Small is big.
‘Canada's singing priest’, Rev. Mark Curtis said, "Ministry is about the little things.” Continuing with COVID in 2021 means large projects and grand community ministry may be difficult, but small bits of gracious serving and incorporating mini-spiritual disciplines is certainly doable. In fact, sometimes the baby-steps of faith enrichment are much more transformative in people's lives because they are easier to do. Read, Tiny Things: Cultivating Micro-Practices in Congregational Life, by Lee Ann Pomrenke, for suggestions.
Happening New Year!
Congregations, like all organizations, are riding the wave of this change era. No doubt, the pandemic has been a challenge, but it's also opened up exciting, new opportunities for ministry. Learn about the signs of things to come in this article, 8 Trends Impacting Church Leadership for 2021, by Doug Powe and Ann A. Michel. It is published on the Leading Ideas website, by the Lewis Centre for Church Leadership.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #233
Profound pandemic principles. As difficult as COVID-19 has been to all of our lives and our congregations, what we are learning about ourselves as faith community is truly remarkable. In every difficult situation there are always graced moments and redeemable points. It's also helpful if we are able to name these as markers of vitality as we move forward in a new year.
Learn more about these lessons in the article, What Congregations Can Learn from the Pandemic, written by Sarai Rice of The Congregational Consulting Group.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #232
Modes to Joy! Move beyond the Advent devotional and practice Christmas at home. Discover ways to 'practice' living with joy throughout the Christmas season with a neat, little free resource, A Daily Guide to 12 Days of Christmas Joy. Written by Patricia Lyons, this printable (pdf) 'Guide to Joy' helps individuals and families enrich their devotional life with scripture, prayers and engaging readings from Christmas Day through to Epiphany, Jan. 6th. (The Rev. Dr. Patricia M. Lyons is Senior Advisor to the Dean for Evangelism Initiatives at Virginia Theological Seminary, VA.)
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #231
What? Listening is critical for congregational lay and clergy leaders to ensure they ministering effectively. Gathering feedback, comments, questions and concerns is part of the listening process for churches. It`s especially important that we listen to a variety of voices too. Learn some best practices from Ron Edmondson`s article, 5 Ways to Hear Different People as a Leader.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #230
Nurture, not nickels and noses! Vitality in small churches (and any size churches) cannot be solely measured by offerings and average Sunday attendance. What most counts is how people are being supported to grow in their baptismal calling, as disciples. Regardless of age or background, each of us is encouraged to mature in our faith. Read about this Canadian leader`s perspective in Discipleship in the Small Church, an article by Ron Johnston, Director of Small Church Connections
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #229
Reach young adults, meeting them where they are - online.
Young people who have a faith background are often seeking to explore discipleship in ways that are natural for their generation. They also are curious to grow in their understanding of identity, belonging, and purpose related to their spirituality. To learn more read, Connecting with Young Adults through Online Ministry, an article by Chris Wilterdink, published by the Lewis Centre for Church Leadership.
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #227 Reimagining Christmas. Festive celebrations for the Advent season, Christmas through to Epiphany, will look different this year. As we endeavour to protect our neighbours and community through COVID protocols we have to find ways to adapt or host new activities and safe welcoming worship times. Here's a great site that features website, food-related, community service, worship, creative time and social ideas. For more infomation visit: http://nspeidiocese.ca/news/six-minute-study-226 Read More
SIX-MINUTE STUDY #226 Staying connected as community is challenging these days. One of the things people say they most miss from their usual involvement in faith congregations is the lack of connection. We are distanced by masks, two meters' space, Zoom and especially our joyful social times enjoying coffee hour or a potluck supper. Explore the importance of these connections in John Wimberly's article, called, The Secret Sauce of Congregations. https://www.congregationalconsulting.org/the-secret-sauce-of-congregations/