congregation Archives - Church Executive


Outreach thru relationships

Roy Gruber serves a multisite (three campuses) congregation of 1,800 people.

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Reflecting forward

I’m sitting here trying to look ahead to next year and what it potentially holds.

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Apps have come to church

Apps are seen as an “innovative way for churches and ministries

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Back to the future: Kids learning in community

Standing in the middle of a movie theater lobby is usually no big deal (and certainly not a spiritual moment), unless it is the first Sunday morning of Promiseland, a new ministry to children in the early days of Willow Creek Community Church. Launching a ministry to kids in an out-of-the-box, rapidly-growing, already-influential congregation was a big deal; even bigger than I realized at the time, Willow Creek church in South Barrington, IL, about to surpass the 2,000 milestone in its third year, presented a brand new approach to “church” with fresh thinking from top to bottom – except when it came to children.

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More effective churches

The Willow Creek MOVE study follows on from the REVEAL survey in finding

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Best practices and role models: four churches, four sizes

First Baptist of Orlando is a role model of the strategy Becoming Christ-Centered, which senior pastor David Uth summarizes in a statement he routinely makes to his 6,000 congregants:

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New year brings renewed Bible engagement

There’s a renewed focus on the Bible in churches these days, as biblical literacy is making a comeback in congregations and publishing houses in the U.S. “What’s really encouraging to me is that deep Bible engagement within the congregation is eminently doable,” says Paul Caminiti, vice president of church and Bible engagement for the publishing firm Biblica. “But people today realize that we’re in trouble and that we’ve not given the Bible its due,” says Caminiti, himself an expert in this area. “There really is a Bible engagement vacuum in the church. I’ve watched lives transformed when pastors treat Bible engagement like a varsity sport. I’ve watched congregations transformed when instead of little camp fires, a big Bible engagement bonfire is built in the middle of the church.

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Meet Ken Whitten

Ken Whitten admits that his weakness can be that

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Who says small, rural churches can’t grow? Not Shannon O’Dell

Ever tempted to think “we’re just a country church of 30 souls, we’ll never grow much larger”? Or you’ve thought, “There’s no way we will ever see our church at 3,000 people.” Don’t tell that to Shannon O’Dell, senior pastor of Brand New Church in the small, rural church of Bergman, AR. O’Dell tells about his experience of raising up a church of 30 to 3,000 over just six years in Transforming Church in Rural America: Breaking All the Rurals (New Leaf Press, 2010). He talks about “the rules” about the rurals — “the unspoken but clearly understood values that permeate American Christianity’s beliefs about churches in the boonies.” Bottom line, he says, is “forget the rules.”

Church Executive shared some questions with Pastor O’Dell:

Describe the area in which the church is located; what is “rural” about the area? Bergman, AR, population 407, just got a Dollar General! There are no major employers in this town, but a great school and wonderful people. The Klu Klux Klan is headquartered just a few miles from our campus, but has no impact on slowing down the love of God to every race in our community.

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The Amiable Autocrat

Nice dictators exist, at least in the leadership sense. I refer to these types

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