" Even though I didn’t understand the language being spoken, I clearly understood the purpose and meaning behind the act of giving praise, acknowledging our blessings, and offering one’s self to be of service through prayer." — Amanda Simpson
"I have often felt as if I can see God in the faces of the congregation when I am singing." — Dori Hall
"The blessing of a caring community will be realized in countless ways." — Debby Kirk
"Do you know a young seeker who has an inquisitive spirit? Is there a youth in your congregation who is ready to explore faith at a deeper level?" — Debby Kirk
Tim Shapiro, from the Indianapolis Center for Congregations, believes that vibrant congregations exhibit a commitment to increasing congregational capacity. As demands on congregations grow, clergy and laity struggle to “maintain agency over their problems rather than the problems having hold on them.
Serving a church without a written job description is like embarking on a long trip without a road map.
After thirty years of service, the pastor of Community Pine Church retired. For the majority of members, he was the only church pastor they had ever experienced. Lay leaders quickly formed a search committee to get started on finding an interim pastor. Any step that might delay them seemed a waste of precious time. They feared the months between pastors could deplete resources and members’ energy. After some discussion, the committee produced a vague document about the congregation and the kind ...
A Reflection on Mentored Relationships This reflection offers insights about our new Mentored Relationships model for leadership development. Karen Ziel, Minister of Faith Formation and Leadership discussed our pilot program with the two Christian Education professionals engaged working together. The mentor, Ms. Karlene Archambeault, has been the Co-Director of Christian Education at the First Congregational Church of Southington, CT. since 1990. The mentee, Ms. Jessica Lyman, is the Director of...
Although megachurches garner a great deal of attention, these supersized congregations comprise only a small fraction of all worshiping communities in the U.S. The current estimate is that only about 1,650 megachurches (worship attendance exceeds 2,000) dot the landscape out of a total 330,000 congregations across America. In fact, most churches are small: two out of three Protestant churches attract less than 100 worshipers in a typical week
After months of meetings, the long-range planning committee of Epiphany Church submitted a report to the congregation’s board. The report highlighted three important conclusions: (1) the average age of regular worship attendees is going up while worship attendance overall continues to decline; (2) action steps must be taken immediately; and (3) major changes are needed in ministry priorities. After careful review, the board laid out five possible courses of action. How did Epiphany Church board ...