Having a website for your congregation is not a luxury anymore. I know this has been said before and some denominations have tried to help get websites set up for their congregations, but I find that many still don’t have a website. It may seem like a luxury, or something that is not essential, but the research and the experiences tell us differently. It doesn’t matter what the average age of your congregation is or whether or not you have money. What matters is that if you don’t have a web presence, you will not be found.
It might often be thought that faith formation leaders are called to work with today’s children and youth. While that is certainly true, our ministry does not stop there. Leaders are called to minister to the whole family, to encourage and empower the spirituality of the entire family, not just the children.
During this Easter season of fifty days, take time to suggest to families numerous activities, which will bring them closer together within their family life, as well as deepen their relationship with God and God’s family.
Which Issues Do You Think Matter Most to Youth? - Be careful this blog title is intentionally deceptive! - Jim MerhautRead Now
How are you addressing the spirituality of some of the older people in your congregation?
Marjory Zoet Bankson’s book, Creative Aging: Rethinking Retirement and Non-Retirement in a Changing World, addresses these seven phases and presents spiritual practices and questions to ponder to help retirees along their spiritual journey.
“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.” is a quote by William Arthur Ward, one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims.
I have had this quote in a frame and hanging in my office for more than 15 years. I often reflect on the wisdom of these words in the context of ministry.
I recently responded to a group blog challenge to write a 250-word elevator pitch for the Christian denomination in which I serve. I found the experience challenging but incredibly liberating. How we describe our churches and the way they help form faith and change lives in our communities will only become more important as religious affiliation wanes. We all need to keep working on the knack for it. Here’s a bit about what I learned in the process.
Much has been said about the pervasiveness of technology in all aspects of life today. Recent research from the Barna Group (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/657-three-digital-life-trends-for-2014#.UymHO8KPLIU) reveals three trends that are emerging out of the reality that life has changed today because of technology. The question for us, of course, is what is the impact of these trends of the faith journey of the people; what are the ramifications for faith formation?
A few weeks ago, I ran across this article on Edutopia that looks at using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to address the needs of students in the classroom. Maslow’s theory, presented in 1943, remains a popular framework for sociology and psychology, even though it has its critics and skeptics. Maslow’s theory says that the most basic needs must be met before a person can focus on the other needs in the hierarchy. I am wondering how we pay attention to these needs as we minister to and with people. Let’s look at the five types of needs, as classified by Maslow, and how they might relate to youth ministry (or really any ministry.)
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