By now, if you’ve spent any time on the internet, you are certainly aware of the game ‘Pokemon Go’. It’s a game that uses your smart phone and nostalgia to encourage kids (and young adults) go for walks all over town. There is an interesting component to the whole game that churches should be aware of. The game includes different stations around town where people can go and regain supplies for the game. Fun fact – Churches are almost always one of these stations.
Just yesterday morning, I saw two young boys sitting on my churches lawn for a half an hour, because my church (Twin Oaks UMC) happens to be one of those stations. There are several ways churches could use this game to build relationships with their communities. Here are a few ideas and suggestions: Continue reading
Every community, from the smallest village to the largest city, has a character all its own. One of the most important things a pastor or ministry leader can do is understand that character. It will tell you what ministries are needed and how your church could go about initiating them. And with so many United Methodist pastors settling into their new appointments, I thought this would be a good time to share 6 things to help you learn about your community. (For the record, you can be in year twenty of your ministry at a church and still benefit from these.)
As a point of citation, the points (in bold) are the work of Michael Mata, and the questions are the work of Michael Frost, who is a professor of Missiology and my additions.
So here are six things you should look at to understand your community: Continue reading
For many United Methodist pastors, you’ve just survived your first Sunday at your new church, and are still swimming in boxes as you unpack. Now, you have months and months of getting to know the new congregation you have been appointed to care for. Even if you’re not United Methodist, the process of getting to know a new congregation is daunting.
I want to offer a few insights I’ve learned through getting to know two different congregations. Here are three things for getting to know your congregation better: Continue reading
One of the core skills of being a church member is being able to offer care and comfort to others. And contrary to cultural precedent, this is not the sole responsibility of the pastor. In fact, most “pastoral” care can be offered by non-clergy or laity.
The problem is that many church goers feel under equipped or ill-prepared for those conversations. (As a side note, so do I, despite having literally hundreds of hours of pastoral care visits). So I wanted to offer a few basic steps to offering care to someone you know in your church. These won’t make you a counselor or therapist, but they should help you be a better friend and church member. Some of them are fairly obvious, but worth restating. Continue reading
So, I’ve been reading a lot this year. I have a goal of averaging one book per week. But I had a stark realization in the last couple of weeks. The reading has been helpful, but only to me. The books haven’t really begun impacting my congregation or you readers at all.
So, here is a quick overview of the things I took away from ‘Mentor For Life’ by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson. Please note, these are my interpretations and impressions, and so they are subject to my biases. Continue reading