As a founding pastor of a church plant in North Carolina during the 1990s — managing more than 200 volunteers every week — a key component of success was tracking their interests, skills and spiritual gifts. Then, I needed to be able to apply that information to finding volunteer opportunities for all of them… all while managing schedules and avoiding volunteer burnout.
Debi Nixon wears many hats at Church of the Resurrection, a United Methodist congregation of nearly 20,000 members. Her title is broad in scope; but to put it succinctly, she’s a connective leader, helping the church implement its vision and move forward in the right direction.
Are churches in danger of missing the mark? I believe so. The good news is that it’s not too late to see Millennials worshiping together with their parents and grandparents in inter-generational worship. Such an occurrence honors God and opens the door to the inevitable transition in generational leadership ahead of us. This vision represents a longing present in the Millennial worldview that has not yet coalesced into typical church life. I believe it can.
In pursuit of this vision, I have identified four key values that drive Millennials. How a local church relates to its Millennial members with respect to these values will likely determine the future of thousands of churches over the next decade.
Most people don’t like change. Most leaders want to challenge the status quo. Leadership is, in part, the process of helping people see the need for change, embrace the vision for change, and then implement the change.
As families return from summer vacation, there’s no better time than autumn to grow the church. Fortunately, mobilizing and streamlining those growth efforts — even on the go — just got easier with a one-year, free app giveaway from Redmond, WA-based eChurchGiving and Pushpay.
Those among us who have it, often prefer to try to cope with it, live with it, or hide it from others. And yet, this so-called invisible disability affects about 20 percent of American adults! This means that potentially, one out of five of congregants are not hearing messages and music that inspire them each week in your house of worship.
Scheduling can be a nightmare. Overbooking rooms. Double-booking church equipment. Accidentally scheduling two big functions on the same day. No matter the church size, the story is the same.
Two decades ago, we were using spreadsheets that needed to be emailed around to the various teams to keep track of who was serving each Sunday. A few years after the church launched, I was able to hire an administrative assistant to help me with the immense workload. But, after 18 months of frustration due to the overwhelming logistics of scheduling all those volunteers, she burned out … and she quit.
Back then, wCalendar_1e didn’t have the tools in place to effectively support our ministry processes. Sending spreadsheets back and forth all week wasn’t an efficient way of managing the schedules for hundreds of volunteers; it just led to confusion and frustration.
Now, the technology is available to streamline these processes. When implemented correctly, church management software simplifies scheduling every aspect of an event — including the crucial volunteers.
Jonathan Stockstill was 30 years old when his father, the Rev. Larry Stockstill, turned over to him the leadership of Bethany Church. Interestingly, Larry was the same age as Jonathan when he took over for his dad, who founded the church in 1963.
Jonathan has led music at Bethany since he was 17. He says he always felt that he would be in full-time ministry, but it was not until he was in his mid-20s that he began to sense a pastoral call upon his life. At the time, he was leading worship and traveling with a band called Deluge. He wrote songs, recorded projects and did music tours, but he says God was dealing with him about a different kind of ministry. Jonathan also did several evangelistic crusades and went through a season where he felt he might plant a church in his late ‘30s.
“But God had a different plan,” he says.