Human Resource

Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. This month, we’re curating a series on NEXT Church resources. Members of the NEXT Church communications team, staff, and advisory team are selecting resources already on our site and sharing the ways they have (or would) use them in their ministry context. We pray these will be of use to you in your own ministry! Have other ideas for resources you’ve used from our website? We invite you to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

by Charlene Han Powell

I’ve been involved in the NEXT Church movement since the beginning-ish. It used to be a small group of people sitting around a few tables talking about what the church could be. Fast forward to a few years later and now it is comprised of hundreds of people around a number of tables across the country talking about what the church is already becoming. Dreams have become realities. Hopes have been realized. NEXT Church is a movement that is making a difference in the church.  I can personally testify to that.

When NEXT Church was in the early stages of its ministry, so was I. Not yet ordained. Not yet called. Not yet employed. I didn’t even know what resources I needed to be a good pastor. I just knew I needed some support and fellowship for this long and often lonely journey. I have found that in the NEXT Church community. Every regional gathering I attend, every conference I go to, every workshop I participate in, I walk away feeling less crazy and less isolated in this vocation.  The most valuable resource that NEXT Church has offered me are the people I have met and the relationships I have formed.

But the human resource I have found in NEXT Church is more than just companionship. When I needed to reimagine officer training* this past year, I reached out to my network of colleagues I have met over the years at the National Gathering. When I was navigating a recent job transition, I connected with those in NEXT Church who had gone through the same thing. When I am stuck in any sort of ministry-related rut, I rely on the wisdom and experience of this amazing community of passionate and capable leaders.

The best part about utilizing this valuable resource within NEXT Church is that all YOU have to do is show up. Next time we are in your area, show up. If there is an online roundtable that piques your interest, show up. When registration for the National Gathering goes live, SIGN UP and then show up. And get ready to reap the unbelievable benefits of this fantastic movement.

*Stay tuned – we’re offering a blog series on officer training next month! 

Charlene Han Powell is the Executive Pastor at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in midtown Manhattan. Originally from California, Charlene is a proud New Yorker raising two young girls on the Upper West Side.

2015 National Gathering Worship: Charlene Han Powell

Charlene Han Powell preaches at opening worship of the 2015 National Gathering in Chicago.

Worship Leader Spotlight

Introducing Charlene Han Powell and Brian Ellison

NEXT Church is delighted to have some incredible worship leaders lined up for the 2015 National Gathering! We asked some of these folks to share what excites them about worship at NEXT!

Charlene Han Powell of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York writes:

Charlene Han Powell“What do you get when you put hundreds of teaching and ruling elders in one room to worship?  A lot of really strong singing voices.  Aside from the amazing sounding hymns, I love worship at Next Church because it always reminds me that the same Spirit that moves in my church is moving in churches all around the country.  The passion and excitement for what God is doing in the church is contagious. Worship at Next Church never ceases to remind me why I do ministry in the first place and inspires every aspect of my call.” 

Brian Ellison, director of Covenant Network, says that:Brian-Ellison

“Worship is always a highlight at NEXT conferences for me: Amazing leaders from around the country gather around earnest prayer and challenging proclamation. I’m humbled and honored to be preaching this year, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us. I have always loved the integration of visual art, diverse music and powerful preaching at NEXT worship services. I can’t wait to be part of it in March!”

Want to experience worship at the National Gathering for yourself? Click here to register today!

Read more about Brian, Charlene, and our other Worship Leaders, Joy Douglas Strome and Paul Roberts, over on our National Gathering Leadership page!


Other NEXT Church News

roundtable smallOnline Church Leaders’ Roundtable

Topic: Ideas for the Season of Lent

January 6th, 2015

1-2 pm Eastern || 10-11 am Pacific



regionalRegional Gatherings

Register now for Washington, DC || February 21st, 2015

Save the date for Charlotte, NC || April 24-25th, 2015