Here’s a collection of interesting, thought-provoking articles from around the web from recent weeks. For more links, check out our Flipboard magazines: Leadership Network Today, Leadership Network Deep Trends, and Ideas to Implementation to Impact, where we curate the best in innovative ideas for church leaders.
1. The Importance of a Welcoming Church Environment for Newcomers (christianitytoday.com) The only people from the interviews who failed to mention a welcoming, inclusive environment as an important element of evangelism were pastors. Three out of six pastors put no emphasis on the importance of being welcoming, and one offered it as an afterthought, the last in a list of many connection points. This was true even when the previously unchurched person in their congregation said that same pastor was welcoming!
2. How Smartphones and Social Media are Changing Christianity (bbc.com) When the Reverend Pete Phillips first arrived in Durham nine years ago, he was ejected from the city’s cathedral. He had been reading the Bible on his mobile phone in the pews. Phones were not allowed in the holy place, and the individual who accosted him would not believe that he was using his phone for worship and asked him to leave. “I was a bit miffed about that,” says Phillips, who is director of the Codec Research Centre for Digital Theology at Durham University in the UK. “But that was 2008….”
3. 3 Things You Can Do This Week to Connect More People After Easter (markhowelllive.com) There are three ideal times to connect unconnected people every year. In most churches, late September/early October has the most potential followed by late January/early February. A couple weeks after Easter presents a third very promising option to connect unconnected people.
4. 9 Things Highly Effective Organizations Measure (leadnet.org) The leaders of enduring high-performance companies regularly use a process to measure and assess the organization’s leadership alignment and capacity to achieve the vision on at least an annual basis. The question becomes, “What exactly are they measuring?”
5. Americans Have Lost Faith In Institutions. That’s Not Because of Trump or ‘Fake News’ (washingtonpost.com) The easiest sell of President Trump’s life is that a “corrupt” media produces “fake news.” After all, fewer than 2 in 10 Americans have “a lot” of trust in news organizations, the Pew Research Center has found, and we live in a “Matrix”-infused “conspiracy culture,” according to social scientists, where one is thought to be impossibly simple to not understand that the world is ruled by collusion and machination.
6. 7 Ways Leaders Seize the Opportunity of Second Failure (leadershipfreak.blog) You hoped they would do better but they failed again. Why? Second chances – by themselves – prolong failure. People will fail tomorrow in the same way they failed today, unless they change. A second chance, apart from intervention, is tomorrow’s second failure. Responding to second failure is one of leaderships most powerful opportunities.
7. Toward a National Renewal of Evangelism Through the Local Church in Our Day (christianitytoday.com) Americans are far more open to the gospel than you may imagine. We need the fire for evangelism to spread across the Church in our day, but will it? There are at least four main barriers keeping the Church from a passionate pursuit of evangelism.
8. The High Cost of a Home is Turning American Millennials Into The New Serfs (newgeography.com) American greatness was long premised on the common assumption that each generation would do better than the previous one. That is being undermined for the emerging millennial generation.
9. 8 Reasons Your Easter Guests Might Not Return (worshipimpressions.com) It’s the new year and like most pastors and church leaders, you’re probably already planning for Easter. It will be here before you know it. See what this secret shopper for churches has to say about factors that can turn first time guests into second-time guests.
10. Stott’s Simple Yet Surprising Productivity Secret (ftc.co) A 29-year-old John Stott was overwhelmed with his ministry responsibilities as Rector of All Souls Church. How would all of his administrative tasks not bury him? How would he spiritually nourish himself enough to feed those he served? Young Stott didn’t know what to do—until he attended a pastor’s conference and received counsel from a wiser, older pastor…