find and use resources
You have two choices. When your congregation is preparing for strategic planning, you can concentrate on your weaknesses or you can concentrate on your strengths.
Robert W. Wendover, director of the Center for Generational Studies, has written an intriguing article about the challenges of decision-making for digital natives. Digital natives are persons who grew up with digital technology.
Every pastor, rabbi, imam and congregational leader needs to read Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It). Author Robert D. Lupton explains how many, if not most, well-intentioned, congregationally-based charity initiatives make things worse rather than better.
“The difference that this project has made is in the attitudes and hearts of the people... where once they thought they couldn’t, they are now stepping out in faith and making it happen! They are seeing all kinds of possibilities now and are no longer hesitant to try,” said Sheridan First United Methodist Church Pastor Carol Fritz.
When the congregation was accepted into a Center education and grant program, its leaders found benefits beyond the updated technology that they sought.
Many congregations turn to the Center for Congregations for resource recommendations around leadership development. The topic of “leadership” is big and hard to define. That’s because the attitudes and behaviors that comprise leadership are many, highly contextual, and can be so subtle that they’re hard to detect.
“I just spent most of the morning writing checks and addressing envelopes. I am going to learn to do this online if it kills me!” My 78-year-old mother has taken over finances and bill-paying since my father’s death, and she recently declared her intention to join the ranks of those who do the majority of our personal business electronically . . . including our charitable giving.
Does your congregation need to change? Maybe so. Maybe not.
“What’s the catch?” is a question I have heard when introducing the services of the Center for Congregations, which are generously funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc. A diligent skeptic can find one “catch:” learning. The mission of the Center is to strengthen Indiana congregations by helping them find and use the best resources to address the challenges and opportunities they identify. Then we share nationally what we