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Mission Orientation: Case Study

The Minneapolis Star Tribune posted an article about the 50th anniversary of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church moving to a new church building. Using this article as a case study of the Mission Orientation post from Wednesday, we can uncover much...
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How is your congregation oriented to the community?: Mission Orientation

There are four basic ways of relating the congregation to its community, according to a study of congregations in Hartford, Connecticut (Roozen, McKinney and Carroll, 1994).  These orientations align closely with theology, but vary slightly....
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Why would anyone attend a Megachurch?

Question:  Why would anyone attend a Megachurch? It just seems to be about hype and money and the pastor promoting himself. That’s not what church should be about. I never expected to become an apologist for the Megachurch when I began my...
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Commitment to the Congregation: Measurement Best Practices

How do you study how committed people are to your religious group? Do you look to attendance? Financial giving? Volunteering? Serving on committees or teams? One way to better understand this issue is to bring together a focus group from your...
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Environmentalism and the Black Church: New Frontiers

A recent article from the Religion News Network highlights Trinity United Church of Christ, a Black congregation in Chicago, that focuses much of its energy on the environment, and much of its congregational cultural focus surrounds issues of...
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Implicit Assumptions and Expectations: Spell Them Out

Many religious leaders struggle with fitting into new congregations. Congregants may have implicit assumptions and expectations of the new leader — whether it’s what day the leader takes off, to how frequently he visits those who are...
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Technology as a Means for Communication

In what ways does your religious community use technology? Mark Chaves’ book, American Religion: Contemporary Trends (2011) outlines the growth in the use of technology in congregations from 1998 to 2006. In 1998, 17% of congregations had...
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The Introduction of Newcomers

The people who make up a congregation changes regularly — new babies are born, individuals and families move in and out of the community, and members die. Membership in religious organizations in the United States is a voluntary activity,...
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Lower Denominational Control: Effects of Changing Church Forms

Mark Chaves’ 2011 book, American Religion: Contemporary Trends, outlines a number of ways in which denominations have less and less control over individual congregations: 1 in 5 religious congregations in the United States are now...
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