CATEGORY: Church Leadership
In their testimony at the 2019 National Gathering in Seattle, Heidi Husted Armstrong and Scott Lumsden talk about the story of First Seattle Presbyterian Church. This 30-minute video is a resource for any church group – the session, committees, or teams – to dig into what it takes to transform into the new thing in which God is calling them.
In her testimony during the 2016 National Gathering, Jessica Vazquez Torres offers a strong challenge to the church to get serious about addressing the evil that is racism in meaningful ways. This 30 minute video is a resource for leaders and congregations who are already talking about race, racism, and white supremacy and want to lean into that tension.
God has called you to the most monumental of tasks: being nothing more and nothing less than the Body of Christ in this time and your place. And yet… God already sees in you the gifts and abilities to accomplish this task well. Trust God by trusting yourself. And enjoy the ride.
As a corrective to emptying pews with boring sermons, the personal vignette has worked its way into acceptability in preaching. This is a good thing. Yet, danger still lurks. Crafting sermons using “our stuff” may well be a way we preachers subtly feed our own narcissistic appetites. Attention indeed can get turned from the Living Word to our desperate egos.
Of all the initiatives currently on tap through NEXT Church, NEXT Steps Coaching is the one nearest to my heart. I have seen a pastor’s eyes light up as they finally figure out how to streamline some cumbersome administrative process. I have heard the relief in the voice of a leader who said, “Of course… I never thought about it that way.” And I have witnessed individuals and groups who felt utterly stuck and dispirited find new vitality and purpose.
Some folks who heard Tom in Kansas City went home and asked their churches whether or not they might be called to refugee resettlement ministry themselves. Here’s a reflection exercise appropriate for any faith community who might be engaging in discernment around this or other ministries.
In Blair Monie’s short video “What Isn’t Helpful Anymore?” for “The NEXT Few Minutes,” he identifies the reality that as people and systems evolve, practices need to change with them and yet we often keep practices the same beyond their usefulness. This reflection exercise could be incorporated in many ways in ministry settings.