Two Realities of an Assertive Social Media Strategy

The “face” of a congregation needs to be its key leader, not its handsome edifice. Prospects will ask whether they can trust the leader and find his or her message inspiring. They won’t ask what the congregation did fifty years ago or why the liturgical space is the way it is.

Social media will put the pastor out front. Instead of trying to reach people through a traditional church newsletter describing institutional activities, the pastor will be posting, blogging and writing essays — on many subjects, but in the consistent voice of the author and focused on the reader’s needs and interests, not on the church as institution.

read more

Bishop Spong – “The Cross as the Moment of Glory – He Did Not Die For Your Sins” – Sermon

The Cathedral of Hope, a congregation of the United Church of Christ, is based in Dallas, Texas, and is the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Local and national church ministries, outreach programs, pastoral counseling, television media and the internet touch thousands of lives each day.

read more

Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant

(Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice)

There is a problem in the black church. It is a problem with black bodies and a blues problem. This book addresses these problems head-on. It proclaims that as long as the black church cannot be a home for certain bodies, such as LGBT bodies, then it has forsaken its very black faith identity. The black church must find a way back to itself. Kelly Brown Douglas argues that the way back is through the blues.

read more

Is the Confederate Flag Debate a Distraction From the Real Problem?

The words of Bree Newsome rang out across the capital, “In the name of Jesus, this flag must come down.” Having scaled up the flag pole, Newsome did what many have been asking for since the shooting at Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina. Newsome took action into her own hands and the symbol of an African-American woman removing the confederate flag that has flown over the state since the time of Jim Crow was a powerful action of resistance, power and pride.

read more

Desmond Tutu’s Advice on Forgiving Our Enemies

“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.” —Desmond Tutu

read more

Using social media to grow your church

Any enterprise needs fresh people. Without 20% new members every year, a church won’t keep up with attrition. Ideas will go stale. Even regulars will lose interest. Your goal is to draw people into the space where you can “touch” them, that is, get their email address and start sending them pertinent emails. Your blogpost, therefore, should have a “call to action” link that invites them to read more, download a paper on this topic, subscribe to your blog – not attend your church, for that is way premature.

read more

Bishop John Shelby Spong: Why Atonement Theology will Kill Christianity

Speaking at Community Christian Church of Springfield, MO, Bishop Spong gave us a taste of sections of his next book which will be on the Gospel of Matthew. In this lecture he is speaking to the need for the modern church to abandon its outdated commitment to belief in substitutionary death/atonement theology.

read more

Three High-Value Tasks for Summer

    Here are three high-value tasks for church leaders to undertake in summer — in and around your highest priority: taking a vacation! Get your data systems in order   You need a tracking system to …

read more

Maintain Multiple Pathways to Affiliation

The final stage of an effective membership recruitment process happens when the constituent actually affiliates with your congregation … always remember that recruitment of new constituents isn’t the final stage of membership development. Now you need to work at retaining them and helping God to transform their lives.

read more

American Atheist: An Oxymoron?

  Before you get all excited about the Pew Research results and begin thinking that the rising number of those who report no religious affiliation means a more rational approach to all things religious, think again. Yesterday’s release …

read more

Helping Leads move to “Yes”

Important reminder: Working with Leads will sound familiar. It’s close to what we know how to do. But it’s the third stage in membership development, not the first, and without the hard work of stages one (“Touches”) and two (“Prospects”), this third stage will never happen.

read more

Connecting with “Prospects”

If “touches” are the many thousands whom your church touches in any way, “prospects” are touches whom you stimulate to take some interest in who you are as a faith community and what you do, especially in mission and ministering to people. Take it as a given that, at this point, they aren’t the least interested in how you worship, the traditions you observe, who presides at your altar, the quality of your facilities, or your history. If that’s all you have to tell them, you are lost.

read more

Book Review: Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance

“This is Robin Meyers at his pastoral and prophetic best. Read it, and then for the love of God—RESIST!” –Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

read more

Reconciliation as Vocation

In Christian circles the work of peace and reconciliation is put forward as a something to which all Christians should aspire. That is, to be Christian is to be called to make peace with one another and the world.

read more

Rethinking Membership Development

A day did exist when a church could grow and thrive by opening its doors on Sunday and welcoming whoever arrived. Knowing how to welcome regulars and visitors was as much evangelism as a congregation needed to do. That day ended long ago. Nowadays, most churches don’t have enough visitors to offset the inevitable attrition that happens when people die, move out of town, or lose interest. And “regular attendance” now means one or two Sundays a month, not three or four.

read more
}

Pope Francis Slams GMOs and Pesticides for Environmental and Social Damage

On the subject of GMOs Pope Francis states; “It is difficult to give an overall judgment on the development of genetically modified organisms (GMO), plant or animal, for medical purposes or in agriculture, since they can be …

read more

Touch Management

No longer can congregations focus all of their energies on Sunday morning worship. They can’t just open the door on Sunday and expect people to walk through. The flow of visitors isn’t enough to compensate for attrition, and people’s needs are too varied.

read more

Get With It, Boards

Yes, both transparency and engagement add to the board’s work. But resolving the issues won’t mean a thing unless these two steps are taken. Keeping constituents in trusting mode and engaged is the board’s primary work.

read more