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6 Mar. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Social Media and the Church -- Where to Begin?

Church Development shares where to begin with social media in your church.

Social media is a growing area of concern for churches. Maybe it’s that the older generations are finally on Facebook, or that younger generations seem glued to digital screens (smartphones, computers, tablets), but you don’t need to be an expert to see that the internet has even shaped how people relate to church.

However, many churches—especially older denominational churches—have no idea as where to begin. (I get that you’re reading this online, but if you’ve got a church staff that doesn’t know how to start, print this out for them. More likely though, your church staff is online, they just have no idea as to how to improve their internet presence.) As this is such a large topic—one that I’ll delve into in far greater detail in the future—I prefer to start with a qualifier question for the largely internet illiterate:

27 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Burned Out Volunteers and Stewardship Adolescents

Church Development shares some perspective for burned out volunteers.

This is a familiar scene: You walk into a church meeting and it’s the same volunteers.


Although these volunteers are usually upbeat and wonderful, they can get burned out, and that question of why others don’t show up arises. While I’ve said plenty about why episodic volunteer opportunities are so important—namely, that they apply to the 85% of your church that doesn’t regularly volunteer—this is what I tell those burned out volunteers:

25 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Joy, Stewardship, and the Triple Jump

Church Development’s President Denis Greene shares how he experienced joy as a youth and what that has in common with the joy he experiences in seeing churches succeed in stewardship.

Long before he became a meme sensation, Chuck Norris actually had some good career advice: "Number one, find out what you're not good at, then, number two, don't do that."

Athletics first introduced me to the concept that God gives each of us unique gifts. I was decent at the long jump and hurdles as a kid, but in seventh grade, I discovered an obscure event that required all of my distinctive skills to succeed — my speed, my balance, and my ability to leap far — the triple jump. If you need a visual, see Jonathan Edwards’ record-breaking triple jump:

Here’s the thing: 

21 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Casual Fridays

Donald Miller on His Controversial Blog

Last week, I noted the controversy generated by Donald Miller’s blog in noting why he (and several other Christian leaders he knows) don’t regularly attend church, and how this might have to do with differing learning styles.

Last night, Relevant hosted a live Q&A with Miller, receiving questions through a number of different mediums and, not surprisingly, the controversial blog post came up within the first 35 seconds. Within five minutes, Miller noted that it might have been a topic best left unprovoked, but it’s out there now. The complete interview is below:

19 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Stewardship Goes Far Deeper Than Fundraising

Church Development continues its series on why stewardship does not equate to fundraising.

After getting diverted by Donald Miller’s article on why he (and many Christian leaders) don’t regularly attend church, I’m back to finish off this reminder as to why stewardship =/= fundraising. Last time, I explored three points: that giving is evidence of stewardship; stewardship is an element of discipleship; and giving is an evidence of spiritual maturity.

Fundraising is often important and needed, but it is simply methods to secure funding for a project, whereas stewardship may result in more resources for a ministry. However, stewardship is deeper, wider, and fundamentally more spiritual than merely raising money. I’ve seen a number of churches go after financial funds and come away with more resentment than anything else. Stewardship, however, goes after the whole person (their heart)—wanting to see God’s blessings flow through them in every area—and as you engage and connect the person to the church and a growing understanding of God’s goodness, their giving naturally follows.

12 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Who the Church Fails to Reach

Church Development explores a couple of recent Donald Miller articles on who the standard worship-lecture style church isn’t reaching, and what we should consider doing differently.  

Although I intended to carry on with explaining why stewardship does not equate to fundraising, as occasionally happens with this blog, something came up.

Today’s something involves a couple of articles on church from Donald Miller. If you’re unfamiliar with Miller, he’s a Christian speaker and author whose works focus more on everyday spirituality than dense theological treatises (think of a male version of Anne Lamott). His notable work, Blue Like Jazz, is subtitled “Non-Religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality” and was made into a movie in 2012.

So what’s the latest hubbub and what does it mean for today’s church?

6 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

Three Thoughts on the Value of Giving and Stewardship

Church Development consistently teaches the key understanding that stewardship is not fundraising. Today’s blog shares three aspects as to why that is.   

In starting out the year, I often like to remind people of key points (as some advice, in any industry, holds true). One such piece was on how to avoid doing a capital campaign in your church. I noted that the key is fixing the lack of stewardship, and while I gave some suggestions, there is a fundamental understanding of stewardship—that key piece churches are missing—that most churches simply don’t get:

Stewardship =/= fundraising.

Now I’ve done blogs on this in the past (see here), as it’s an understanding that is A) seemingly easy forgotten, and B) so important, I’m back to cover it again.

Three things to consider:

4 Feb. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Stewardship

CS Lewis on True Joy

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10 (NIV)

Church Development looks at how C.S. Lewis defined the true source of joy.

One of the topics I continually pursue is how people receive and give joy. In discovering how much joy flows from stewardship, I’ve spent 30 years helping churches cultivate generosity, and most days, I can’t believe I get paid to do this work.

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one interested in this pursuit of joy and how we can pass it on to others. I’ve previously covered Hungarian professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s study of athletic joy stemming from performing at a high level. To kick off 2014, I looked at the top 10 New Year’s resolutions—which, if we’re honest, we’re doing partly because we think they’ll make us happier—and now here I am returning to C.S Lewis’ 1955 early days autobiography, Surprised by Joy.

30 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Misc

Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl is almost upon us, and even though we’ve got an office in Denver, our main focus is not on the teams. One of the issues the church has done a better job of shedding a light on over the last few years is how many women are trafficked into the sex trade at sporting events and what it takes to get them out.

If you haven’t seen this, take the time today:

23 Jan. 2014 Posted by Denis Greene in Church Capital Campaigns

Improving Stewardship, Avoiding a Capital Campaign

Church Development circles back on a common statistic to improve stewardship in your church.

Sometimes I’m tempted to repeat blogs because churches need to hear the same information as time goes by.

One such blog was teaching churches how to avoid doing a capital campaign: The key is to fix the lack of stewardship. I noted that this is a broad, evolving issue, but here’s something you can do to start tackling such a large topic: