SIX-MINUTE STUDY #111
Your church website is the new front door. How many of us check websites for movie times, restaurant menus and for driving directions? More and more people are going online to explore congregations before they ever drive by your church. A website (or lack thereof) offers a first impression to potential newcomers. Read this article from Wycliffe College’s Institute of Evangelism (Ontario) by Joanna la Fleurcalled, “Your church website . . . through the eyes of a first-time visitor.”
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #110
Here is an Easter season story of renewal and hope from a real-life Canadian, Anglican example of a congregation engaged in vitality and missional ministry. From the Institute of Evangelism, Wycliffe College Toronto’s newsletter, read Rev. Gerald Westcott’s story called A School of Love in South River, Newfoundland.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #109
Mission: There are no quick and simple solutions to doing this well. Genuine missional engagement involves the cultivation of authentic, organic, and consistent relationships that lead to intentional discipleship. It takes time and considerable effort, but the joy of seeing someone grow in their relationship with Christ is one of the greatest rewards in life. Read this article from Lewis Centre for Church Leadership by Junius B. Dotson, called “Missional Engagement: It’s All About Relationships.”
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #108
Disciples make disciples. That is how each of us discovered faith. Someone introduced us to the God who loves us. How can we practically do this in a time when the topic of religion is a sensitive one? Read the Lewis Centre of Church Leadership article, “7 Steps for Making Disciples Through Relational Mentoring,” written by Ken Carter and Audrey Warren.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #107
Easter Sunday usually means welcoming new or infrequent guests to our worship. Take advantage of this opportunity by stepping up the hospitality and relationship-building within your congregation. Here are a couple articles with some simple tips.
Carolyn Moomaw Chilton is the Assistant for Evangelism and Stewardship at Grace and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. Read her article, “9 Ways to Welcome Church Visitors on Easter.”
Also see, “10 Ways to Provide A Welcoming Environment for Your Guests this Easter,” by Juan Sanchez.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #106
Many of our parishioners are avid Christian book readers. Here are a couple of good ideas about what to do with these faith-based titles. It’s a great way to share and to encourage Christian education in the church and wider community.
Ronnie Willerer, from Building Faith: a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary, wrote this brief article called, “The Congregation That Reads Together: A book basket Enhances Adult Education.”
First Presbyterian Church parishioners picked up on the idea of Little Free Libraries. They now offer good reads and serve their community of Birmingham, MI. Here’s their website that explains what they did.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #105
When we read the New Testament we see that the formation and growth of disciples happens best in small groups. Jesus created small groups - Peter, James, and John, the 12 Apostles, and even his friendship group, Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The early church grew because of the authentic faith and gracious loving care within small groups.
Learn how to start up your own small group gathering when you read this Alban at Duke Divinity School article called, Inviting People into Small Groups.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #104
It’s not too late to embrace a Lenten spiritual discipline. Maybe your routine is getting a little stale or you want to try something fresh to help you dive deeper in your faith and relationship with God. Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas.
From our Anglican friends at Virginia Theological Seminary, read Carolyn Moomaw Chilton’s article, “This Lent Add Instead of Subtract”
From Anglican Pastor and professor and priest, Rev. Winfield Bevins, “Fasting for Lent”
From BoldCafe.org and author, by Laura Gentry – “Three ways to add something for Lent.”
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #103
Lenten spiritual practices of self-examination, giving up/taking up, are a great idea for congregations. Seasonal disciplines during Lent are an opportunity for churches to take an honest look at themselves, to undertake an inventory of what’s working and what’s not, then reset (re-orient) for vitality.
Read the article, “A New Start in Lent,” written by Doug Powe, from the Lewis Centre for Church Leadership.
Be sure to check out the Related Resources at the bottom of the page too.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #102
St. Patrick’s Day is March 17. This is a day our secular society has embraced in a variety of ways, whether it be wearing green, decorating and consuming Shamrock-coloured beer. As a saint with ancient roots in Ireland, how can our congregations engage in celebrating and honouring this colourful Christian figure? Are there fun, educational and missional opportunities to explore with the wider community? Here are a variety of links to help with planning:
For All the Saints - Missionary Bishop in Ireland, 461 — Memorial, page 110
Building Faith – Virginia Theological Seminary (Anglican) – St. Patrick, Building Faith the Celtic Way, Craft
Ministry to Children – St. Patrick’s Day Ideas
Faith and Worship (Methodist) - The Influence of the Celtic Church
Patrick of Ireland - Society of Archbishop Justus
United Methodist Church – Discipleship Ministries – St. Patrick’s Page
Churchyear.net - St. Patrick’s background info
ST PATRICK: THE MISSIONAL LEADER - An interesting article by Jonathon K Dodson
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #101
Ready. Set. Go! A new round of Council meetings begins as parishes wrap up annual meetings. There are a few fresh faces around the table and much potential in the agenda for the year ahead. You have ministry dreams and require a few good men, women and youth. Read these articles about how to encourage greater congregational participation.
4 Ways to Engage Busy People by Doug Powe
10 Strategies for Recruiting Church Workers by Chuck Lawless
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #100
LENT begins Feb. 14. Whether you are part of a worship planning team, ACW, Men’s Breakfast, a small group leader or hosting a community all-ages event, here are some fresh ideas to consider. Amongst the links are instructions for things like:
Pancake Supper printable placemats (explains the Christian meaning of Shrove Tuesday = missional)
Living Well Through Lent 2018: Loving With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind, A Living Compass Seasonal Resource – A scripture study/devotional available. Review a free SAMPLE of the first week.
Available at a very reasonable price (downloadable) from Amazon
#LiveLent 2018 – a daily devotional from The Church of England
Psalms Colouring Posters & Pages (from Illustrated Childrens Ministry)
Anglicans Online | Resources for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter
Lent, Holy Week & Easter Resources - Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada worship website
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #99
Church councils and committees provide essential oversight and planning for the faith community. The role on these leadership teams is more important than ever! Opportunities for exploring new ways to connect people to faith, genuine Christian community and loving service have never been more needed in our communities. As we strive to be more missional in our congregations, we sense a fresh calling to approach ministry in exciting ways – using our unique gifts and interests to reach the world God loves. Read this article by The Rev. Canon Alissa Newton, from St. Columba’s Episcopal Church in Kent, WA., about the vocation of serving on Parish Council and similar church bodies. “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need.”
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #98
Annual meeting time is here again. This is one of the most exciting times in history to be serving in church leadership. There are so many important decisions to be made about doing missional ministry and being wise stewards of all that our generous God has gifted to us. How can we make a difference in growing the Kingdom this year? Read this inspiring article written by Donald V. Romanik, president of the Episcopal Church Foundation, that outlines the joys of being on a Parish or Church Council, or what he calls “vestry”. (Be sure to share this link with your parishioner friends!)
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #97
Lent arrives early this year, in just 5 weeks! Here’s a great link from Building Faith (A Ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary) to some resources to help you plan Lenten activities that will engage parishioners and hopefully, new people in things of faith. There’s something for all ages. Gather a few people and start planning now. This could be the best Lent ever!
LENT IN A BAG: AN ACTIVITY FOR CHURCH OR HOME
LENT-EASTER 2018: "THE GOOD BOOK CLUB" READS LUKE AND ACTS
ADULT STUDY FOR LENT 2018: "MEETING JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #96
A new year, a fresh start! How will things be different for you and your congregation this year? Chart a course for the way ahead by naming some of your hopes and dreams for 2018. Here are some ideas for your short list in this blogpost by Dr. James Emery White (Crosswalk.com).
It’s called, “New Year's Resolutions for You and Your Church.”