Sometimes Having a Smaller Group is Better

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I hope this resource article below will be an encouragement to those of us who lead smaller groups of students or adults. Sometimes having a smaller group enables deeper relationship building and growth in ways that a larger group would never be able to offer. Ultimately I think this resource helps us do what 1 Corinthians 7:17 says from the The Message “Don’t go wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live, Obey, Love and Believe right there!” 

http://www.tansquaredyouthministry.com/2016/07/rockin-youth-group-ten-or-less-students/ 

Encouraging Your Team (Worship, Youth, Elders, Leadership, Ushers, etc.)

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Everyone appreciates a little attention and care.  Here's a great list of ways to encourage your volunteers whether you're in children's, youth, adult, worship, or sports ministry. How do you invest in your team of volunteers?  

http://thechurchcollective.com/tutorial/worship-team-building-ten-ways-to-encourage-your-team

The Isolation Trap

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Many of the church leaders I've met find themselves so focused on the needs of others that they neglect to build a healthy community of friends around themselves. If we want to have longevity in ministry and lead in a way that is whole and healthy, it's important that we intentionally bring people around us that will build us up. The resource article below is a reminder of what kind of friends we should intentionally pull around us.   

http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/23010-pastor-isolation.html

A Habit of Fasting?

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Do you have a habit of prayer and fasting? How often? How long? Why? When?   

Hopefully this article will encourage you to be intentional with fasting and other spiritual formation practices as you lead those in you communities. Share in the comments what habits you've found particularly helpful. 

https://ministrytodaymag.com/leadership/pastoral-care/20391-prayer-and-fasting-in-the-life-of-a-pastor

Some Thoughts on Re-imagining Worship

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Here is an interview from a group in the UK called Fresh Expressions. I really appreciate the heart of this article as they talk about imagining a way to worship that is creative, centered around the particular culture of your community, and sustainable. Some good reminders, so that we're not taking on change just for the sake of changing.  

Along with this article, there are some other resource tabs on this website that might be helpful to check out.  

http://freshexpressions.org.uk/inspire-me/re-imaging-worship/ 

Coming back from Camp

Pic is from TFZ (German Teen Camp) 

Pic is from TFZ (German Teen Camp) 

"The routine is the necessary dirt for the inspiration to take root. Euphoria is only euphoria because it is brief. The everyday life of the Christian, then, is the time between the watershed moments that allow a soul to rest and to reflect."  -Quote from the article linked below

http://fishingforleviathan.com/?p=719

 

Many of us are recently returned from a church retreat or church camp.  The resource article here are some thoughts from a ministry leader about the process of coming home from camp.  It also speaks to the importance of church being community and helping our people establish routines of connecting with God. 

Is there anything intentional you do to help your people re-enter "normal" life?  

 

 

Worship in Times of Sorrow

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Times of sadness and sorrow are promised to us in our lives. With instant access to news and the trouble in our world, we must consider how this affects our communities. As leaders, how is it that we should respond in these circumstances? How do we corporately acknowledge and bring life during these times of sorrow? 

Here's a blog from Paul Bloche that addresses just that:

http://www.leadworship.com/pauls-blog/worship-in-times-of-sorrow/ 

Awareness

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"Wake Up, Oh Sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine upon you."  Eph 5:14

It so ease to go through our lives distracted or numb to what's truly going on around us. May this video be a reminder to come awake to the work of God around us and join in that good life.

https://fullerstudio.fuller.edu/ted-cosse-on-awareness/ 

When I was sick, you visited me...

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All of us will, at some point, know people who are sick or injured. Many times a personal visit could be a great encouragement or even a turning point in that person's healing journey. Even Jesus modeled this behavior when he visited the sick and infirm to lend a personal touch and presence. 

Visits to hospitals, care facilities, and even homes can seem awkward and difficult to carry out. This resource gives some important suggestions to help us engage in this important ministry of the church. Disclaimer: One important suggestion that isn't mentioned here is to know your own culture. Maybe there are some health professionals in your church community that can help you know and understand the health care culture in your city. 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2007/fall/20.69.html

What if... a Proposal of Art...

I've been to some fantastic farmers markets already this summer and the really good ones always have fresh produce, live music, clear signage, and really good art pieces. This experience got me thinking about how churches have a potential to host artists from the community. Maybe put in a little different terms, I wonder what would happen if we as the church took a major role in supporting and affirming the creative energies and passions of local artists for the building and good of our communities?

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Perhaps this idea could take root by first inviting artists out of your very own congregations to display their art in your buildings, to create art pieces based on your current teaching series, to display art at your next community meal, to invite children to do chalk art on your sidewalks near your church or possibly even to host a community art event in your space. Who knows what the result of this type of investment in our communities could be? I do believe that when we call forth the beauty and God given creativity in the people around us the grace of God is often revealed. 

To get your own creativity going... Here's a link to a guide on organizing an art and craft event:

https://meylah.com/meylah/6-basic-principles-for-organizing-an-art-and-craft-event

Facebook and the Digital Church

I know many of you aren't avid facebookers, but in our digital age we must consider the place of digital media in our lives. While the expanse of the net continues to grow and digital space encroaches all the more into our sacred spaces, what shall our response be? 

Here's an interesting article from relevant magazine about why Facebook can't replace the church. 

https://relevantmagazine.com/article/facebook-cant-replace-church/ 

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Next Generation Leadership Development

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One of the most important aspects of leadership development is that you have to be intentional about it.  Developing leaders (volunteers, paid staff, or community members) will not just happen on it's own, we must take steps to invest in others.  

Here's a blog post from a pastor about how his church intentionally goes about developing the next generation of church leaders. Just a quick note: he talks a good deal about how he does this with his paid staff... I think the principles he mentions can easily be transferred to volunteers, paid staff, and/or community members  in our churches. 

The Link:   

https://www.churchcommunitybuilder.com/blog/developing-the-next-generation-of-church-leaders/

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  1. Empower your leaders to equip others. The only way to multiply ministry impact is for church leaders to continually develop leaders within their specific areas of ministry. This is why it’s so critical to adopt an Ephesians 4 ministry model.
  2. Encourage church members to help you define a mission they can own. If you truly want your church members to become owners of your ministry, then allow them to be part of the process. Allow them to dream with your leaders about the impact you can make as a church.
  3. Equip your leaders to create environments where people within your church can go out and do ministry. Encourage your leaders to actively look for church members who are interested and passionate about ‘owning ministry’. Teach your leaders how to invest in them. Equip them with the resources and accountability structure they need to provide the things church members need to find their groove in ministry.