}

Janet Hoover

Contributor

Janet Hoover is a certified spiritual director in private practice and an American Baptist pastor. She graduated from the University of Indianapolis and earned her MDiv and DMin from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. 

Contributions From Janet Hoover

book
Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board
Formatted as a letter, the author uses his business and nonprofit board experience to discuss the characteristics and structure of an effective board while reflecting on common problems and conflict.
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The Equipping Church Guidebook
This biblically-based guidebook details a vision and strategy for implementing a congregational collaborative ministry.
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Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift
This book provides a variety of ways congregations can ask for money, covering topics like the importance of listening, consistency, and follow through.
book
101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide
This book offers tactics for congregations to better communicate through social media.
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New Life through Shared Ministry: Moving from Volunteering to Mission
This resource examines the shared ministry system as a way for congregations to support lay leaders and develop a collaborative ministry.
book
Critical Minds and Discerning Hearts: A Spirituality of Multicultural Teaching
Written by a professor of ministry and pastoral theology, this resource argues that providing a hospitable environment is key to creating an effective multicultural learning space for students.
organization
Stephen Ministries
This organization provides resources and training for congregations to establish a ministry of care and support for those in the midst of crisis or grief.
article
Volunteering and Its Surprising Benefits: Helping Others While Helping Yourself
This resource describes the four benefits of volunteering, which range from the physical to mental.
book
Christian Education in the African American Church: A Guide for Teaching Truth
This book focuses on providing a Christian education for African Americans, equipping congregations with an educational strategy in addition to insight on learning styles, developmental stages in learners, and curriculum.
book
The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer
This resource argues that 21st century volunteers are different, and thus, congregations must adapt a different mindset in order to engage, recruit, and empower today's volunteers.
book
Teaching Cross-Culturally: An Incarnational Model for Learning and Teaching
This resource combines anecdotes, information, and explanations to equip teachers with the tools needed to create effective learning environments.
book
LifeKeys Discovery Workbook: Discover Who You Are
This workbook is filled with exercises and reflection questions to help readers discover their spiritual gifts and passions.
book
Discover Your Conflict Management Style
This resource will help the reader identify their conflict management tendencies before zooming out and revealing how those tendencies play out in larger congregational conflict, offering options for responding to conflict and how to resolve problems.
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Born of Water, Born of Spirit: Supporting the Ministry of the Baptized in Small Congregations
This resource reveals the potential for collaborative ministry within small congregations and considers theology, leadership, and the foundations of church, faith, and ministry.
book
Shaping Spiritual Leaders: Supervision and Formation in Congregations
This resource re-frames how readers see supervisory relationships within the congregation, arguing that supervision can be used as a tool to help others develop their leadership and ministry skills.
organization
Group Publishing
This organization provides Biblically based resources on volunteers and volunteer management, such as training videos, spiritual gifts assessments, background checks, and an online bookstore.
organization
Gallup Strengths Center
Gallup provides the CliftonStrengths assessment tool for users to identify, understand, and maximize their strengths in personal and group settings.
book
Boomer Volunteer Engagement: Facilitator's Tool Kit
This resource is designed to help nonprofit groups involve, engage, and sustain baby boomers and succeeding generations as volunteers.
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365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers: A Complete Guide for Non-Profit Organizations
This resource shows how to properly recruit, retain, and motivate volunteers, and covers topics ranging from volunteer agreements to teambuilding.
organization
Energize, Inc.
This comprehensive website provides information to manage volunteers and programs through online resources, training, and consulting.
book
Leading Life-Changing Small Groups
This workbook looks at both theory and practical issues to equip small group leaders with the tools needed to develop effective congregational small groups.
book
Discovering God's Vision for Your Life: You and Your Spiritual Gifts
This eight-hour course is part of a comprehensive spiritual gifts program that helps users identify and implement their spiritual gifts while helping churches embed a spiritual gifts ministry into the fiber of their congregations.
book
Called and Chosen: Toward a Spirituality for Lay Leaders
This collection of 13 essays discusses relevant topics for lay ministers, such as the relationship between leadership and spirituality, power and authority, and theology.
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Becoming a Congregation of Learners: Learning as a Key to Revitalizing Congregational Life
This book outlines five stages to transform synagogues into learning congregations.
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The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways
Written by a church communications professional, this step-by-step guide explains how and why churches should engage in social media in order to spread the good news.
book
Church Marketing 101: Preparing Your Church for Greater Growth
This resource lends practical marketing strategies for congregations, using examples from real-life and the Bible to highlight potential pitfalls and what types of messages congregations want to send.
book
Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communication
This book contains dozens of brief, expert articles about how to communicate ideas inside and outside the congregation.
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The Little Book of Dialogue for Difficult Subjects: A Practical, Hands-On Guide
This peacebuilding book offers a group dialogue process and conversation skills to build respectful relationships that honor differences.
book
Listening & Caring Skills: A Guide for Groups and Leaders
This practical resource offers suggestions and examples to help readers enhance their listening skills and narrow the communication gap, looking at various communication methods.
article
Michael Slind: Part of an Ongoing Conversation
This interview excerpt with a communications professional discusses the dynamics, content, and method of communication within an organization.
book
Getting the Word Out: The Alban Guide to Church Communications
Frederick Gonnerman, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor and former Director of Public Relations at Luther Seminary, says that communication "can be compared to a web that touches, connects, and even sensitizes all the elements of congregational ministry." Gonnerman believes that congregations must produce more effective and professional publications if they want to enhance their ministries, increase the possibility of their message being heard, and positively impact those in and outside of the congregation. Then Gonnerman shows readers how to accomplish the task he promotes. Gonnerman's foundational text on church communication addresses topics such as defining your audience, improving readability, and making the layout of material appealing to readers. Gonnerman also discusses contentious communication issues, such as who has ultimate editorial responsibility and authority. Readers who have not begun using the Internet for ministry will appreciate the research, ideas, and tips that Gonnerman offers in the electronic ministry chapter. The four appendices help readers 1) evaluate their communications system, 2) review English grammar and punctuation, 3) determine readability, and 4) discern appropriate fonts. Written in a clear and direct style, Gonnerman's work is for religious leaders and staff, lay-leaders, and anyone who wonders if their congregation is producing the best publications it can.
web resource
Effective Church Communications (ECC)
Designed by a church communications specialist, this website offers a variety of tools and resources for effective communication.
web resource
Church Tech Today: Technology for Today's Church
This website views technology as a vehicle for congregations to communicate and also shares the latest tips and advice for practitioners.
organization
Center For Church Communication
This organization provides coaching and mentoring for congregations to use communication as an evangelism tool.
book
Reaching Out in a Networked World: Expressing Your Congregation's Heart and Soul
This book underlines the importance of a congregation's ability to communicate their values, principles, missions, and goals.
article
Anne Curley: Do the Right Thing
This resource teaches lay leaders how to better handle a crisis and promotes collaboration between clergy and laity by providing recommendations about appropriate channels and priorities of communication for disseminating information.
article
Essential Guide to Children's Ministry Safety
This resource provides an overview of how to keep children safe, touching on subjects ranging from classroom discipline to selecting adult workers.
software
WeShare: Online Giving for Churches and Other Community Organizations
This company makes online donation software that can be used with computers, tablets, and smartphones, and through credit cards, debit cards, or electronic transfer of funds.
book
Accounting and Money for Ministerial Leadership: Key Practical and Theological Insights
This book written by a seminary professor introduces faith leaders to basic accounting, financial documents in a church, good practices and money as it relates to theology.
software
Vanco Payment Solutions
This software offers online giving and electronic financial services for organizations including religious institutions, where donors can give online, use credit cards, have funds transferred electronically, or donate via a text message.
article
The 2013 Congregational Economic Impact Study
The research that undergirds this report involved more than 3,000 congregational leaders from various religious traditions who responded to surveys about the impact of the recent economic downturn on congregational giving. The report offers giving trends and notes factors that influence congregational giving patterns. It also reveals how congregations are managing differences in giving and reviews fundraising and financial practices. Other topics include staffing issues, budgets, educational opportunities, and the use of technology to discern its impact on congregational giving. The research and report were supported by several organizations, including The Center for Congregations and The Alban Institute. Because a broad variety of congregational leaders responded to the survey, leaders from a variety of religious traditions, including Jewish synagogues, will find the results informative and illuminating. The report is free and downloadable. Readers can use the link noted above to complete a brief form that enables the report's receipt.
article
Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations: Benefits and Responsibilities under the Federal Tax Law
Created by the IRS, this booklet helps congregations ensure their compliance with the current federal tax code.
software
SimpleGive: Online giving made simple
This customizable giving platform allows congregations to select a variety of services a la carte.
web resource
A Parishioner's Guide to Understanding Parish Finances
This document is a tool to evaluate lay people's awareness of congregational finances and policies.
article
Debt Campaigns Can Work!
This article focuses on capital campaigns planned primarily to reduce congregational debt.
book
Ministry and Money: A Practical Guide for Pastors
Written by an accounting professor and theology professor, this book is a practical overview of accounting practices, financial reports and budgets to help leaders manage money in the church.
book
2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
This annual publication provides current information about tax laws, equipping treasurers and tax preparers with the tools needed to accurately fill out tax forms and important documents.
web resource
Financial Information & Tools
This website provides links and information about finance in congregations.
article
Financial Policies, Procedures, and Controls for Our Parish: A Model Manual to be adapted for local use
This free and downloadable document, offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, is organized by subject matter and covers a variety of topics related to congregational finances. Topics include the budget, expenses and disbursements, financial reports, payroll, real estate, insurance, endowments, and engaging independent contractors. Each topic includes a list of applicable policies and procedures. Pertinent internal controls are also offered to ensure adherence to the policies and procedures. Although Episcopal polity is assumed throughout the document, other faith traditions can easily adapt the contents to their own language and style of governance. Some congregations may find the "records management" section particularly helpful. It lists what documents can be destroyed and what documents must be retained for more than seven years. An index makes finding relevant material particularly easy.
book
Nonprofit Bookkeeping & Accounting For Dummies®
This user-friendly guide simplifies bookkeeping and accounting, and outlines the basic processes behind balancing the books and creating financial statements.
software
eGive
This online donation software includes a variety of giving options to make it easy for congregants to donate.
book
The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers and Boards
This workbook provides a comprehensive and systematic approach to budgeting, ranging from the basics to sound strategies and processes.
periodical
Church Finance Today
This e-newsletter covers timely finance topics such as record keeping, business expenses, church office security, internal controls, best practices for donations, and money management.
periodical
Church Law & Tax Report
Church Law & Tax Report is an online magazine resource that covers topics such as record keeping, business expenses, church office security, internal controls, best practices for donations, and money management.
organization
CapinCrouse, LLP
This company offers consulting on a wide range of accounting, financial, and management topics, including providing financial audits.
book
Effective Church Finances: Fund-Raising and Budgeting for Church Leaders
This book will help churches attain future financial stability and offers a process for initiating practices that support ministry and lead to healthier congregations.
book
The Color of Church: A Biblical and Practical Paradigm for Multiracial Churches
Drawing from the author's experience leading a multi-racial church, this book looks at the state of racial relationships within the United States before zooming into the church and offering advice on how congregations can overcome obstacles to become more diverse.
book
Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community
Based on research from more than 100 interviews and site visits, this resource offers best practices for building a strong community, giving an overview of different kinds of personal relationships, case studies, and skills for building community.
book
Deep & Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
This book argues that congregations should focus on designing their church for the unchurched, equipping readers with strategies and a detailed guide on how to transition an established congregation to an attractive place for the unchurched.
book
Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults
This resource draws upon five years of research on emerging adults to help congregations from a variety of traditions understand and minister to this demographic.
book
Welcome Them Home, Help Them Heal
This resource combines the authors' military, medical, and faith backgrounds to address the challenges veterans face after serving and the healing role faith communities can play for them.
book
Congregational Connections: Uniting Six Generations in the Church
This book examines the differences and needs of the six generations that make up congregations, offering insight into how each relates to congregational identity, purpose, and orientation.
book
A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor
This book outlines a 40-day spiritual journey to practice compassion and eat in solidarity with those experiencing poverty.
book
Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism
This book focuses on the concept of evangelism --- its challenges, the reason for doing it, and stories of churches who do it effectively. This resource is for congregations looking for an in-depth analysis of evangelism and ideas on how to encourage faith sharing.
book
Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church
This resource uses theory and practice to help congregations understand the dynamics of culture and how it relates to their ministry, extending knowledge that will help create transformation.
periodical
Outreach Magazine
Outreach Magazine is a by-monthly, non-denominational magazine for Christian churches that offers practical tips, ideas, and articles, all of which are designed to educate, inspire, and challenge churches.
article
Beyond Hospitality
This article reflects on hospitality and the stranger through the lens of immigration, touching on topics such as social justice, immigration, power, and privilege.
article
10 Signals That Say "You Are Not Welcome In This Church"
This article identifies ten negative messages congregations unknowingly send to guests and visitors.
organization
McIntosh Church Growth Network
This organization provides consulting and online resources focused on a variety of topics, from visitor retention and congregational growth to leadership strategies.
article
7 Do's and Don'ts of Welcoming Guests to Your Congregation
This article draws from the author's experience visiting various congregations to offer seven actions they can take to be more welcoming to guests.
article
Pope Francis Calls All Catholics to Evangelize
Written by a theology professor, this article reflects on evangelism, the role of the Christian with respect to evangelism, and the purpose of the church.
book
A Vision for the Aging Church: Renewing Ministry for and by Seniors
This book explores the aging population and shares how they can be assets to the congregation.
book
Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion After Divided by Faith
This collection of essays from various scholars explores race relations and the role religion has played in mending or straining those relations. Written in two parts --- history and future --- this book looks at how religious institutions can move forward in an increasingly multi-cultural America.
organization
EvangelismCoach
This website provides tools and strategies to train and send evangelists to fulfill the Great Commission.
book
Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men
Based off the author's personal experience, along with the stories of six young black men, this resource reveals the vulnerability of African-American men in the United States and offers tools for care-givers who encounter anyone who feels invisible and hopeless.
book
Worship for the Whole People of God: Vital Worship for the 21st Century
This practical guide gives readers a theological background on worship and expands knowledge on how different cultures worship so that congregations may create worship services that suits their needs.
book
Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church: Mandate, Commitments and Practices of a Diverse Congregation
Written in three parts, this book encourages churches to seek diversity, and gives best practices for a multi-ethnic church before summarizing everything in a section that shows how to implement diversity.
book
A Many Colored Kingdom: Multicultural Dynamics for Spiritual Formation
This book examines how America's increased diversity impacts spiritual formation, addressing issues like bias and prejudice.
article
TIPS: Become a Welcoming Congregation
Written by the United Methodist Chuch, this article is designed to help congregations become more welcoming to their guests.
web resource
Church Hospitality
This web resource provides congregations free access to three downloadable hospitality resources and one for-purchase hospitality training pack that are designed to teach congregations effective hospitality skills and techniques.
book
The Work Of The Greeter
This easy-to-follow guide emphasizes the importance of capable greeters who are able to create a welcoming environment. This book offers advice on how to manage a greeting ministry and tips for leaders.
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The Hospitality of God: A Reading of Luke's Gospel
Written from the Roman Catholic Jesuit perspective, this scholarly book examines God's hospitality through the Gospel of Luke.
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The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality
This book analyzes the theme of hospitality from multiple aspects, including the author's own research and an exploration of how different faith communities approach hospitality, concluding that congregations receive multiple blessings when they exhibit welcoming traits.
book
They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration
This resource offers a Lutheran perspective on immigration, tracing its roots in the Bible and forming a cultural context around the topic before asking provoking reflection questions.
book
Community: The Structure of Belonging
This book provides the process and strategy to build a community in a fragmented world.
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Culturally-Conscious Worship
This resource identifies challenges and offers solutions for congregations looking to reflect the different ethnicities and cultures in a congregational worship setting.
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Racial Justice and the Catholic Church
This informative book analyzes the Roman Catholic Church's response to racism in America, looking at historical documents and statements before suggesting moves that would provide a "more adequate" response.
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Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations, Their Buildings, and Creation Care
This resource addresses how congregations can begin to treat the earth with sacredness by adapting more sustainable practices.
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When Not to Build: An Architect's Unconventional Wisdom for the Growing Church
This resource asks congregations to assess their needs and explore alternatives before devoting resources to building a new facility.
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The Facility Management Handbook
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about managing a facility, ranging from the basics to maintaining an environmentally friendly facility.
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The Church Construction Kit: A Complete Project Guide for Church Building Programs
This practical guide will help your congregation navigate the building process, from the planning stages to discussing the responsibilities of the architect and contractor.
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7 Simple Steps to Green Your Church
This two-part guide to become environmentally friendly includes case studies and tips, addressing topics like water use and cooling systems.
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Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy
Written in five parts, this book explores the relationship between Roman Catholic beliefs and architecture, and can be used as a resource for churches looking to redesign, renovate, or build new facilities.
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Building for Ministry: The Book That Will Save Your Church 1,000's of Dollars
This resource provides an overview of the building process, and covers the importance of clarifying your congregation's mission, stewardship, and building design.
book
God's House is Our House: Re-imagining the Environment for Worship
Targeted towards Roman Catholics, this book summarizes a twelve-step process that can be applied to church renovation or construction projects.
article
Who Moved my Tabernacle? The Ruckus Over Renovation
This article details the stories of several Roman Catholic congregations during the renovation process of their respective facilities.
periodical
Worship Facilities Magazine
Worship Facilities Magazine’ s educational and informative articles address different questions and concerns about a congregation’ s facility. The magazine’ s goal is to help congregations design, use, and maintain their facilities to maximize the effect of their ministry. Specific subjects include maintenance, finances, construction, renovation, interior design, acoustics, safety and security, the "greening” of a facility, landscaping, and technology.
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Guidelines for the Building and Renovation of Churches
Written by The Diocesan Commission on Church Art and Architecture for the Archdiocese of Chicago, this resource is designed to be used with Built of Living Stones, a statement by U.S. bishops about renovating and building Roman Catholic churches. This book provides additional information on topics that include icons and places for prayer.
book
The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home
This resource combines theology, illustration, and history to delve into features of the Roman Catholic Church and the significance of each.
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The ADA Companion Guide: Understanding Accessibility Guidelines and Architectural Barriers
This resource specializes in understanding the American with Disabilities and Architectural Barriers acts, revealing how congregations can apply guidelines.
article
Zeal for God's House: An Architect's Reflections on Sacred Space
Written by an architect, this reflective article asks questions about how God's presence is experienced and the purpose of a religious community's facilities.
article
Construction Cost is Only Part of the Church Project Budget
This straightforward article lists the phases of a building project and highlights costs to be included in a realistic project budget.
book
Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and Message
This resource divides renovation and building projects into a three part process, showing how your new building can convey the congregation's mission.
book
A Place of Encounter: Renewing Worship Spaces
This book makes the connection between worship goals and worship spaces with tips on how to enhance both.
software
SecureGive
This customizable giving platform provides many giving and reporting options for large congregations.
book
Small Is Big! Unleashing the Big Impact of Intentionally Small Churches
This book presents the small house church as a way to achieve ministry as described by Jesus and Paul throughout the New Testament. It delves into topics like prayer, humility, lay leadership, and relationships as it exists within the house church.
book
Imagining the Small Church: Celebrating a Simpler Path
Filled with moving stories about the life of a small church, this book offers a candid look into small congregations --- its strengths, challenges, and its future.
book
Administration In the Small Membership Church
This book identifies administration and leadership as crucial components for the small church, offering effective management strategies from volunteers to finance.
event
Rural Ministry Conference
This conference focuses on educating and empowering prospective and current clergy, for ministry and in general, at rural congregations.
web resource
The Rural Ministry Blog
Bi-vocational pastor Harry Colegrove’ s leadership experience in a small town informs this blog on rural ministry and its challenges.
organization
Rural Home Missionary Association
This organization offers resources and trainings with the goal of planting and supporting churches in small-town America.
web resource
Rural Church Network of the United States and Canada
This web resource, by Rural Church Network, provides space for congregational leaders in rural communities to share ideas and gather information about rural life and ministry to improve and enhance the lives of church members and their neighbors.
book
The Land That Calls Me Home: Connecting God's People to God's Land through God's Church
Based on the author's experience within a rural congregation, this resource explores the benefits of a partnership between the church and its farmers, one that can lead to community growth.
book
Transforming Church in Rural America
Based on the experiences of the author as a rural pastor, this book dispels false assumptions about rural congregations and shows how stagnant churches can grow by setting goals based on vision, attitude, leadership, understanding, and enduring excellence.
book
Rural Revival: Growing Churches in Shrinking Communities
Based off the results of a case study, this resource offers stagnant rural and small congregations a process they can follow to ensure renewal.
web resource
Catholic Rural Life
This website offers free resources for rural and small town congregations to address outreach, stewardship of creation, agriculture and food.
article
The Anatomy of a Rural Church: 10 learnings from summer prayer walks around the church's neighborhood
This article describes the experience of one rural congregation to portray the value of prayer walks, a process in which walkers discovered new insights regarding their congregation.
article
Smaller Congregations Share Ideas in Quest to Stay Vibrant
This article looks at the efforts of Jewish congregations and judicatories to address the challenges of small congregations.
organization
Small Church Pastor
This organization provides coaching, consulting, and free online resources for leaders of small congregations.
web resource
Small Church Leadership Network
As a by-product of the Center for Small Church Leadership, this resource offers small church clergy and lay-leaders education and encouragement to create more effective small churches.
article
Leading and Growing Small Churches
This two-part article discusses common small church challenges and makes recommendations for pastors about their leadership.
book
The Indispensable Guide for Smaller Churches
Designed to help small church leaders improve their ministry, this book examines small churches from numerous angles ranging from theories to real life examples of congregations. It also gives hints and solutions throughout.
book
The Strategically Small Church: Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, and Effective
This resource argues that the most effective small church is one that sees and appreciates its assets in order to achieve ministry goals. It will help clergy and lay leaders of small congregations.
article
Does a Congregation's Location Influence Its Effectiveness?
This article argues that congregations can be successful regardless of their location, offering a discussion on how congregations can become a neighborhood destination.
article
25 Turnaround Strategies for Small-Membership Congregations
This downloadable guide outlines a three-year revitalization process for small churches.
book
Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church
Written by someone with first-hand experience, this book shows how the part-time clergy model can be beneficial for congregations and the challenges that come along with it.
article
Governance in Small Congregations
This article offers advice and resources for small congregations and their governing systems and argues that small congregations need an appropriately sized governance system.
article
The Challenges of Pastoring a Smaller Membership Church
This article identifies ten challenges that small church pastors might face while offering suggestions to address such obstacles.
book
Shepherding the Small Church: A Leadership Guide for the Majority of Today's Churches
This book presents the meaning of church vitality in a new light, and begins a conversation about what it means for a church to be effective before providing a five-step process to follow.
book
The Gifts of the Small Church
This book offers a look inside the world of the small church, paying a tribute to the thousands of Christians who live, breathe, and sustain their faith in the small church.
book
Turnaround and Beyond: A Hopeful Future for the Small Membership Church
This book equips congregations with tools to move from maintenance to mission, examining the characteristics of turnaround churches through scripture and stories.
article
Life on the Edge: A Small Church Redefines Its Mission
This article dispels negative myths about the small church's future.
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Intentional Ministry in a Not-So-Mega Church: Becoming a Missional Community
This book argues that churches must move from an internal to an external focus, giving congregations the tools to transform into a missional church that is daring in its outreach approach.
book
Places of Promise: Finding Strength in Your Congregation's Location
Drawing upon data and observations, this resource navigates the relationship between location and its impact on a congregation's health and vitality.
book
When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search: Biblical Principles and Practices to Guide Your Search
This book will help pastoral search committees through every step of the process, starting with a study of scripture, to creating financial packages, and everything in between point A and point B.
book
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Written by an organizational consultant, this book contains business-based examples of healthy transitional changes that can be applied to congregations, offering insight on how to manage organizational and personal change.
web resource
ChurchJobFinder.com
This free website contains job postings from a variety of ministry positions.
article
50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor
Written by a United Methodist leader, this article offers 50 helpful actions that congregations can take to ease clergy leadership transitions.
book
Calling Clergy: A Spiritual and Practical Guide Through the Search Process
This book provides spiritual and practical processes to search for a new clergy, offering helpful tools to make it a positive discernment process.
web resource
Center for Congregational Health - Interim Ministry
This web resource for The Center for Congregational Health's Interim Ministry program asserts the transition time between pastorates is vital for congregations and new ministers establishing "a solid ministry team" and offers a range of resources and services that either help congregations in transition or train clergy for interim ministry.
book
Interim Ministries, Book 1: An Overview for Church Leaders
Provided by The Episcopal Church, this document outlines the benefits of choosing an interim minister when there are changes in clergy leadership.
organization
Interim Ministry Network
This organization provides training for clergy, intentional interims, or interim consultants to support congregations in transition. The training program focuses on five important aspects: heritage, leadership, mission, connections, and future.
book
Navigating Pastoral Transitions: A Parish Leader's Guide
This book completes a three-part series on navigating pastoral transitions. This specific resource will help leaders prepare for a variety of emotional responses and ensure a smooth transition.
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Navigating Pastoral Transitions: A Staff Guide
This book completes a three-part series on navigating pastoral transitions in Roman Catholic congregations. This specific resource focuses on the church staff.
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Navigating Pastoral Transitions: A Priest's Guide
This book completes a three-part series on navigating pastoral transitions in Roman Catholic congregations. This resource focuses on how incoming priests can ease their transition and build relationships.
book
The Graceful Exit: A Pastor's Journey from Good-bye to Hello
Using scripture, stories from other clergy, and the author's own story, this resource helps pastors make a graceful vocational transition.
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A Change of Pastors... and How it Affects Change in the Congregation
This resource frames clergy transitions as a period with potential to strengthen relationships between the new pastor and the congregation.
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Interim Ministry: Positive Change in Times of Transition
This resource offers a comprehensive review of interim ministry, and includes strategies and actions interim pastors can take to lead congregations through change.
organization
Vanderbloemen
This premier consulting agency works with churches for hiring staff, succession planning and building staff culture.
book
Next: Pastoral Succession That Works
This book uses case studies, biblical examples, and interviews to offer a fresh perspective on clergy succession.
article
A Future for Interim Ministry
This article advocates for an increased number of trained intentional interim ministers and a larger number of churches to seek intentional interims during clergy transitions.
book
Leading Your African American Church through Pastoral Transitions
This resource identifies the nine leadership behaviors that will aid in a smooth transition to new clergy leadership.
book
Leadership That Fits Your Church: What Kind of Pastor for What Kind of Congregation
This e-book explores the challenges of pastoral leadership and provides clarity surrounding congregational identity to help congregations select the right pastor for their church.
web resource
Clergy Sexual Misconduct: Awareness and Prevention
Baylor University’ s website offers individuals and congregations several resources related to clergy sexual misconduct which touch upon topics such as hints for preventing abuse, the civil and criminal consequences of sexual misconduct, and the vulnerability of both clergy and laypeople in counseling sessions.
book
The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church's Response
This resource uses the voice of Tamar from 2 Samuel 13 as the grounding force to challenge assumptions about abuse and create awareness that will lead readers towards healing and redemption.
article
Defeating the Demons: The Prevention of Clergy Sexual Abuse
This article presents a proactive stance on clergy sexual abuse and suggests four categories of preventive measures that range from professional safeguards to raising awareness.
organization
Faith Trust Institute
This organization offers online trainings, resources, and consulting addressing sexual and domestic violence in faith communities.
book
Lives Entrusted: An Ethic of Trust for Ministry
This resource looks at topics such as misconduct, authenticity, testimony, vulnerability, and power within the context of trust --- how clergy and laity can build trust with intentionality and purpose.
book
Flying in the Face of Tradition: Listening to the Lived Experience of the Faithful
This resource critiques the Roman Catholic church with love and grace, diagnosing its current challenges and offering solutions that will transform the church into a space people will find relevant and welcoming.
book
Joining Forces: Empowering Male Survivors to Thrive
Based on his work with male survivors of sexual abuse in addition to his own experiences as a survivor, this author offers readers information and tools for healing and recovery after abuse.
article
We Dare Not Fall: Dealing with the Peril of Clergy Sexual Misconduct
This article helps male clergy understand and identify the risks of clergy sexual misconduct while discussing healthy boundaries and preventive strategies.
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We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse
This resource offers survivors of sexual abuse a scriptural interpretation that helps them heal and recover while addressing prayer, gender, and contemporary films and books.
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Healing the Scars of Emotional Abuse
Written in four parts, this resource gives readers clarity about emotional abuse and paths to healing.
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Understanding the Impact of Clergy Sexual Abuse: Betrayal and Recovery
This volume examines clergy sexual abuse from several angles based on a series of conversations with abuse survivors, combining their stories with insight from experts in social work, psychology, religion, and other fields.
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Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth
This resource tackles the difficult topic of abuse and religious communities --- how to educate the congregation about abuse and how to respond to allegations.
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Clergy Sexual Misconduct: A Systems Approach to Prevention, Intervention, and Oversight
This comprehensive book offers a systemic approach to clergy and congregation recovery after clergy sexual misconduct, discussing topics such as treatment, the effect on the church, prevention, and intervention.
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Nothing to Hide: Secrecy, Communication, and Communion in the Catholic Church
Written by a journalist, this resource argues for a Roman Catholic church that is open, honest, and accountable, offering concrete solutions to combat the breakdown of community and trust in the church.
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So You Think You Don't Know One? Addiction and Recovery in Clergy and Congregations
This resource tackles the systemic, spiritual, and communal problems of addictive and co-dependent behavior by clergy and congregations.
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Spiritual Abuse Recovery: Dynamic Research on Finding a Place of Wholeness
This comprehensive guide looks at spiritual abuse by clergy and lay leaders through a lens of scholarly literature, interviews, and scripture to provide a deeper understanding of the topic and how to recover from it.
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Staying in Bounds: Straight Talk on Boundaries for Effective Ministry
This resource offers tools and practical applications for ministry to embrace healthy boundaries, clarifying "where I end and you begin" to help protect clergy and lay leaders.
web resource
Safe Sanctuaries
This United Methodist online resource has links to articles, webinars, and contact information for denominational staff persons assigned to help churches create safe environments for vulnerable populations.
article
Narrative Budgets: What is a Narrative Budget? And why use it?
This short article lists nine steps to create a narrative budget that communicates the congregation's impact.
web resource
Areyvut
This web resource promotes areyvut, a term that means “mutual responsibility”, as a foundational Jewish faith value and goal with respect to youth and teenagers. It provides resources to a variety of synagogues, families, and Jewish community centers and schools for helping youth “become thoughtful, giving members of the Jewish community of tomorrow.”
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The Other Philadelphia Story: How Local Congregations Support Quality of Life in Urban America
Based on an interfaith research study of more than 1,300 Philadelphia-based congregations, this resource examines the social service needs that congregations in the area fulfil.
web resource
Community Tool Box
This free web resource is a public service of the University of Kansas and its KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, and teaches the skills needed for building healthier communities by addressing topics such as leadership, finance, communication, and more.
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Jewish Choices, Jewish Voices: Money
This book provides a variety of Jewish voices and opinions on the topic of money --- how it relates to employment, debt, and the caring for children.
book
Inside Out Families: Living the Faith Together
Based on interviews of numerous families, this resource provides readers with ideas for engaging in familiy ministry.
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Effective Staffing for Vital Churches
This resource simplifies church staffing into the "Four Core Processes": evangelism, retention, discipleship, and mission.
web resource
GenerationOn
This web resource, provided by the youth division of the 1989 President George H.W. Bush Points of Light initiative GenerationOn, seeks to empower children and youth to grow into being community leaders, live lives of service to others, and "make their mark on the world" by offering hands-on projects, internships, and scholarships.
book
Empowering Laity, Engaging Leaders: Tapping the Root for Ministry
This practical resource gives readers helpful approaches and suggestions for engaging laity in congregational leadership, and would be helpful for Christian congregations that struggle with finding and keeping lay leaders.
book
Go the Distance
Part of a three-book series, this specific resource focuses on volunteers and covers topics such as evaluation, communication, and the role of leaders.
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Essential Guide to Employment Issues for Church Boards
This resource uses an ethical and legal perspective to examine common and difficult employment issues church boards may face.
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Tomorrow's Synagogue Today: Creating Vibrant Centers of Jewish Life
This resource contemplates the identity of the synagogue as a religious center for Jewish life, delving into topics like internal and external relationships, governance, and financing.
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Moving Forward
Part one in a three-book series, this resource focuses on helping leaders recruit and train volunteers.
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The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World
This resource views missional churches as the best response to modern-day malaise in many congregations. It offers values of missional churches as well as solutions to overcoming challenges that go along with congregational transformation.
book
Protégé: Developing Your Next Generation of Church Leaders
This five-part resource equips congregations with the tools and information needed to find and nurture leaders for the next generation and beyond.
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Beyond Megachurch Myths: What We Can Learn From America's Largest Churches
This book examines the effectiveness of megachurches by addressing myths and concluding that megachurches offer a compelling representation of the gospel.
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Taking Flight with Creativity: Worship Design Teams That Work
This resource tackles the ins and outs of vibrant worship, and provides suggestions on how to organize a worship team that can create dynamic and spiritually grounded worship.
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A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why
This resource paints a detailed portrait of American congregations from a variety of religious traditions.
book
Cultivating Sent Communities: Missional Spiritual Formation
Composed by a variety of contributors, this book examines spiritual formation from the missional church perspective, giving readers a clearer idea of the purpose behind a missional church.
article
Children's Ministry Check-In and Check-Out Procedures
This article focuses on how to keep children safe while they are in church facilities.
article
Confronting Gun Violence at Church
This article equips clergy and lay leaders with tips and information to prepare for the reality of gun violence in houses of worship.
article
Essential Guide to Internal Controls for Churches
The goal of this online set of articles from Christianity Today is to reduce the risk of financial malfeasance in congregations. The book's contributors accomplish this by teaching congregations about internal accounting policies and procedures, how to implement them, and how to reduce their risk of being deceived. Oversight of donations and disbursements, the rationale behind outsider-performed annual audits, and implementing an accounting system with check and balances are a few of the strategies offered. The article further promotes separation of duties and responsibilities, only non-family members working together as donation counters, and multiple signatures on checks above a specified amount. Additional emphasis is on continuing education and training, and creating a manual that specifies accounting processes and procedures. All of these efforts reduce the likelihood of honest mistakes and financial malfeasance. This highly accessible and helpful book provides numerous examples and suggestions. It is appropriate for all religious traditions.
book
Essential Guide to Youth Ministry Safety
This resource addresses a range of topics to help youth ministers navigate issues of safety, liability, and accountability.
article
Medical Emergency Preparation
This article argues for a health ministry team that can be integrated into the congregation and provides suggestions for how to do so.
article
Best Church Practices: Waivers and Releases
Having forms that protect the integrity of a religious organization and its participants, volunteers, and staff can seem a bit alarmist and such a laborious task that procrastination is easy. Christianity Today author John Throop helps resolve this dilemma by providing a rationale for waivers, releases, and permission forms that addresses handling confidential information. He then specifies ten categories of forms that can be utilized once the download is purchased. Four forms are employment applications or for securing background checks. Several forms are for children, youth, and those who work with them, including camps and summer programming personnel. A "health history disclosure form" pertains to trips where medical care is not readily available. Although this resource is from a Christian source, the forms and information provide proactive protective steps for congregations from all faith traditions.
book
Administrative Assistant Orientation Guide
Seven authors contribute to this resource from Christianity Today that addresses the responsibilities of church office personnel. Among other topics, the article discusses confidentiality, record keeping, and communication, and includes many suggestions and issues to consider. Communication, for example, includes determining the appropriate medium, how to improve printed communications, and how to manage a prayer list. With respect to confidentiality, the article distinguishes between printed, electronic, and oral information. A section about record keeping offers guidelines for document disposal and retention, such as immigration records, incorporation papers, donations, and pledges. Two sample job descriptions are helpful starts for a congregation that needs to create a job description for office personnel. The section on "roles and responsibilities" accounts for both the practical and spiritual aspects of the job. Though Christian in perspective, this is a must-read and useful training tool for clergy, staff, personnel committees, and judicatories from various religious traditions.
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Record Keeping
This comprehensive article is a review on what constitutes as a church record, which records should be kept, and how to assure confidentiality.
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Preparing Your Church for Any Emergency
Religious people and their facilities are not immune from emergencies. This resource from Christianity Today helps congregations develop plans that lead to an effective response to an emergency situation. The assessment tool evaluates a congregation's readiness to handle various emergencies, whether internal or external. Readers can then create "emergency response plans" via the provided "modules" that address weather, illegal behavior, violence, and other events. Specific topics include managing an evacuation, dangers in a damaged facility, and communication. Among other things, the communication module suggests a phone tree, direct alarms to police and/or fire department personnel, and a "need to know" basis for handling "sensitive information." Leaders share what they learned from their church fire in another section. Ideas include "record all offers of help." Christianity is the article's perspective, but clergy, trustees, and leaders from many religious traditions can use this practical resource with little or no adaptation.
article
Understanding Unrelated Business Income
Attorney and CPA Richard Hammar contributes heavily to this article that addresses "unrelated business income" and a church's tax obligations. Hammar first offers an explanation of "unrelated business income," saying, it is the "gross income derived from any unrelated trade or business regularly carried on less the deductions directly connected with such trade or business." That is just the starting point, as other considerations, such as what constitutes an appropriate deduction, impact tax liability. Among the income producing activities reviewed are: 1) renting or leasing property or space, 2) selling ads for a publication, and 3) publishing materials. A church's tax-exempt status is discussed, and examples and case studies are offered throughout. The article cautions religious organizations to always seek professional tax and legal advice. Understanding this part of the tax code is important, making this article a must-read for clergy, lay leaders, and judicatories from any religious tradition.
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Arts Ministry: Nurturing the Creative Life of God's People
This resource offers a history of the arts in Christianity and shows readers how to establish an arts ministry in their congregations.
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Transitional Ministry Today: Successful Strategies for Churches and Pastors
This collection of essays promotes a rethinking of the developmental model of interim ministry while offering new and innovative interim ministry ideas that can be applied to specific congregational contexts.
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Youth Leader Training on the Go: Practical Leadership Development for Busy Volunteers
This DVD curriculum allows youth pastors to train volunteers remotely by sending video trainings via email.
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Building Your Volunteer Team: A 30-Day Change Project for Youth Ministry
This resource walks readers through a 30-day boot camp in order to secure youth volunteers.
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The Wisdom of Group Decisions: 100 Principles and Practical Tips for Collaboration
This slim guide offers principles and accompanying tips that can easily be applied to any form of collaboration, covering topics such as boundaries, efficiency, mistakes, and timelines.
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Facing Decline, Finding Hope: New Possibilities for Faithful Churches
This book offers solutions for congregations who hope to grow a vibrant faith community despite declining resources and attendance, addressing potential challenges and questions they may have about change.
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The Emotional Intelligence of Jesus: Relational Smarts for Religious Leaders
This resource uses the Bible, brain science, and psychology to depict the uses of emotional intelligence within a ministry setting, offering clergy strategies for becoming more emotionally intelligent.
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Not Safe For Church: Ten Commandments For Reaching New Generations
Using the Old and New Testament, this book provides readers with ten practices or "commandments" for how to connect with Post-Civil Rights generations.
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Social Media Guide for Ministry: What It Is and How to Use It
Written by a social media pastor, this book makes a case for viewing social media as a helpful congregational tip and offers tips on how to use a variety of outlets.
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Plan and Conduct Effective Meetings: 24 Steps to Generate Meaningful Results
This resource will increase the effectiveness of your congregation by providing a guide to planning for efficient meetings, covering basics such as promoting discussions and different communication methods.
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Spiritual Discovery: A Method for Discernment in Small Groups and Congregations
This user-friendly resource encourages congregational leaders to use the Spiritual Discovery Method for decision making, promoting open and honest questions in order to practice discernment.
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Better Bylaws: Creating Effective Rules for Your Nonprofit Board
This comprehensive guide outlines how to create bylaws and is easily adaptable for congregational use.
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The Circle Way: A Leader in Every Chair
This resource provides the history and basics of The Circle Way, a structure of conversation that can be used to collaborate and make decisions.
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Facilitation at a Glance: Your Pocket Guide to Facilitation
This practical book teaches facilitation for anyone interested in coordinating group work or looking to increase effectiveness through facilitation --- what it looks like and how to keep a conversation moving forward.
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Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision Making
This comprehensive resource teaches the nuts and bolts of facilitating group decision-making by breaking the process down into four parts and illustrating ideas through charts and graphs.
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Associate Staff Ministry: Thriving Personally, Professionally, and Relationally
This book for associate staff encourages growth and well-being, focusing on four areas: personal, relational, professional, and church leadership support.
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A Precious Fountain: Music in the Worship of an African American Catholic Community
This resource uses the lens of worship music to explore the culture of a Black Catholic parish in San Francisco.
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Big Lessons from Little Places: Faithfulness and the Future in Small Congregations
This book argues that small congregations offer relevant lessons appropriate for any size of congregation, and focuses on how a tight-knit community can serve as the perfect foundation for close relationships.
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The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches
This comprehensive guide looks at the theory and practice of facilitating conversations as a way to "help groups become more effective."
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Sanctifying Art: Inviting Conversation Between Artists, Theologians, and the Church
Written by an artist and seminary professor, this resource bridges the divide between the two worlds of Christianity and art, exploring art's relationship to biblical values.
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For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts
This collection of essays offers an expansive vision of the arts for the church.
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Preaching Funerals in the Black Church: Bringing Perspective to Pain
This resource provides theological reflections and suggestions for clergy seeking to provide healing after a death.
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More Than 50 Ways to Build Team Consensus
This user-friendly resource equips leadership teams with various techniques to reach consensus, no matter the topic. Divided into four sections, each one contains hints, examples, and activities that can be implemented.
book
Mobilizing Congregations: How Teams Can Motivate Members and Get Things Done
This resource examines all aspects of ministry teams --- how they function, benefits, and challenges that can impede effectiveness, all of which combine to offer congregations insights on how to implement this organizational structure within their ministry.
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Building a New Church: A Process Manual for Pastors and Lay Leaders
This resource covers a range of broad to specific topics relating to the building or renovation of worship spaces, ranging from how to create a construction team to hiring outside consultants.
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Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional
This resource assesses both traditional Evangelical and emerging Evangelical perspectives to offer a solution to their differences that requires trust and dialogue.
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A Field Guide to Contemporary Worship: How to Begin and Lead Band-Based Worship
This book combines theology and practical instruction to start or improve a contemporary worship service.
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Ancient Faith, Future Mission: Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Tradition
This collection of essays discusses the future of the Christian church, drawing upon current cultural and religious contexts in the U.S. and the U.K.
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Worship at the Next Level: Insights from Contemporary Voices
This collection of essays explores Christian worship from different vantage points, such as the role of music, liturgy, media, and dynamics of worship.
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A Primer on Christian Worship: Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We Can Go
This book focuses on worship renewal by examining faithful worship and how history shapes worship practices.
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From A Mustard Seed: Enlivening Worship and Music in the Small Church
Designed for small membership Christian congregations, this resource explores new ways churches can share God's vision through mission and worship.
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The Emergent Psalter
Designed to serve the musical and liturgical needs of emergent communities of faith, this resource applies psalm singing to a contemporary setting.
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New Songs of Celebration Render: Congregational Song in the Twenty-First Century
This church hymnody resource identifies, describes, and discusses seven categories of Christian music since Vatican II, going in depth to explore characteristics and histories of each.
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Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations
This resource uses theory and practices to counter the "restlessness" among young people in relationship to the church, specifically worship practices.
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The Art of Curating Worship: Reshaping the Role of Worship Leader
This resource generates new language and meaning to change how readers view worship service and preparation, introducing concepts like worship curators and reemerging church.
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Perspectives on Christian Worship: 5 Views
This resource offers different perspectives of worship and responses from voices outside of the tradition being presented, resulting in a lively exchange of theological and practical ideas.
article
Alternative to Worship?
This article describes an event designed to help young adults connect with their Jewish heritage on High Holy Days through social and educational components.
web resource
Helping Small Churches Thrive
A plethora of information about small churches is available on this website that is maintained by small church veteran and Assemblies of God ordained pastor Karl Vaters.
book
Zondervan 2020 Church and Nonprofit Tax: For 2019 Tax Returns
This easy to follow guide contains helpful information relating to congregational and nonprofit taxes, including how to maintain tax exempt status and accounting for charitable gifts.
organization
Church for Men
This organization provides resources that help congregations reach more men and boys, such as articles, blog posts, consulting, and training events.
organization
American Community Gardening Association
This organization provides online resources and in-person services for food and gardening, urban forestry, and land preservation.
organization
Association of Consultants for Liturgical Space
This organization offers a list of artists, architects, and liturgical consultants who are dedicated to creating beautiful spaces for faith communities.
organization
BoardSource
This organization provides conferences, trainings, and assessments to help nonprofit board members become exceptional leaders and accomplish their organization's goals.
organization
ChurchSmart Resources
This organization provides workshops, online resources, and assessment tools focused on church planting, church health, leadership development, and conflict resolution.
article
5 Reasons People Volunteer
This article discusses five motivations people have for volunteering so that leaders can guide volunteers to a section of ministry that fits with their personal motivations.
event
International Catholic Stewardship Council Annual Conference
This four-day conference is dedicated to advancing Christian stewardship, Catholic philanthropy, and resource development in North America.
web resource
Jim Tomberlin on Church Mergers and Multi-Sites
In this web resource, Church Law Group attorney David Middlebrook conducts an interview with author and church consultant Jim Tomberlin and focuses on questions about church mergers, with Tomberlin arguing that mergers can create healthier congregations.
article
Buying Church Property
This five-step plan from the Christian Church is for congregations who have already identified real estate to purchase, covering legal considerations and getting congregational approval.
article
Church Facility Maintenance
This article offers best practices for maintaining a church facility with the goals of safety and efficiency in mind.
article
Signage
This article helps congregations assess how their signage adds or detracts from their identity, mission, and values.
organization
Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership
This organization promotes and teaches the principles of servant leadership through conferences, trainings, an e-newsletter, free blog posts, and a podcast.
web resource
Externally Focused Churches Becoming the New Norm
This web resource offers a YouTube video narrated by Eric Swanson, author and Leadership Network’s Community Director, which describes externally focused or what are called “missiona” congregations and shares stories from missional churches where service to “outsiders” is integral and where expressions of love of neighbor are evident by the service rendered.
organization
Journey to Baptismal Living
This organization offers an e-newsletter, conference, and articles to help congregational leaders strengthen their catechumenal process.
article
50 Ways to Welcome New People
This three-page document is full of practical suggestions for making your congregation welcoming and user-friendly for guests.
article
25 Simple Ways to Be Missional in Your Neighborhood
This article describes 25 practical and easily implemented ways for congregations and individuals to create a missional presence in the neighborhood.
article
Child Sexual Abuse Response Plan
This article equips congregations with ways to prevent child abuse and what to do if abuse is alleged.
article
Church Office Communications
Secretaries and administrators who serve their congregations as volunteers or as paid staff will find much to appreciate in this article offered by Christianity Today. Communicating effectively with the media, your supervisor, and others is discussed. Tips for handling confrontational conversations are offered, and responding to "complainers" is also addressed. Another offering, "Ten Rules for Respect," is clear, honors boundaries, and can be implemented in many places outside of the office. Listening and discernment as both skill and art-because there is always a story behind the story-is also covered. This article is relatively brief, but its many hints and suggestions can serve as a teaching or assessment tool or as a how-to for clergy, staff members, and lay-leaders from a variety of religious traditions.
article
Dealing with Dangerous People
This article helps churches identify dangerous behaviors and outlines strategies for keeping staff and parishioners safe.
article
Do-It-Yourself Energy Audit for Congregations
In this article, Kansas Interfaith Power and Light offers a five-step process to help congregations save energy costs.
article
Draw the Line: Relational Boundaries for Safe Youth Ministry
article
Financing a Church Building Project
Christianity Today offers helpful information and ideas about financing a building project. The numerous authors are both creative and practical in their approach. They address various topics, including borrowing and debt and the impact on congregations, hiring fundraising and capital campaign experts, and securing funds when the economy is down. The "finding grants" section may be of particular interest for those congregations who feel like securing grants is a bit like maneuvering a maze. Among other things, author Joy Skjegstad demystifies the process, offers a national website for finding grantors, {{United Philanthropy Forum | https://www.unitedphilforum.org/}}, and identifies the documentation, plans, and information to have prepared in advance. Context issues throughout the article are small versus large congregations, the role of faith, and fiscal responsibility. Hints for sharing the article with others and additional resources are provided. Any congregation considering a building project will find this conversation starter helpful and enlightening.
article
Five Strategic Advantages of Small Churches
This article identifies and details five strengths of smaller congregations while providing anecdotal evidence for each.
article
Insights Into: Attracting and Keeping Congregational Members
This article offers research and insights to help congregations attract and recruit new and old congregational participants.
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Managing Church Calendars
Maintaining a church calendar is simple, right? Rarely, say the contributors to this article from Christianity Today, though they also say that answering basic questions is a helpful starting point. Some questions are the number of calendars needed-one master calendar or multiple ones specific to time, function, or group? What is the best format-printed or electronic? What calendars are public? Private? What about the church's website calendar? What is the process for altering the calendar? The authors wisely recognize that all churches are not alike, and one solution does not work for everyone. A strength, therefore, of this resource is that it offers readers information, options, and issues to consider about the basic questions, such as ways to handle facility reservations, a review of available software programs, and methods of gathering calendar items. This practical resource is appropriate for all congregations and their staff, regardless of tradition.
article
Choosing a Site
This article offers congregations topics to consider before selecting a piece of property to purchase.
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Flexible Space
This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of converting your facility into a flexible space.
article
The Eight Practices of a Missional Church
This article offers eight practices of a missional church while inviting readers to consider their own ministry and obstacles to growth.
article
What is the Missional Church? A Brief Introduction
This article describes a brief history of the missional church movement and discusses the rationale of authors and theologians who are proponents of the movement.
media
Alternative Worship Images from the UK
This montage captures the spirit, mood, and tone of the alternative worship movement in one United Kingdom religious community.
web resource
Calvin College Pubs Clubs Alt Worship Compilation
This less than three-minute video from YouTube has no spoken words, but speaks volumes about England’ s Calvin College's alternative worship and its many facets and elements. Viewers see informal and formal gatherings where participants are both prone or standing in reverence.
web resource
Labyrinth - Grace09
This web resource offers a YouTube video that contains a labyrinth meditative prayer walk which guides you through the stages of "a journey toward God", including reflection time for contemplating and meditating on loss, fear, and gifts.
web resource
LOVE Creative Arts Worship, Drawing and Painting
This intergenerational worship experience example offered on YouTube by Laura Lenander shows participants worshipping through a myriad of artistic media, which produces a myriad of artistic products and focuses on participants speaking and working from their own concerns, questions, and contexts.
web resource
Prayerscapes
This website, provided by Prayerscapes, a group of Christian musicians, dramatic readers, and worship and prayer creators, offers videos and films that have both spoken and musical content and include daily prayers, a house blessing, and well-known prayers, such the Lord’ s Prayer and Psalm 23.
web resource
Small Ritual
This web resource by Steve Collins, who is a creative thinker and artist who cares deeply about the church and its identity, theology, and future, explores the church from numerous angles to enrich the church's relationship with its local culture.
web resource
Worship Enrich: Exploring Old and New Ways of Responding to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Anglican Church Music Director Neil Barker created this website to explore and discuss the past, present, and future of church worship.
article
Six Characteristics of a Missional Church
This article identifies the foundation of the missional church outlining six characteristics that explore what missional churches do, how they do it, and why.
book
Ministry and Money: A Guide for Clergy and Their Friends
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article
Food for the Spirit: Synagogue Budgets
This practical and adaptable guide for building an annual budget starts by emphasizing the relationship between a congregation's mission and vision and its budget. The chapters that follow include steps to passing a budget, a brief list of definitions, a discussion of biblical ethics in relationship to a budget, a section for small congregations, and a suggested schedule for completing a budget on time. Several samples of documents that can be used as templates are included. A budget worksheet for committees, a mission statement, and a chart of accounts are just a few of the samples available. This downloadable and free resource was first published by the former Union of American Hebrew Congregations in 1999 and later updated by the Union for Reform Judaism. Many congregations from a variety of faith traditions will find this document helpful and easily adaptable for their own context.
article
Leadership Development Special Report
Many congregations seek leadership development resources, but finding them can be overwhelming. An internet search on leadership development renders millions of hits; a search on Amazon.com provides more than 40,000 hits. To help congregations in their search, Rev. Drs. Janet Hoover and Nancy DeMott combined their pastoral, educational, and research experience to discover and select the "best" leadership development resources for congregations. Their eleven-page report defines leadership development, identifies the "best" twenty-eight resources, and explains what makes a resource a "best" in the eyes of the Center for Congregations. The resources vary from books to blogs, organizations to articles. Each resource is annotated and includes contact or publishing information. Some resources are secular in approach; others reflect various religious traditions. Specific topics covered include leadership and power, leadership theory, communication, conflict, educational programs, and student leadership. Congregations of all types and sizes will want to begin their search for resources here.
article
Responding to Personal Tragedy
Suicide, accidental, and violent deaths are three kinds of tragedies that Editor Marian Liautaud addresses in this resource. The article includes an "overview" on responding to tragedies, an assessment tool, and how-to and pastor sections. The assessment and how-to sections focus on preparation. These cover topics such as death of a child, steps for building a "crisis team," and communication, including legal considerations and handling the media. One pastor section offers advice for caring for individuals and the congregation, and notes "the uniqueness of various crises." The other pastor section discusses teen suicide. It offers suicide "warning signals," makes suggestions for counseling suicidal people, and has ideas for suicide education. Ways to use the material and additional resources are also given. Tragedy does not limit itself to a particular religious group, making this user-friendly training tool a must-read for clergy, lay leaders, and judicatories from any religious tradition.
article
Safeguarding Your Church from Fires
In this resource, Your Church Resources editor Marian Liautaud has compiled a set of shorter articles that focus on various aspects of church fire safety. Both the introductory overview and the assessment tool help churches determine their level of vulnerability, such as electrical or chemical fires. The how-to sections offer suggestions for responding after a church fire, emphasize having an evacuation plan, and explain how electrical wiring and some appliances contribute to kitchen fires. Readers are given a process for "choosing a fire-detection system" that includes a discussion of working with contractors and experts. Readers can also review the provided checklist for "preventing arson," offering tips about lighting, locks, and handling combustible products. Ways to use the article as a training tool for leaders, additional resources, and "thought provokers" that serve as conversation starters are also provided. This brief article is appropriate for clergy, lay leaders, and judicatories from all religious traditions.
book
Debtcibel: a Non-technical Sound Book that Teaches the Church How to Spend, When to Spend and Who to Spend It On
Written by a Grammy-winning sound engineer, this resource shows how congregations can achieve excellent sound systems using available resources.
periodical
Religious Buildings
The annual Traditional Building magazine is targeted to professionals in architecture, interior design, construction and landscape design who specialize in traditional design and offers congregations an extensive list of vendors that provide products and services that are sometimes hard to find.
article
Notes on Communication: Strategies for Addressing Conflict in Congregations
This article discusses the role that miscommunication plays in congregational conflict and offers an intervention process for reducing conflict and enhancing communication.
article
Preventing Sexual Misconduct in Youth Ministry
Karen Arneson is a former youth worker who edits this article aimed at helping congregations implement policies and procedures for youth ministry that can help prevent sexual abuse occurrences and help ensure healthy ministry boundaries. Arneson identifies six topics for consideration. One is an assessment tool that invites leaders to review their current "safeguards." Another is a how-to that offers ideas and suggestions for keeping youth safe, such as worker selection, oversight, and conversation. Still another section addresses liability, supervision, and youth volunteers with respect to "youth-to-youth sexual abuse" and "harassment." The article also discusses legal and ethical obligations of church leadership when accusations of abuse are made. Additional aids are as follows: "thought provokers," tips for using the information, and a list of optional resources. Though the source of this article is Christian, the issues addressed are relevant for clergy, lay-leaders, and judicatories from any religious tradition.
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Your Guide to a Safe Church Daycare
Daycare centers can be an effective outreach tool, but daycares must be safe places that are carefully and legally managed. This Christianity Today resource helps churches establish and improve their centers and keep a child's welfare as primary importance. The assessment tool and how-to's review the basics, such as following state and local regulations, purchasing toys and equipment, handling chemicals and cleaning products, and playgrounds. Additionally, one section discusses what may be signs of child mistreatment or intentional harm. Sharing faith with children is explored in another section. One easily overlooked danger is the risk of poisons, and a number of tips are offered to decrease accidental poisoning incidents, including storing materials in their "original containers." "Thought provokers" are sprinkled throughout and ways to share the information and additional resources are offered. This article is appropriate as an assessment tool or for those starting a daycare, regardless of religious tradition.
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