Rethink Church (Aug/Sept/Oct 2010)

Inspired by the United Methodist Church’s Rethink Church campaign, this issue explores how people across the connection can be the church, not just go to church. Buildings provide a home base for countless ministries of the church, not the least of which is a place to gather for corporate worship. The church itself, however, will not be defined by the height of its steeple but the reach of its compassion, not the number of seats but the number of lives changed, not the shape of the doors but the disciples that pass through them as they head out into the world to make a difference in Jesus’ name. *This issue also includes a special subsection on Kids&Christ, nurturing children and youth in Christian faith.

In This Issue

The Church Has Left the Building

The Church Has Left the Building

By
Jessica Miller Kelley
About a year ago, the United Methodist congregation my husband pastors lost its building to fire. In the days and weeks that followed, our mantra was “the church is not a…
Marketing the UMC: Interview with UMCom's Larry Hollon

Marketing the UMC: Interview with UMCom's Larry Hollon

By
Shane Raynor
General Conference 2008 approved the launch of the UMC’s newest ad campaign, Rethink Church. United Methodist Communications has led the way, reminding people inside and…
How a 200-Year-Old, Declining, County Seat Church Got Its Groove Back

How a 200-Year-Old, Declining, County Seat Church Got Its Groove Back

By
Martin Thielen
“This is a different church,” exclaimed Randy after the early worship service. “I barely recognize the place!” Randy, a former member of our congregation…
Church for the Broken: Reaching the Sinners and the Skeptics

Church for the Broken: Reaching the Sinners and the Skeptics

By
Derrick-Lewis Noble
“Pastor Noble, you have GOT to see this!” The man calling out to me is normally rather sedate, so I can’t ignore this expression of rare and inexplicable…
Blogging for Pastors

Blogging for Pastors

By
Katie Z. Dawson
Some UM pastors are serious bloggers, writing daily for thousands of readers. Some don’t even know what a blog is (it’s short for “web log,” like an online …
Being Honest with Our Doubts

Being Honest with Our Doubts

By
Buzz Stevens
“There is no well-defined boundary between honesty and dishonesty. The frontiers of one blend with the outside limits of the other, and he who attempts to tread this…
Who is My Neighbor? Demographic Tools for Your Community

Who is My Neighbor? Demographic Tools for Your Community

By
Jessica Miller Kelley
How much do you know about the neighborhood surrounding your church? If you are newly appointed, or the demographics of the area have recently shifted, it’s possible your…
Is There a Future for Traditional Worship?

Is There a Future for Traditional Worship?

By
Kenneth H. Carter, Jr.
One of my divinity school professors, Robert Wilson, was co-author of What’s Ahead for Old First Church? (with Ezra Earl Jones; Harper and Row, 1974). He told me once that…
Four Doors of Wesleyan Evangelism

Four Doors of Wesleyan Evangelism

By
Jack Jackson
Some of my best and worst experiences as a pastor center on evangelism. I’ll never forget when one of our most faithful women was walking through the church neighborhood…
Promise in the Prison

Promise in the Prison

By
John F. Kutsko
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these…
Let the Children Come

Let the Children Come

By
William H. Willimon
One day Jesus was teaching, everyone gathered round, attempting to pay attention (Mk. 10:13-16). Nearby, a couple of children scuffled in the dust. “Can’t something…
Children First

Children First

By
Mark Burrows
A family walks into a church one Sunday morning. The children are dropped off at the children’s wing where they are further divided into classes by age. The parents go to…
Preschool Spirituality

Preschool Spirituality

By
Leanne Ciampa Hadley
I have spent my entire ministry studying, working with, and trying to understand the spiritual lives of children and how, as the church, we can best help them grow into adults who …
How to Hire an Awesome Youth Director

How to Hire an Awesome Youth Director

By
John E. Harnish
So I asked my clergy friends from around the country “Where would you go to find a really good youth pastor?” After the groans, the responses generally fell into one…
Clapping in Church

Clapping in Church

By
Rebecca W. Dolch
Years ago when I taught drama class at Vacation Bible School, we acted out the story of Tabitha from Acts 9. The title character was played by a very shy little girl whom I had…