Podcast
S4 E13: More Than a Classroom: Reimagining Faith Formation and Discipleship
At the heart of every congregation is the desire to pass on the beliefs and practices of its tradition. This can be called lots of things: catechism, faith formation,...
Podcast
S4 Mid-Season Break: A Look Back and A Look Ahead
In this short episode, Ben and Matt recap the guests and topics thus far and preview the rest of season 4. We'll be back in action with you all on August 10, 2022!
Podcast
S4 E12: Stories > Stances
This episode provides the narratives of three members of the LGBTQ+ community focused on their lives in congregations. These stories highlight the highs and lows of their...
Podcast
S4 E11: Beyond Feisty and Divisive: Caring for LGBTQ Youth
In congregations many have questions and concerns about LGBTQ+ issues. Regardless of your theological stance, it's important to know how to care for youth that may identify...
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S4 E10: Possibility-Lessons from Jazz
Dr. Kirk Byron Jones joins Matt and Ben to discuss what we can learn from jazz about beauty, creativity and liberation. Resources ...
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S4 E9: What's Right with Congregations
Former Center for Congregations staff members Nancy DeMott and Doug Hanner join Matt to share stories about their work at the Center. These stories highlight what congregations...
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S4 E8: When Digital Ministry Is Not Plug-And-Play
Rev. Dr. Rosario Picardo joins Ben and Matt to discuss digital ministry in congregational life. Roz is the co-author of Fresh Expressions in a Digital Age. In this interview...
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S4 E7: Remembering Our History In Order To Heal
Ben and Matt talk with Rev. Sue Park-Hur about the challenges facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. They discuss the model-minority myth, the rise in...
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S4 E6: Navigating Grief and Lamentation
Matt and Ben talk with Chaplain Jon Swanson about what it means to explore the ways we manage loss and disappointment.   Resources CRG-Strategic...
Podcast
S4 E5: Moving Forward - Anti-racism in Congregational Life
Kelly and Ben talk with Professor Drew Hart about the scope of antiracism work in congregations since the racial unrest of 2020.   Resources Trouble...
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S4 B4: The Review - Equal Justice Initiative Museum and Memorial
Ben and Abby explore Ben's visit to the Equal Justice Initiative Museum and Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.   Resources: ...
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S4 E4: Pandemic and Purpose
Matt and Shellie explore the changing nature of congregational life with Pastor Rob Dyer of Ministry Architects. Rob encourages congregations to explore the question...
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S4 B3: The Review-Facing Death: Learning from Kate Bowler
Abby and Ben reflect on several podcast interviews with Kate Bowler and explore what it means to face the gravity of life with grace and joy.   Resources ...
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S4 E3: Is Race The Real Problem?
Racial division is a current topic in many arenas of life. However, Rev. Wallace Butts asks the question "Is race the real issue here?" Matt and Ben talk with Rev....
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S4 B2: The Review - Can I Get Your Number? Unpacking the Enneagram
Abby and Ben discuss The Paths Between Us and talk through the reasons they find the Enneagram both useful and fascinating.   Resources: ...
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S4 E2: Providing Touch in a Touchless Time
Dee Dee (Deidre) Gray and Adrian Warren join Ben and Matt to talk about how congregations can improve their digital presence.   Resources ...
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S4 B1: The Review - Learning from Mars Hill
In this fun bonus episode of the Center for Congregations Podcast, Ben and Abby discuss the podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill and explore what we can learn from it.
Podcast
S4 E1: 3 Big Questions
Kara Powell from Fuller Youth Institute joins Ben and Matt to discuss the new book 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager. Resources ...
Podcast
S3 E11: Ghosts
Riffing off of Charles Dickens' classic novel, Ben and Matt and Tim Shapiro, reflect on trends in the life of congregational ministry.
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S3 E10: Gloriously Out Of Place
Joe Johns and So Min Oo join Ben and Matt to discuss the relationship their congregations have built while celebrating their differences.   Resources ...
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S3 E9: The Joys of Evaluation!
Kelly Minas, the Center for Congregations' Associate Director for Evaluation, joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of evaluation, metrics and analytics for...
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S3 E8: Forced Into The Water
Mike Palmer joins Ben and Matt to unpack emerging trends in education. They explore how these trends will affect religious education and congregational life moving forward....
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S3 E7: Memento Mori
Rev. Sabrina Gray joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of end of life planning, and talks through how leaders can initiate those conversations within their community....
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S3 E6: Don't Be A Clergy Killer
Rev. Callie Smith and Dr. Rob Saler join Matt and Ben to discuss the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program. They unpack the importance of rest and renewal for both clergy...
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S3 E5: Who Are You? Marketing and Branding for Congregations
Manuel Corazzari joins Matt and Ben to discuss marketing and branding for congregations including the importance of knowing your unique identity.   Resources...
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S3 E4: Make It Personal
Pastor Javier Mondragon joins Ben and Matt to discuss the challenges and benefits of leading a multicultural congregation. Resources: Access the resources mentioned...
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S3 E3: Worship as the Work of the People
David Gungor joins Ben and Matt to talk about how worship is more than just singing together. He also discusses how Good Shepherd New York is an integrated community where the...
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S3 E2: Never-ending worship: Where preparation and inspiration meet
Shellie and Ben speak with John Ray from Light of the World Christian Church about all that it takes to plan a successful worship service. They discuss music as a specific...
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S3 E1: Stay Ready: Preparing to Prepare
Ben sits down with Aimee Laramore and Louise Jackson to unpack the ins and outs of strategic planning. They take you into the mind of strategic planning consultants and...
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S2 B2: The Review - Tips on Working with Tech Volunteers
Pastor John Stange joins Kate and Ben to explain the best practices for engaging with tech volunteers.   Links: http://www.opensong.org/
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S2 E12: The Value of the Enneagram in Congregational Spaces
Enneargram writer, teacher and coach Leanette Pokuwaah joins Ben and Matt to talk about how the enneagram can be used well in congregational contexts. She also discusses the...
Podcast
S2 E11: The Marriage of Mental Health and Ministry
Dr. Christina Jones Davis, Clinical Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS), sits down with Ben and Matt to...
Podcast
S2 E10: Storytelling that Changes the World
Musician, speaker and activist Propaganda joins Ben and Matt to discuss how storytelling is foundational to being human and to fostering change. They also also talk about his...
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S2 E9 Rural Congregations: A Story of Pain and Promise
Allen Stanton joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of congregations in rural communities. He highlights their work as anchor institutions while also addressing the...
Podcast
S2 E8: Getting Schooled on Interim Ministry
Rev. Janae Pitts-Murdock, senior pastor of Light of the World Christian Church and former interim pastor, joins Ben and Matt to unpack what it takes to have a successful...
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S2 E7: A Primer on Racial Equity
McKenzie Scott Lewis, the northwest director of the Center for Congregations talks with Ben and Matt about the challenges and opportunities faced by congregations in seeking to...
Podcast
S2 B1: The Review - Basic Tech Infrastructure for Livestreaming
In this bonus episode, Associate Director for Resources Kate White sits down with Pastor Bruce Colbert, Systems Consultant for Custom Sound Design. Bruce shares three topics...
Podcast
S2 E6: Fear and Anger: Christian Nationalism among Young Adults
PhD candidate Michael Rotolo joins Ben and Matt to unpack the research around Christian Nationalism as it relates to congregations and young adult engagement. Michael's...
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S2 E5: Courting Justice
Ben and Matt connect with Pastor Bere Gil Soto, lead pastor of Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana, to talk about what it's like to lead a multi-cultural and multi-lingual...
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S2 E4: Bring Your Whole Self
Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty, one of the co-founders of the Prickly Pear Collective, joins Matt and Ben to discuss creating authentic community where everyone is encouraged to bring...
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S2 E3: Tech: It's Not as Complicated as You Think
Pastor John Girton joins Ben and Matt to talk about excellence in online worship experiences using technology. They also discuss what's next for congregations and the...
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S2 E2 Waving the Banner for Youth Ministry
In this episode Ben and Matt are joined by Center for Congregations director Shellie Riggs Jordan as they interview Mark Oestreicher (a.k.a. Marko) of The Youth Cartel. Marko...
Podcast
S2 E1 Wisdom to Start Your New Year
Aimee Laramore, lead consultant at AlLyd Solutions, joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of recognizing the assets your congregation has and the importance of using...
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S1 E8: What Went Right in 2020
Ben and Matt are joined by southwest director Wendy McCormick, northwest director McKenzie Scott Lewis and president of the Center for Congregations Tim Shapiro. Each guest...
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S1 E7 Exchanging Pews for Strollers
Victoria Sun Esparza joins Ben and Matt to talk about Human Centered Design and applying it in congregations. This process is a way for you to listen well to the needs of your...
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S1 E6 Agents of Unity
Bishop Grant joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of getting back to the basics of faith. He challenges faith leaders and congregations to remember to center the people...
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S1 E5 Whosoever
This week Ben and Tim Shapiro, president of the Center for congregations talk with Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. Dr. Pollard shares with...
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S1 E4: Kicked Off a Cliff
Pastor Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes of the Double Love Experience joins Matt, Ben and Wendy to discuss what she's observed about rapidly changing systems in congregational life....
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S1 E3: Do we have to hide our pain?
Hillary McBride joins Ben and Matt to talk about how congregations can be places of healing for those dealing with mental health issues. We explore Hillary's own experience...
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S1 E2: Tapping into Experience with Tim Shapiro
This week Ben and Matt talk with the president of the Center for Congregations, Tim Shapiro. Tim shares his experiences as a senior pastor for 18 years and from his 18 years of...
Podcast
S1 E1: Where have all the young people gone?
Matt and Ben sit down with Science Mike to discuss the problems and possibilities with engaging young adults. Congregations across religious and denominational lines are...
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