Another Year End Review

This set of articles comes from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership out of Wesley Seminary in Washington, D. C. The Lewis Center is a long-trusted source of research, thinking, and developing curriculum to help churches function at their best. My hope in posting them is that you can see where we at Skyland are not alone in how COVID has impacted us and how we are a part of trends that extend throughout the country. I’m sure you will find something on this list to spark your thinking.

What Will Your Church Look Like Post-COVID-19?
Barry Winders says the COVID-19 crisis is a hinge point for the church. This pivotal time demands mission-focused leaders lest the church slip back into the busyness and nonmissional activities of the pre-COVID-19 past.
Read more now.
8 Trends Impacting Church Leadership for 2021
In January, Doug Powe and Ann Michel of the Lewis Center identified eight notable trends in 2020’s swirl of change. Some trends have been underway for some time, but accelerated significantly in 2020, for example the church’s embrace of online ministry. But in other areas, the events of 2020 have led to renewed emphasis on the basics — prayer, fellowship, faith formation, and the call to racial justice.
Read more now.
There’s No Going Back to the Pre-Pandemic Church
Kay Kotan says many churches feel a natural desire to return to the familiar, comfortable patterns of the past. But churches that embrace this time of disruption as a catalyst for lasting change are most likely to be vital in the post-pandemic world.
Read more now.
What’s Keeping Younger People from Ordained Ministry in the United Methodist Church?
Ann Michel shares the results of an informal survey among younger adults who have sensed a call to ministry in the UMC but have opted against ordination. While concerns about current denominational struggles are top of mind, a myriad of other factors are also at play. The good news is most could be addressed if we have the will and the wherewithal.
Read more now.
8 Keys to Improving Livestream Worship
Bob Whitesel has watched many online Sunday services to identify recurring weaknesses and help churches improve their livestreaming. He offers eight practical suggestions for engaging online worshipers more effectively.
Read more now.
7 Key Characteristics of Diversity-Oriented Churches
This article was published in 2017, but it is among the most read of 2021. Diversity-oriented churches, despite the challenges they face, are some of the fastest growing churches in the United States, says Brian Leander of Adelphi University. He names seven characteristics that help explain how these churches are able to embrace greater racial, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity.
Read more.
8 Financial Lessons for the Post-pandemic Church
Lovett Weems and Ann Michel share eight key lessons to help churches deal with the financial aftershocks of the COVID crisis. Now is the time to create a healthier financial future by managing resources wisely, engaging givers more effectively, and seeking more creative approaches to economic sustainability.
Read more now.
What’s Wrong with Thinking of Church as Family?
Lee Ann M. Pomrenke says the beloved metaphor of church as family can stand in the way of a congregation being truly open and inclusive. The church is a movement defined by shared values, commitments, and actions, not a household family linked by a shared heritage or appearances.
Read more now.
What Might the 2020 Census Mean for Churches?
Lovett Weems highlights key findings in the 2020 U.S. Census Report of significance for churches including an aging overall population, the first-ever decline in the white population, and greater diversity. He writes that the census results upend many of the working assumptions churches hold about their future.
Read more now.
7 Reasons You Must Not Abandon Your Online Services
Thom Rainer says it is a mistake for churches to give up their digital or streaming services after returning to in-person worship. He outlines seven reasons online worship can augment your place-based worship and reach the community.
Read more now.
10 Paradigm Shifts for Mission Renewal
Tim Snyder and Paul Erickson say that congregational renewal involves a new way of being church and new approaches to our foundational callings. They outline 10 new ways of thinking essential to reimagining the church and its mission.
Read more now.

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