The Year in Review: Our Top Twelve Stories of 2019

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The year 2019 was a time of growth, learning, and exploration for everyone here at Faith+Lead. It was also a year filled with great stories—and because a new year is the perfect time to take a look back, here are twelve of our most popular stories from last year, in no particular order.

Will the ELCA Be Gone in 30 years?

country church under the stars
New projections forecast just 16,000 in worship across the entire ELCA by 2041. Why is this happening and what can be done? By Luther Seminary VP of Innovation and associate professor of congregational mission and leadership Dwight Zscheile.

How to Discern God’s Presence From a Lawn Chair

This breakthrough practice helps you discern where the Holy Spirit is at work in your neighborhood–just by sitting and observing.

10 Ways to Make Your Sermon More Memorable

Man jumping headfirst into tropical lagoon
“Doing something” with new information helps people remember better. Discover 10 ways to preach more memorable sermons by inviting action and staying confident in the gospel. By Madeline Burbank.

Forgive Us Our Debt (Part One)

coffee cup and tax forms
Do our theologies suggest that balance sheets can never be the mark of our virtue, or even our value, within God’s economy? By Rev. Dr. Katherine A. Shaner.

Why Jesus

In Spring 2019, the Luther Seminary community designed an experiment called Why Jesus?, a practice that helps Christians learn to share personal stories of faith as well as listen deeply to others.

New research on the Economic
Practices of Congregations

church congregation at worship
A new Study on Congregations’ Economic Practices is being called “the largest and most comprehensive nationally representative study on money and congregations in over a generation.” By Catherine Malotky.

What’s Really Causing Church Decline
…and What Can We Do About It

The keynote address from the Faithful Innovation Summit, July 24-26, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dwight Zscheile (VP of Innovation, Luther Seminary) and Michael Binder (Affiliate Professor at Luther Seminary and Co-Lead Pastor at Mill City Church, Minneapolis) ask what we can do to renew the church’s identity.

Innovation: From Buzzword to Renewal

lightbulb in hand
As innovation becomes a buzzword, it’s easy for church leaders to reduce it to a trend. But how might it play a powerful role in renewal? By Terri Martinson Elton.

How to Create a Neighborhood Prayer Station

Try creating a neighborhood prayer station as a simple and effective way of connecting with your community.

Understanding the Shifts in Stewardship

flowers over psalms
Over the past twenty years or so, the stewardship landscape has shifted significantly. By Pastor Charles Lane.

Christmas Was Not Always Like This
(Part One: The Beginnings of Christmas)

Christmas village
The story of how Christmas has been celebrated in Christian history contains surprises for most of us. Read the first of our three-part series on the history of Christmas. By Bruce David Forbes.

Becoming Aware of Our Abundance

bible on table with vase
Bishop Erik Gronberg reflects on what he’s learned about stewardship health, given his lens as bishop in Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana. By Rev. Erik Gronberg, Ph.D.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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