Cultivate Community

Christian communities need to be centers of deep listening, where God's presence is named and life-giving relationships are formed across all dimensions of diversity, both within and beyond the church.

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The world is changing. 

Stay up to date on the latest research, resources, and reflections exploring how to cultivate Christian faith in the 21st century. 

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May. 19, 2015

Online Giving

We took a look at a number of congregation websites to see how they have provided for online giving. One pastor said there are Sundays in the summer months when online giving surpasses offering plate collection. Online giving must be something worth our attention. Today’s writer shares some thoughts about online options. Blessings, Glenn Taibl, Co-Director Center for Stewardship Leaders
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Apr. 21, 2015

Making the Case

I have had several conversations this past month with Pastors working with their congregation’s leadership in the early stages of making plans for a Capital Appeal. We have written articles in this newsletter about choosing the right Consultant for capital appeals but we haven’t talked about the importance of the “Case Statement” in the development of your eventual campaign. Today’s
Featured image for “Ready for an Adventure: Leading Youth Trips”
Mar. 25, 2014

Ready for an Adventure: Leading Youth Trips

A blog post by Tashina Good  Image Credit: Tashina Good Who doesn’t love the idea of going on a summer youth group trip? You get to hang out with youth, have an amazing faith experience, and fun is bound to happen. Planning for a trip and being “in charge” as you go on one is a completely different story than
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Jan. 23, 2014

Digital Tools and Connection

A blog post by Kelsey Battleson Image Credit: iPad & Friends by Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr Every morning my commute to work is an hour on average, and within five minutes of my drive, I pass a billboard that every day for two months now has hijacked my train of thought as I finish my commute. On an eye-catching purple
Nov. 20, 2013

Missional Lab: Church Insider, Church Outsider

By Chase Smith In the February 2012 issue of The Lutheran magazine, Bishop Mike Rinehart of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America contributed an article that ruffled a few feathers.  Bishop Rinehart opens up the piece, entitled “Insiders and Outsiders,” with these words: Here’s my hunch. Everything for me rises or falls on this
Nov. 13, 2013

Missional Lab: Loving the Least of These

by Eric Hoffer   “We’re different, here at my church.  We aren’t captive to the world.”  Have you ever encountered such a place? A Christian community where they see themselves as something special, something holy, something different? Sometimes these places are wonderful, filled with wonderful people with wonderful hearts doing wonderful things for those in need. Quite often, though, when
Oct. 03, 2013

Missional Lab: Roadblocks that Wreck the Church (Part 1)

By Josh Linman  “Becoming missional will save the church.” Whether we want to admit it or not, many mainline pastors and denominations are banking on this idea. In our race to become missional, we have allowed some key assumptions to endure that are actually roadblocks to renewal. Missional Assumption 1: Becoming missional should be our priority Missional Reality 1: Developing
Sep. 26, 2013

Introducing Missional Lab Series: Join the Conversation

Courtney Young is a graduate of Luther Seminary – M.Div. with an emphasis in Congregational Mission and Leadership. Missional, a Millennial, and a new mother, Courtney shares her thoughts with us here:   In the spring of my senior year at Luther Seminary, I took a course called “Transforming Congregations for Mission,” taught by Mary Sue Dreier. The class launched
Aug. 20, 2013

A Social Faith: Millennials and Bingo Night

Courtney Young is a graduate of Luther Seminary – M.Div. with an emphasis in Congregational Mission and Leadership. Missional, a Millennial, and a new mother, Courtney shares her thoughts with us here:   When my husband and I moved to small-town Minnesota, an hour away from our closest family and friends, I suddenly found myself without the people who made
Aug. 07, 2013

The Common Thread of Coming Out

A blog post by Sarah Bane Coming out… I cannot claim to know the courage and poise it must take to come out to someone. But, as someone to whom more than one person has come out, I have started to notice a common thread to each story: middle school. For each loved one who has come out to me,