Topbar search

From the Archives: “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...
Read More →

“When a Shared Parking Lot Isn’t Just About Parking” by Paul D. Numrich

|| Written by Paul D. Numrich, Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran Seminary || What happens when a Catholic church provides overflow parking to a Hindu temple? Is it primarily an exchange of resources? Or is something more going on? In our book on immigrant...
Read More →

From Evaluation to Engagement

Figuring out whether or not a program works poses an interesting challenge. It’s something that leaders often want to do, but the impact of our work is often in the everyday lives of people, and it would be impractical to follow people around all day. In one recent program...
Read More →

Walking with Cameras

A variation of the walking tour is a great way to explore a congregation’s context: walking with cameras. These days most people have access to photographic equipment in the form of a mobile phone, digital camera, or disposable camera. Whatever technology one employs, one should...
Read More →

Pop-Up Shabbat: A Dinner Community Case Study

Pop-Up Shabbat  is a pop-up restaurant inspired by Jewish culture and tradition in Brooklyn, NY. Each gathering lasts 3-4 hours and includes “slightly socially engineered mingling, family-style dining, music (yes, sometimes dancing), and a bit of Shabbat tradition.” Numbers are...
Read More →

Pay What You Want: An Examination of Dues

The New York Times posted an article about the changing sources of income for some synagogues. Rather than requiring membership dues based on family size, age, or income, some synagogues are now asking people to voluntarily pledge money to the congregation. How congregations...
Read More →

The Building as an Asset: Thinking Differently about Congregational Programs

The Christian Century recently posted an article about thinking about a congregation’s building as an asset. From the article: What we’ve discovered—and it has been a learning curve for us, as well as for the congregations we’ve served—is that buildings and grounds can be...
Read More →

Congregational Websites: An Issue of Size

Kelsey Dallas from the Deseret News wrote an article outlining the relationship between congregational size and the presence of a website. Using data from the National Congregations Study, she shows that smaller congregations often struggle with the cost of creation and...
Read More →

Fundraising Training in Seminary: Practical Realities

Boston University School of Theology (which, for full disclosure, is a sponsor of this site) has recently instituted finance courses for seminary students. As the article from BU Today explains: Starting this fall, the course, STEWARD—short for Stewardship Thinking, Economic...
Read More →

Eyeing the Budget: Content Analysis of Priorities

When you’re having a problem within your congregation, you should 1) figure out a research question, 2) then determine the best way to examine the question using a variety of research tools, and 3) examine the data from a variety of perspectives or frames. We talk a lot...
Read More →