Articles tagged with: evangelism

16 October 2013

Two Talks on Evangelism in the 21st Century

Posted in Leadership, Church

Ethiopian-iPhoneWhat does evangelism in the 21st century look like? How is it different than 5, 10, 15, or 25 years ago?

In these two talks/sermons, I take on those questions and offer up strategies that have worked for me.

In short, evangelism must begin with repentence and it should involve more listening— holy listening— than it usually does. 

I draw on the work of the Barna Group in the books UnChristian and You Lost Me, Nadia Bolz-Weber's spiritual memoir, Pastrix, research from Elizabeth Drescher, and the work of Paul Hoffman described in Faith Forming Faith

What does evangelism at the ouset of the 21st century look like where you are?

10 August 2012

10 Commandments for Church Websites

Posted in Resources, Social Media

moses iphoneNow more than ever, it is essential to have a well designed and engaging church website. Here are my top ten commandments for getting the most value out of your church website.

Audience

1. Focus on Newcomers

Your church website's primary value is as an introduction to newcomers and then secondarily as news, resources, and information for members. Of course, there is overlap between the two. The difference is that members know where to find what they need. First time visitors don’t.

The home page and prominent menu items should focus on newcomers, providing the most crucial information on the first pages they see. Of course, you also want news and information for current members. You can place links/portals with this internal communication, especially administrative information, to the bottom or side of the page (and let people know where to find them.)

Help newcomers find your website on Google search using this technique.

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.

02 May 2011

Shifting the Focus to Congregations: The ELCA LIFT Report

Posted in ELCA, Church

LIFT ReportEvery mainline Protestant denomination is struggling with declining membership, decreasing financial support, and the question of how best to be the Body of Christ in this time.

In response, my denomination, the ELCA, created the LIFT (Living into the Future Together) Task Force, which was charged with making recommendations on how to change our denominational structures or "ecology" in order to help best fulfill our mission today.  The task force issued its final report to the ELCA on April 11th.

My short take is that the task force shows very good instincts, particularly in its overarching recommendation regarding the shift of focus and resources to local congregations. However, I think the report also falls victim to three persistent problems we face in our church ecology.