Top Ten “Leading Ideas” Articles of 2014

December 18, 2014

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What Leading Ideas subjects are trending this year? We have assembled this list to give you another opportunity to glean insight and inspiration from the authors and articles most popular with our 15,000-plus subscribers.
Small congregations sometimes assume that any significant community ministry is beyond their reach. But author and consultant Joy Skjegstad outlines how small congregations can develop community ministries that make an impact by playing to their strengths. Read more.
After attending a lackluster Sunday morning Mass during a family beach vacation, Father Michael White recounts the ways the service communicated to visitors that they did not belong and failed to serve its primary objective of conveying the living Word of God. Read more.
Focusing too much on the liturgical correctness of colors and songs used during Advent is irrelevant, says Pastor Keith Anderson, and it detracts from the importance of announcing Advent as a time of invitation to waiting, longing, love, and incarnation.Read more.
One of the greatest challenges to the church today is its lack of connection to community, says Pastor Joe Daniels. Vital churches focus outward, engaging their communities — not only to serve — but to build relationships and make disciples. Read more.
Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr. explains why it is so very difficult, yet so necessary, for churches to move beyond programs and practices that no longer connect to current needs and objectives. Read more.
Noting that the first two minutes are critically important, Brian Bauknight asks why our worship services can’t start with a joyful, enthusiastic, and genuinely appreciative opening — the way “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon does. Read more.
Worship is no longer as strong a mechanism for engaging new people as it once was, according to authors Doug Powe and Jasmine Smothers. Ministries such as missions, small groups, and child-care programs are becoming vital places of welcome and connection. Read more.
On Ash Wednesday, Pastor Yvi Martin offered imposition of ashes in a local coffee house. She describes how this was a meaningful way for her church members to begin Lent and a witness that reached many others. Read more.
Faith Communities Today issued a study of congregations that have succeeded in attracting significant numbers of young adults. Their research suggests some “dos” and “don’ts” for congregations seeking to engage young adults. Read more.
What should pastors do about their social media relationships when moving from one church to the next? Pastor Thomas James and Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr., offer advice on managing social media relationships in appropriate and sensitive ways during pastoral transitions. Read more.
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership is located in Washington, DC at Wesley Theological Seminary. The Director is Dr. Lovett Weems. SUBSCRIBE to Leading Ideas