformational giving. Bullock discusses the high cost of output-focused giving. You can read about this in Part 1 of this two-part blog series on inspiring total generosity in your church. Instead of focusing solely on outputs (amounts and/or percentages of giving) when it comes to giving in your church, leaders should focus their people on the heart condition and place of all givers who are exploring and growing in their own discipleship journey. In this post, Bullock identifies five types of givers and how to celebrate generosity as part of their overall discipleship journey.
Julie Bullock, Senior Generosity Strategist for Generis, likes to talk about giving in terms of ham and eggs. “It’s the notion that when the pig produces the ham, there is a total transformation that happens,” she explains. “The pig is never the same. You can't get the pig back to its original form. For the pig, it was a total commitment.