Setting a New Agenda


IN FOCUS: Church for the 21st Century
Journalist Topper Sherwood presents an inside look at the work of the creative pastors who met at a recent conference to envision, encourage, and energize congregations for the 21st century

(Weddings that are More than) One Perfect Day
Pastor and blogger Jan Edmiston explores how Christian weddings have, to a great extent, become showcases of personal “essence” rather than holy rites or sacraments of the church—and what can be done to counter this trend

Who Was Robert, Anyway?
Pastor and author Martin Copenhaver offers fresh insight into how congregations can move beyond Robert’s Rules of Order-style meetings and toward more Spirit-led discernment and decision-making practices

When Your Critics Set the Agenda
Pastor Lee Beach examines why clergy sometimes give their critics too much influence over them, the dangers of doing so, and healthier ways to respond to criticism when it arises

Mark Sundby, Susan Nienaber, and John Henrich explore what their study of seminary students’ emotional intelligence, leadership attributes, and personality traits suggests about clergy strengths, areas of vulnerability, and the need for re-focusing clergy education and training

Connecting Faith to Works
Jo Anne Schneider, director of the Faith and Organization Project, shares recent research revealing the diverse relationships that exist between various faith communities and the organizations they create, and suggests tailored approaches for those seeking to work with these organizations

Darwin Goes to Church
Pastor and author Bob Cornwall explores the resurgence of the debate over intelligent design versus evolution and suggests eight helpful resources for finding a “third way” through the science/theology divide that underpins this debate


The Leading Edge
Alban President James P. Wind points to three recent books that reveal the fullness, depth, strength, and rewards of pastoral life

Indianapolis Center for Congregations executive director Brent Bill and resource director Nancy DeMott share ten tips for creating sacred sapces that communicate a congregation’s identity and reinforce its mission

Ask Alban
Alban consultant Bob Leventhal offers a simple, four-pronged approach to getting volunteers back on track