Ask Alban: Religious Preference

by Larry Peers Q:  It seems that a growing number of people indicate that their religious preference is “none”—or say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.” Is there anything that congregations can do differently? Are we becoming irrelevant? A.  Loyalty to religious…

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Mission and the Challenge of Difference

by William Sachs Doug is proud that First Church where he worships has an extensive mission commitment. In the downtown area where it is located, First Church operates programs that feed dozens of hungry people and house almost as many who…

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Ministering to the Soul of a Community

Congregations are born from a generative spark of interaction between stories of faith and stories of place. Some person or group looks out on a particular landscape and says, “There should be a church—or there should be a congregation of…

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Knowing Your Community, Defining Your Mission

Getting to know the community that your congregation will focus on is a critical step in defining your mission. To start, work on getting answers to several key questions: What are the primary issues in your community? How do the…

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Congregations in the Community: Making an Impact on Public Life

Congregations asked freelance writer ‘Marlis McCollum to interview key leaders in American religion about their perspectives on how congregations make a difference and why they matter. In the first of a two-part serices, Thomas Tewell, Lowell Livezey, Bob Abernathy, and…

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