}

Sue Edison-Swift

Contributor

Contributions From Sue Edison-Swift

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The Smart Guide to Buying Church Management Software
This downloadable e-book is an introduction to church management software and will help congregations determine which software is best for their needs.
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MinistryTech Magazine
Formerly Christian Computing Magazine, this free, monthly e-zine is for church staff and volunteers engaged in the technical-side of congregational life, from accounting to worship.
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Church & Donor Management Software—ChMS
This chart visually summarizes 34 church management software vendors to help users identify what will work best for their needs.
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How to Choose Software to Manage Your Church
This quick and simple overview is a helpful introduction for congregations considering church management software.
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A process for choosing a web-based church management system: A case study
Wallis Metts, Jr., Ph.D., professor of communication at Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor, Michigan, is also an associate pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, Michigan. Metts' free downloadable paper, presented at the 2014 Annual Conference on Information and Religion at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, draws on his experience leading the team choosing a church management system (ChMS) for Countryside Bible Church. He highlights the inescapable problems facing those seeking a ChMS solution, including a dizzying array of features and the few independent/objective sources of information. Metts acknowledges the "fuzzy" decision-making context of a congregational committee. His recommended process includes designating a project leader, securing buy-in from senior management, detailing the weakness of the current approach, defining business objectives instead of features, and identifying/consulting, decision makers.
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Questions to Ask
This article contains a list of church management software and congregational culture questions to help congregational leaders find the right ChMS system for their needs.
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Church IT Network
This online community allows information technology staff to communicate, share advice, learn about upcoming events, and ask questions about any topics related to congregational technology.
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Church Administrators Yahoo Group
This online discussion group allows members to ask questions and receive advice from over 3,500 church administrators on any topic, ranging from software packages to gaining volunteer interest.
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Compare Church Management Software (ChMS)
This website organizes information about 25 church management software systems for congregations to evaluate which will best address their needs.
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The New Adapters: Shaping Ideas to Fit Your Congregation
This book focuses on a model of church-revitalization that keeps "good news to the poor" central to the ministry while offering advice for congregations looking to renew their audience and outreach efforts.
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Back to the Basics: A Holistic Approach to Correcting the Stewardship Crisis in the African American Church
This book diagnoses the root of "stewardship syndrome" and provides solutions like preaching and church structure to motivate givers.
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Benevolence Fund Basics
This training resource helps congregations comply with IRS standards for benevolence funds.
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Best Practices for Technology Usage
Written by legal and financial experts and Christianity Today, this article offers a solid primer on best policies and procedures for U.S. congregations, ranging from issues like privacy to security.
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Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World
Written by a former Southern Baptist pastor who was removed from his congregation after committing adultery, this book focuses on men who serve in settings where divorce means lost ministry.
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Communicating During a Church Building Project
Bottom line: First discern your congregation's unique vision, and the mission motivation for a building project. Then, communicate that vision and mission motivation over and over again, in multiple ways, throughout the five stages of building: "Vision Casting, Capital Campaign, Construction, Grand Opening, and Growth and Assimilation." This is not the resource for communicators looking for detailed ideas or model communication plans. Nor is it the resource to find model liturgies for ground-breaking, cornerstone or dedication services. The overview offered here by authors and experts Alana Nelson, Evan McBroom, and Will Mancini, will be most helpful for Christian leaders beginning to entertain the notion of a building project. Its strength is its focus on communicating vision and mission as the starting and ending point of a building project.
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Inclusion Handbook: Everybody Belongs, Everybody Serves
This resource serves as a primer for volunteers, staff, and congregants on the inclusion of people with disabilities.
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The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife
Targeted towards baby boomers, this resource gives this generation a new name to provide a window to understanding.
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Holy Currency Exchange: 101 Stories, Songs, Actions, and Visions of Missional and Sustainable Ministries
This book provides strategies on the stewardship of the six holy currencies: money, time and place, gracious leadership, relationship, truth, and wellness.
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Jesus Goes to the Movies: The Youth Ministry Film Guide
This resource combines movie criticism with faith to prepare the reader to lead impactful conversations revolving around popular culture.
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Money Matters for Youth: Integrating Faith and Finances
Written by a faith-based financial services organization, this download offers a seven-session curriculum for youth on finances.
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Sacred Acts: How Churches Are Working to Protect Earth's Climate
Divided into four sections, this anthology of 12 essays has diverse theological and political perspectives, united in their support to confront climate change.
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Church Refugees: Sociologists Reveal Why People Are DONE with Church but Not Their Faith
Based on 100 in-depth interviews, this resource shines a light on why people opt out of congregational membership, but not their faith.
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Sticky Faith Service Guide: Moving Students from Mission Trips to Missional Living
This guide provides a map for youth leaders to transform the short term mission trip into an experience with long term impact.
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Revitalized Church: How to Leave a Legacy Church
This resource uses the example of one church to discuss concepts such as ministry assessment surveys, local missionaries, community outreach, and church growth, all while emphasizing a focus on Christ.
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The Seasons of Adult Faith Formation
This resource offers insight into serving adults in congregations, bringing together experts in faith formation, adult education, generational studies, and congregational life.
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The Worship Mall: Contemporary Responses to Contemporary Culture
This academic resource studies Christian worship-style responses to a culture of consumerism, including blended, emerging, and liquid worship.
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We've Been Embezzled!
If you suspect or know of embezzlement in your congregation, read this. Now. It won't hit you with a "should have done" list. Instead, it will lead you through actions to avoid the aftershocks-legal liabilities and IRS penalties-as you try to recover. An attorney and CPA, Richard R. Hammar, senior editor for the Church Law and Tax Group, wrote these chapters: "Avoiding False Accusations," "Disclosing Confidential Information," "Lie Detector Tests," "If an Embezzler Confesses," and "Informing the Congregation." His voice inspires confidence. While this resource doesn't cover everything-for example, a model crisis communication plan-it is a solid place to start when embezzlement shakes your congregation.
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Encyclopedia of Positive Questions: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Bring out the Best in Your Organization
Written for companies, this resource will nonetheless be helpful for congregations as they answer a variety of positive questions designed to evaluate strengths and help plan for the future.
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Wholeness After Betrayal: Restoring Trust in the Wake of Misconduct
This book will help churches restore inner congregation peace after clergy and lay leader misconduct, whether it be sexual, physical, financial, spiritual, or emotional abuse.
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Networked: The New Social Operating System
This book explores the concept of "networked individualism" --- the result of people connecting with others through multiple and diverse networks, and the three revolutions that led to this social transformation.
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Church Management Software Research
This webpage offers information to help congregations navigate the evaluation and purchase of management system solutions, including church management software.
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The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
This bestseller offers a leadership model that can be applied to a ministry setting, one that shifts away from individual performance and focuses on the collective leadership team.
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Another Day's Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis
This book outlines forms of political-theological orientation in the Black church. Then the author suggests how to mobilize interfaith coalitions that promote "poverty alleviation, racial reconciliation and religious tolerance."
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Synergy: A Leadership Guide for Church Staff and Volunteers
This book explores the dynamics between clergy, lay leaders, and the congregation and provides a deeper understanding of how they impact the ministry of the church.
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Studying Congregations: A New Handbook
This seminary textbook on "practical theology" will help congregational leaders who want to understand how the congregation functions and how to build on successes.
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Christian Practical Wisdom: What It Is, Why It Matters
This resource combines theology and practical suggestions to make a case for practical wisdom, which is "grounded in ordinary experience, and learned over time in the company of others and for the sake of others."
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Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion
These personal stories offer perspective for leaders to make their congregations accessible and inclusive.
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Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership
This resource offers discussion questions and two-minute exercises to supplement a comprehensive guide on five disciplines critical for accomplishing meaningful work in ministry.
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How Religious Congregations are Engaging Young Adults in America
This resource looks at a multi-faith, comprehensive survey of U.S. congregations and expands it with ten in-depth case studies of congregations with significant young adult participation to identify best practices.
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Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family and Church
Based off the author's personal experience with mental illness in her family, this resource offers a sobering and encouraging testimony.
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Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics
This resource takes a historical and contemporary approach to ethics that will help the reader understand the nature and purpose of Christian ethics. It also applies the language and techniques of theatrical improvisation to ethics.
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Adventure and the Way of Jesus: An Experiential Approach to Spiritual Formation
This resource demonstrates how to facilitate spiritual growth through "adventurous discipleship," such as challenge courses and rock-climbing.
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Data Security: Questions you should ask every church management software provider
When selecting a Church Management System (ChMS) for your congregation, the importance of knowing the right questions to ask vendors becomes readily apparent. This article adds a category of questions not often addressed by others: data security. A caution: don't start here, or you might be tempted to give up the task. Once you've narrowed your vendor options to top contenders, though, it's time to evaluate and compare them in terms of data security. Is the ChMS self-hosting, cloud-like, or SaaS cloud (software as a service)? The article, tied to FellowshipOne ChMS from Active Faith, has a vested interest in recommending SaaS options. Understanding that, the article offers an eye-opening introduction to the various definitions of "cloud-based," data-center security, and credit-card (Payment Card Industry, PCI) compliance.
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The Volunteer Church: Mobilizing Your Congregation for Growth and Effectiveness
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Beyond the Possible: 50 Years of Creating Radical Change in a Community Called Glide
Told by its two founders, this book recalls stories from Glide Memorial, a United Methodist congregation that was transformed by a mission of acceptance to become a diverse megachurch.
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The Five Star Church: Serving God and His People with Excellence
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Slow Kingdom Coming: Practices for Doing Justice, Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World
This resource outlines five practices for fruitful service based on the author's justice work experience as an advocate for education in Haiti.
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The Community Leadership Handbook: Framing Ideas, Building Relationships, and Mobilizing Resources
This resource for volunteer staff offers endless ideas and resources on how to identify community assets, analyze community problems, build social capital, and more.
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The Community Leadership Handbook: Framing Ideas, Building Relationships, and Mobilizing Resources
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Radical Hospitality
This brief read will remind congregations the importance of first impressions for first-time visitors.
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The Church Leader's Guide to Personality and Performance Assessments
This article reviews a variety of personality assessments for congregations considering using the assessments in the hiring process or to nurture teamwork.
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The Power of Listening: Building Skills for Mission and Ministry
Based on 65 interviews with members of various congregations, this book focuses on all aspects of listening --- listening within the congregation, listening to the wider community, listening to God, and obstacles to listening.
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Disaster Ministry Handbook
This comprehensive resource serves as a crash course on disaster ministry, covering the basics of disaster phases and detailed how-to suggestions.
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Peace at the Last: Visitation with the Dying
Created by the Lake Chelan Lutheran Church, this liturgy provides guidance for family and friends visiting people who are dying, providing comfort in the form of prayers, blessings, and scripture.
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Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God is at the Center
This resource offers inspiration and wisdom for leaders who minister in under-resourced communities, using the author's experience in Christian community development and biblical case studies to confront injustice.
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Smart Church Job Descriptions: A Collection of 45 Sample Job Descriptions for Church Employees
This resource uses a hypothetical congregation with 45 workers to clarify questions about staff structure and can be adapted to fit a congregation's specific needs.
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Smart Church Staff Evaluations: A Guide to Performance Appraisals That Motivate, Develop & Reward Church Employees
Written by a business consultant, this book is an overview of performance management basics and provides an introduction of performance appraisal as a way to determine pay raises.
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Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis
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Building the Good Life for All: Transforming Income Inequality in Our Communities
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We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations that Matter
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The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian
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A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
This book shares ways to renew Roman Catholic parishes, ranging from paying college students to be summer catechists to prioritizing the liturgical year.
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A Pastor's Toolbox 2: More Management Skills for Parish Leadership
This all-encompassing guidebook explains how to manage a parish, addressing issues ranging from job discrimination to adapting to change.
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Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways to Keep Yours Alive
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Church Mergers: A Guidebook for Missional Change
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Communication in the Church: A Handbook for Healthier Relationships
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Recovering From Un-Natural Disasters: A Guide for Pastors and Congregations after Violence and Trauma
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The Pentecost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for Becoming a Multiracial Congregation
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