I hope you are having a great Advent season! It’s been a year of me sending these newsletters, and I want to reflect a bit about the past year. I’m taking this newsletter to do two things:
First, I want to ask for your feedback.
Neal tells me the open rate for this hovers around 60% – thank you for taking the time throughout the year to read this. To make sure this stays worth your clicks, I’d appreciate your thoughts. What has been most helpful? Is there any way this newsletter could provide better information to help you lead outreach in your congregation or ministry setting? Is there anything else you’d want me to know?
If you’ve got some time, just reply to this email with any thoughts that you have. Good, bad, or otherwise, your feedback will help me make sure I’ve got another good year of information and resources that’re worth your time.
Second, here’s a look back at what I sent throughout the year.
Idea: Micro-Churches. These are small communities gathered outside of the church walls.
Resource: The book, Grace and Gigabytes by Ryan Panzer along with the accompanying resources from the synod here.
Idea: Sustainability, defined as “the capacity of an organization to create, develop, and replicate its social value in a lasting manner in continuous dialogue with its context.” – Domingo Armani
Resource: The book, The Missional Leader by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk
Idea: Third spaces. We spend most of our time at home and at work – where do people gather outside of that, and how can the church connect with people there?
Resource: The book, Fresh Expressions: A new kind of Methodist Church for People not in Church. Kenneth H. Carter and Audrey Warren
Bonus resource: the podcast, “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill.”
Idea: According to Pew Research, more people said their faith grew during the pandemic than said it shrank.
Resource: The ELCA’s 90-day planning resource. Often used by Mission Developers but useful for everyone.
Idea: Gen Z basics – you can read the original newsletter here
Resource: ELCA Coaching. You can check out ELCA coaching on its website here.
Idea: Design Thinking. You can read about this on the ELCA’s Innovation Lab blog.
Resource: South Carolina Synod’s Faith in Action Grants
Idea: People will visit your website before they’ll visit your church. So look at your website to make sure it has the basics covered.
Resource: Able South Carolina– a potential partner in South Carolina for anyone interested in doing disability ministry or better serving all people
Idea: Setting up a community prayer station at events you are at. You can click this link from Luther Seminary to see what this can look like in action.
Resource: The book How to Try by Lorenzo Lebrija – a short resource on how to think about doing new things in the church.
Idea: The importance of developing new leaders and not just scouting those who are the best.
Resource: The updated synod vitality page
Idea: Tree’s cant grow strong without wind; we can see todays challenges as the thing that help us build and develop what makes us strong.
Resource: Mission InSite – if you want to understand who is in your community, this is a great resource for your congregation.
Idea: Who’s problem are we trying to solve with evangelism – ours, or our neighbors?
Resource: The 21st Century Christian by Michael Moynagh and Michael Adam Beck – a handbook for fresh expressions.
Thanks for reading!
If you’re looking to do something new in the coming year, or if any of the ideas this past year have connected in a new way, just reply to this email and we can connect.
If you know someone who would like to receive this, please forward it to them. If someone has forwarded this to you and you’re interested in more please email email@example.com and ask to be added to the This Month in Mission” newsletter list.