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Ellen Childs Signs Off With: “Just Try It!”

  After three years developing StudyingCongregations.org, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how congregational leaders can ask better questions, uncover underlying issues, and have a deeper understanding of their congregations…   For some problems, the key...
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Questioning Common Knowledge: Using Research to Strategize

Rachel Held Evans wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post this week about millennials and the church. She argues that millennials don’t really want auditoriums, big screens, contemporary music, and big marketing campaigns. Millennials actually want an authentic worship...
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Spring into the Neighborhood: Walking Tour

Spring has finally arrived! Spring is a time for cleaning and airing out old, winterized spaces, and providing room for growth and renewal. Congregations can and should take the cue from the warming temperatures to look for avenues of growth and renewal within itself. One method...
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Rev. Lyle E. Schaller, 1923-2015

Rev. Lyle E. Schaller, a popular pastor and church consultant who gave practical advice on how congregations can grow and thrive, has died at the age of 91. From the New York Times obituary, Armed with research and anecdotal evidence, Mr. Schaller offered churches advice on...
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Catholicism in the Castro: Parish Life in Context

The National Catholic Reporter published a five-part series on San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer Church, focusing on its open and inclusive relationship with the community. Up to eighty percent of its population is LGBT. Most Holy Redeemer draws broadly from across the San...
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How to Get Started Collecting Congregational Data

The UJA-Federation of New York developed a great resource on how congregations can begin and continue to collect data and make decisions based on the data collected. Check out their free report, Data Maturity for Synagogues: Incorporating Data into the Decision-Making Culture...
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Grant Money for Pastor/Scholar Teams!

Are you a religious leader or religious scholar who has an innovative research idea for studying North American Christian congregations? Louisville Institute has a call for research teams comprised of both academic and pastoral leaders to work in collaboration for the project....
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How to Ask Good Questions

An important part of any study is having a clear research question. The language of “research question” may seem intimidating for a little investigation about your congregation, but to be able to figure out what is going on in your community, you need to be precise...
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Refocus the Conversation: About “Attracting Families”

Is your congregation attempting to reach out to “young families?” Jan Edmiston works at the Presbytery of Chicago and has a personal blog at at achurchforstarvingartists.wordpress.org. Below is part of a recent post on the topic: Almost every church I’ve ever known...
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#Ashtag and Sharing Religion on Social Networks

Look at all these priests sharing #ashtag selfies today http://t.co/BHXVI0H5qH pic.twitter.com/fX1USKhs39 — Mashable (@mashable) February 18, 2015 Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Christian period of Lent. Christians often receive a sign of the cross in ashes on their...
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