Churches are approaching capital building projects differently and in more unique ways than ever before. The effects of the recession and the changing habits of our culture have driven a growing number to lay aside the more traditional 36 month campaign for much shorter options. While their reasons are greater than pure fund-raising strategy, the good news is that the results appear to be as good as the traditional approach when it comes to total dollars raised.Read More >
Three years ago a large church of 4,000 merged with a smaller church of 1,500 people, and the pastor of that smaller church, Terry Crist, became the senior pastor. The other pastor, Gary Kinnaman, stepped into a pastor-at-large role with his own personal ministry. Word of Grace church of Mesa, AZ, and CitiChurch in Scottsdale, AZ, chose a new name, City of Grace.
The story of that merger was told in the January 2009 issue of Church Executive. In a time when mergers, in addition to multi-site expansions, are becoming more attractive [see sidebar article on another Arizona merger],we visited again with Pastor Crist to see how the merger was progressing.
“Pastoral transitions are difficult under any circumstance,” Terry Crist reflects. “In our case there were several layers to the transition. On the surface, there was the pastoral transition from Gary Kinnaman to myself. A little deeper there was a generational transition with Gary being a Boomer, and myself being a Gen-X-er. At another level there was a transition in our style of worship and teaching.
Young preachers often aspire to lead a megachurch at one point in their ministry career. Only a few leaders realize this goal, but even fewer have an opportunity to serve as the lead pastor of multiple megachurches. Gene Appel is one member of this very small fraternity, and has effectively led three growing megachurches during his still young ministry career. Appel, 51, started as the lead pastor of Central Christian Church in Henderson, NV, a suburb of Las Vegas. During his 18-year ministry at Central, the church grew from an attendance of a few hundred to more than 7,000 then. Today, Central averages more than 15,000 in attendance.Read More >
In 1990 Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to create a special immigration status for ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations. With recent passage of restrictive immigration legislation in the state of Arizona (the now famous or infamous SB 1070) and similar legislation pending in several other states, there has been a growing concern among religious and ministerial workers as to their status or continued status in the U.S. workforce. Further, the Homeland Security department continues to push for inspections of religious organizations in an effort to prevent radical groups from using these special visa programs to get terrorists into the country. Since its inception, reports of rampant fraud have abounded in the guest worker visa program despite attempts to correct this wrong.Read More >
Church Executive Magazine is giving away an iPad 2 to a lucky subscriber and Facebook fan… Will it be you? Visit www.ChurchExecutive.com/ipad for more details!Read More >
Experience has shown us that Vacation Bible School is still effective in reaching kids for Christ. Dating back to 1894, how do churches keep this program relevant to boys and girls today? The greatest change I have seen in VBS in my 19 years as a children’s director is the curriculum. Years ago we had a Bible story each day with a few basic activities. Of course we added fun songs, crafts and games to make it exciting for the kids, but it was mainly an extension of the regular Sunday study.Read More >
I once served under a leader who said he didn’t have a vision beyond the next 12 months. His point was that everything changes rapidly, and no one knows the future. So why plan beyond what you do not know for certain? In looking far into the future, he believed leaders wasted too much time on fruitless thinking in which attainable goals are never achieved.
He had a point. Much time, brain energy, printed paper and blogosphere megabytes have been wasted on fruitless plans for an uncertain future. Despite the downsides of wasted time and premature predictions, I believe the best leaders risk being wrong for the sake of a better understanding of where we might end up; that’s part of what makes a leader. Leaders move followers toward something — goals off in the distance and in the future. Allow me to risk being doubly wrong — sharing with you not only 10 church trends for the next 10 years, but ones that may be unexpected to some. I believe these trends are critical for leaders to know as they lead their churches to advance God’s kingdom in the coming decade.Read More >
Sociologist Robert Putnam is well known for the defining work a few years back called Bowling Alone and later, Better Together. Now he and David Campbell have produced a study on religion in America, producing statistics and trends that may not entirely please the evangelical community. In American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Putnam and Campbell point to a strength in the American character — it’s the word grace in the book’s title. “The web of interlocking personal relationships among Americans of many different religions,” Putnam says in response to questions on the book from Church Executive.Read More >
Northland, A Church Distributed uses the Internet to reach people, and works with Global Media Outreach around the world. When Northland, A Church Distributed received its name, the Longwood, FL, congregation was intended to be “a distribution center for whatever God has given us,” says Dan Lacich, pastor for distributed sites. “It’s kind of a fancy name for the fact that you are the church wherever God has put you, wherever you have been distributed throughout your day and week.”Read More >
Each year thousands of management and leadership books are published. And while each of them may provide valuable information, there are some that stand out and speak to you in ways that have immediate impact on your ministries. The editors of Church Executive magazine seek your opinion about recent books related to your work and mission. Let other church leaders know which recently published church leadership and management titles you have read that are thought-provoking and insightful. Which of these books would you recommend to your peers? You may vote for multiple books. At the conclusion of the voting process one person will be chosen at random to receive a copy of each book presented.Read More >