A Georgia church responds to the needs of its congregation by providing spaces designed for youth.
Kiosks don’t always fit the culture of the congregation, but online giving has a “up and to the right” trend line.
A fire rips through your facility just before the Christmas season.
St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield, IL, located about 40 miles southwest of Chicago, had a problem that many congregations are all too familiar with: The church and campus buildings had roofs that leaked and needed replacing. In the face of tough economic times, the congregation came up with a unique way to raise the funds. Their “Raise the Roof” campaign helped put a new roof over their heads and also got parishioners personally involved. St. Mary Immaculate Parish is a congregation of some 27,000 members in Plainfield, part of the Catholic Diocese of Joliet, IL. The church building opened in 1993 following a devastating tornado that hit the area in 1990, and other buildings followed as the church has grown during the past 20 years.
There must be a new book on leadership every week.
I remember meeting a single mom and her two sons after a church service one weekend. The eldest did not have a disability but the younger son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Psychomotor Retardation at the age of three. As I grew to know this mom, she shared that they had been asked to leave many churches because of her youngest son. The churches didn’t know how to care for him and instead of learning how to serve these families, they excluded them. In 2008 the UPI Health News published that 14 percent of children in the U.S. had special needs. The article stated that one in five families have a special needs child. The extra care needed to meet the demands of special needs children can be overwhelming for a family, and to be excluded from a place of worship can be disheartening to say the least.
Steve Gladen has been pastor of small groups at Saddleback Church since 1998, where he oversees more than 3,500 adult small groups. There he “loves seeing a big church become small through true community developed in group life,” says the flyleaf to his new book, Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities (Baker Books, 2011). In managing the group program, Gladen uses software he developed with the church’s IT department, and one he plans to share with other churches. “I sat down with our CIO and white boarded what we needed and it was provided. We hope to have it available to the public in late 2012.”
Gladen was off to South Africa, where he was teaching a two-day small group training to pastors in Johannesburg, within hours of responding to questions about the Saddleback group program for Church Executive.
Risk-taking is underestimated when it comes to church-going.
One surprising area of emerging legal issues is in regards to social media. The use of such sites by churches is so prevalent in today’s society, it is hard to believe that, not so long ago, most people had never heard of Facebook or Twitter. (Though, shockingly, there are still some people out there now who don’t know what a “Tweet” is!) However, over the past year lawsuits have been filed against churches which are centered specifically around the church’s (or the church’s employees’ or volunteers’) usage of these social media forums. Your first thought probably mirrors ours, which was “Huh?”