Ah, Sunday morning. You get out of bed, start the coffee, hit the shower and get to church. You find a seat – always third from the center, left side, fourth row – and begin worship. Is Sunday morning feeling a little, well, ho-hum? Need to bust out of the sit and listen, stand and sing routine? Have I got a deal for you! This year, October 19th is identified as Laity Sunday. The theme, Disciples Called to Action: Engaging Small Groups, can be a fine starting point. However, as the General ...
What are the signs that your congregation is ready for a genuine renewal? There are four powerful characteristics that are present in almost every congregation that initiates a renewed vitality. These are clues at what to work on if you desire renewal. When they are present they are signs that renewal is possible.
Blend with your community.
This continues my series of blog posts on the eight strategies for dealing with messes from The Innovators Way by Peter Denning and Robert Dunham. Some great thinking there about how to lead a community into a new and greater fruitfulness.
- Declare it a mess.
- Learn and listen.
- Envision an approach.
Changing context requires an adaptive response. Congregations that thrive have leaders who practice the eight strategies of innovation. A consciously Christian life tends to empower innovation. The first practice of innovative leaders is Listen and Learn. The second practice addressed here is "envision new approaches." This is the practice of creative imagination.
I know you’re tired of hearing about change. Yet, you decided to start reading this. Too often we think of change as a kind of weather thing, everybody talks about it, but no one ever does anything about it.
Well, that’s partly right. You can’t stop change. But you can do something about it. Kris Kristofferson is credited with the quote, “If you can’t get out of it, get into it.”
How can we get into change? How can we engage with the changes in ourselves, in our churches and in our world in ways that will increase blessing? A change leader is someone who can do that – help us engage with the changes going on around us in ways that bless our neighbors and ourselves.
It was a joy to visit dozens of local churches, meet hundreds of laity and clergy, and listen to hopes and dreams. When I am asked how I will cope with such a large geographic territory, my honest answer is “think of the evangelism and growth possibilities in this vast region!”
For the past two years, the leaders of the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference have been diligently and faithfully working on the Vital Church Project. I would like to share some of the excitement of the "unveiling" of our Vital Church Project. It may well be the key to our successful achieving of a vision of congregations led by lay and clergy who are growing healthy vital congregations that change lives and transform communities!
Our Annual Conference efforts to support and resource you as you grow healthy vital congregations continues with the coming of Mike Slaughter to our Annual Conference session in June.
Let me share with you why I am excited about his coming!
Under the banner of "Embracing Change," conference leadership made some big promises and commitments at the last session of annual conference. What's happened since then? Here is one insider's scoop on what's been going on with a conference undergoing transition.