Church Category

08 May 2012

Five Ways Church Members Can Participate in Digital Ministry

Posted in How To, Digital Ministry, Social Media, Church


Member participation is absolutely crucial for effective digital ministry, and yet there is very little guidance out there for people in our congregations. Most of the advice focuses on the role of professional ministry leaders.

Member engagement helps puts the "social" in social media by extending the community, amplifying the Gospel message, and helping move away from a one-person one-message model of broadcast media.

Here are five ways members can participate in and extend the digital ministry of their congregations:

29 March 2012

Why I Don't Pray the Bidding Prayer for Jews on Good Friday

Posted in Church

latin-missalThe "bidding prayers" appointed for Good Friday liturgy include this prayer for Jews:

"Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God. Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and your teaching to Moses. Hear our prayers that the people you called and elected as your own may receive the fulfillment of the covenant's promises. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen."

It may seem innocuous enough, but this prayer has a long and dark history in the Church.

23 March 2012

When We Reduce Evangelism to Membership

Posted in Steve Jobs, Leadership, Church

Join Now Former ELCA Presiding Bishop, Herbert Chilstrom, has commented on how the word "evangelical" has been hijacked by more conservative religious and political traditions.  

I don't disagree. However, I think the greater threat to our understanding of what it means to be "evangelical" is not a hijacking at the hands of outsiders, but how the term is being reduced by insiders - by us.

We have reduced "evangelism" to one meaning - the conversion of visitors to members, and the metric of successful evangelism as the rate at which these conversions take place.

14 March 2012

Steve Jobs on Self-Care: Keep Your Passion Kindled

Posted in Steve Jobs, Leadership, Church

Steve-JobsMinistry people are kind of obsessed with "self-care." We talk about it a lot and, truth be told, we tend to do a much better job talking about it than actually doing it.

There are all kinds of self-care strategies out there, which can include sprititual direction, retreats, sabbaticals, setting aside time to read and reflect, travel, and continuing education. I've done all of these and they have kept me grounded and well.

Nonetheless, there is something that really bothers me about the way we usually talk about self-care.

08 March 2012

Life is a Highway: Making the Case for Digital Ministry in Congregations

Posted in Digital Ministry, Social Media, Church

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In a couple weeks I'll be leading an adult forum at Redeemer on the phenomenon of social media and how we, as a congregation, are using it in our ministry. This may seem obvious to readers of this blog, but its not something we talk about all the time at Redeemer.

As I thought about what social media means specificially to Redeemer's ministry context something occurred to me, which helped me contextualize what we are doing with our website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on.

You may find it a helpful way in making the case for digital ministry in your own setting.

24 February 2012

The Church's One Vocation

Posted in Emerging, Church

Matt Wilhelm"Let me just say, I am not an active member of my congregation. If I told you that I aspired to be an active member of my congregation at this point in my life, I would be lying."

This Sunday our church welcomed Matt Wilhelm, Chief Program Officer for Calling All Crows, and, as I like to say, a good Lutheran boy, who spoke to us about the intersection of faith, service, and vocation.

In this midst of our time together, he hit us with this line, which I found refreshing because he expressed what many people in church feel, but often feel uncomfortable saying in polite congregational company.

"Yes, I like being connected to the church, but I don't aspire to be really active, at least not right now." Matt's point, as I understood it, is that he feels called to live out his vocation on the road and in the world and not so much within a congregation, at least not at this moment.

While I found it refreshing, I was also aware that these might be a challenging words for the heavily involved church faithful gathered there to hear Matt.

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