Monday Memo: Slippery Slopes

Terry Walton


Slippery Slopes I was thinking... Sister Joan Chittister has opened my eyes at many levels with regards to faith journey. She writes on the subject of humility words that struck a chord. Perhaps they will strike a chord with you as well: “…humility is the ability to submit ourselves to the wisdom of another. We are not the last word, the final answer, the clearest insight into anything. We have one word among many to contribute to the mosaic of life, one ...

Developing Leaders in Your Church: Great Inspiration in this 'Romans 12' Newsletter


Be sure to read this edition of the Romans 12 Newsletter! It's about a great leadership development initiative that includes spiritual formation, study, and reflection on ministry.  From Romans 12 Newsletter Issue #204 August 8, 2014 Growing Spiritual Leaders Dixon United Methodist Church in Dixon, California, has launched a leadership development initiative that includes spiritual formation, study, and reflection on ministry. Meeting monthly, over the course of nine months, leaders gather on...

Lovett Weems on Metrics: A Tool for Learning, Not Judging


Lovett Weems provides some insight into the Vital Congregations initiative that I found very helpful.   Metrics: A Tool for Learning, Not Judging by Lovett H. Weems, Jr.   The current focus on setting numerical goals for ministry and reporting on the results is not new, though it is now greatly expanded. In the past, virtually all the goals churches set had to do with money. The most obvious example is the annual budget. A budget is a goal that the church works all year to achieve, monitors the ...

Bullying: Resources for the church

Sybil Davidson


Back to school means another chance to take a look at what churches can do to help prevent or respond to bullying. I came across these resources for a pastor last year and they are still worth looking into now: General Board of Church and Society has a printable flyer on bullying as part of its domestic abuse material. Domestic Violence Brochures United Methodist News Service did a three-part series on bullying in 2010. You can find the stories here: Child ends life because of bullying  Bullied...

Survey Out: Ten Years of Changes in American Congregations


New Study Examines Ten Years of Changes in American Congregations HARTFORD, CT (September 17, 2011) Despite bursts of innovation, pockets of vitality and forays into greater civic participation, American congregations are less healthy today than 10 years ago. Among the warning signs for congregations are drops in financial health, continuing high level of conflict, an aging membership, fewer people in the pews, and decreasing spiritual vitality. Still, the decade saw increases in interfaith ...

A Compelling Look at Factors that Lead to Church Growth ... And Decline


If Churches Can Change, They Can Grow Shared from Lovett H. Weems, Jr An exceptionally revealing report on church growth is now available from the Faith Communities Today research project. Drawing on extensive survey data, noted researcher C. Kirk Hadaway paints a compelling picture of factors leading both to church growth and decline. Churches have differing degrees of control over these factors. Factors Beyond the Control of Congregations Region. If your church is in the South, it is far more ...

This is an Election Year. Do You Know What That Means?


With annual conference just a week away, along with the elections that take place every four years (a quadrennium), it may be helpful to review a few approaches to the voting process. First timers may feel like many Americans when they see their first Cricket game--baffled about what is going on and perhaps wondering "why?" What follows is not meant to place a value judgment on any aspect of the process nor is this meant to be an exhaustive primer.  This is simply an attempt at a quick unbiased...

How One Church Implemented "Five Practices"


I asked Nanci Hicks to share how her church is implementing Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. Here is what she wrote: Five Practices Implementation by Nanci McNeil Hicks    A personal ministry goal for work in this congregation is facilitating leadership development and creating an excellent culture for spiritual growth, faith formation, and community development in an environment of love that grows in grace and in service.    Leadership has been static between15 and 20 years in most ...

Check Out This Video


Northside Presbyterian had no trouble getting volunteers for leadership positions this year! Check out their video. 

The Right Visuals with the Right Words


The Wall Street Journal ran an excellent article by graphic designer Nancy Duarte on the importance of using the right pictures with the right words when you're making a presentation. Some of the points and tips she touches on are: We do lots of presentations these days, but "few people are trained in visual thinking." When pictures* and words are used well together it deepens the experience, "unifing mind and emotion." *But, they have to be the right pictures. "Keep slides simple." "A ...

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