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Congregational Life: Vision, Mission, Identity, Dying: Identity

tools for listening to God, generating new vision, developing a mission and empowering communal embrace of congregational identity


     BUILDING LASTING BRIDGES          The Church in the Public: A Politics of Engagement for a Cruel and Indifferent Age     Dawn of Sunday     Did That Just Happen?!     Faith-Based Organizing: A Congregational Planning Resource for Addressing Poverty     SocialBook_Mockup.png     Grace and Gigabytes: Being Church in a Tech-Shaped Culture     Picture of Hearing in Technicolor     John Pavlovitz; Pavlovitz; palvovitz; plavlovitz; jon Pavlovitz; john Pavlovitz book; Pavlovitz book; john Pavlovitz books; Pavlovitz books; new Pavlovitz; new john Pavlovitz; new Pavlovitz book; new Pavlovitz books; new john Pavlovitz book; new john Pavlovitz books; stuff that needs to be said; stuff that needs to be said blog; stuff that needs to be said book; spiritual none; spiritual nones; religious none; religious nones; if god is love; If god is love book; if god is love Pavlovitz; if god is love john Pavlovitz; if god is love Pavlovitz book; if god is love john Pavlovitz book; if god is love don’t be a jerk; if god is love, don’t be a jerk; if god is love dont be a jerk; if god is love, don’t be a jerk; finding faith that makes us better; finding a faith that makes us better humans; Christian living book; Christian living books; progressive Christian; progressive Christians; progressive Christianity; progressive Christian book; progressive Christianity book; progressive Christianity books; the church of not being horrible; how to be a better Christian; being a better Christian; Christian left; the Christian left; progressive Christian author, progressive Christian authors; john Pavlovitz twitter; john Pavlovitz facebook; Pavlovitz twitter; john Pavlovitz facebook; john Pavlovitz trump; john Pavlovitz Wikipedia; who is john Pavlovitz; john Pavlovitz author; john Pavlovitz blog; john Pavlovitz quotes;; john Pavlovitz bio; pastor john Pavlovitz youtube; liberal christian; liberal christianity; liberal christian book; liberal christianiy books; progressive religion; progressive religion books; F2021     In Defense of Kindness: Why It Matters, How It Changes Our Lives, and How It Can Save the World          Journeys of Asian Diaspora: Mapping Originations and Destinations     Managing Congregations in a Virtual Age     Picture of The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships     Mistakes and Miracles          Picture of Signs of Hope     The Space Between Us     Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers          True Inclusion     Turning Ourselves Inside Out: Thriving Christian Communities               Wait - Is This Racist?     

Video & Podcast

Jordana WrightBuilding Vibrant Community Connections in Digital and Physical Spaces

By  And 

How can your congregation connect with new people in both physical and digital spaces? Lewis Center Director F. Douglas Powe Jr. interviews Jordana Wright on strategies for transforming congregations into vibrant community hubs.

Listen to this interviewwatch the interview video on YouTube, or read it here.

Sunbeam over a neighborhood church

Reimagining Church Buildings


How can your church building be an asset rather than a liability? Dave Harder says we must interrogate the dominant narrative that says church is what happens in the building for a few hours on a Sunday and let a new narrative emerge — one that focuses on God’s hopes and dreams for the neighborhood.

Photos of Mikka McCracken and a person holding paper dolls in a chain

Innovating to Reach More People

How can innovation help congregations reach new and younger people? Lewis Center Director F. Douglas Powe Jr. interviews Mikka McCracken about innovation, building relationships, and creating person-focused ministries so more people know the way of Jesus and discover community, justice, and love.

Rural church with a red roof

Building Thriving Rural Congregations” featuring Allen Stanton

How can rural churches break free from false narratives and unrealistic metrics? Allen Stanton lays out a new vision for healthy rural congregations as valued stakeholders and potent agents of change within their communities.

Read an introductory interview here; listen to that interview here; watch it here.

Reimagining Our Common Ground for the Collective Good

The church - every church - faces new challenges, imagining what church looks like moving forward from 2020. The Courageous Church Online Summit, dives into leading questions on vision, identity, leadership, and hope, hearing from leading voices and provocative thought leaders on the next best steps for a vital progressive faith movement. 

Let people know who you are, engage in civic discourse, and identify as networked within your community: get inspired by leaders from Alexandria, MN here.

Church Anew's 3-Session Interview Series with Rev. Ingrid Rasmussen, Lead Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, South Minneapolis (a key center for community care during protests) interviewed by Dr. Deanna Thompson, St Olaf College's Lutheran Center for Faith, Values, and Community. View Now

Blogs & Podcasts

Graphic showing one person receiving information from the church leading to that person sharing information with others in a group

4 Keys to Moving from Online Worship to Online Ministry

Nicole Reilley says posting worship services online is just the first step in developing a holistic online ministry. She enumerates four keys to developing a digital ministry that engages people and moves them toward Christ and his church.

What is Small Church, Big Impact? | Small Church. Big Impact. | Podcasts on  Audible |

The Small Churches Big Impact Collective shares best practices, ministry innovations, compensation concerns and more through their Facebook page, website and blog, and podcast.

Curricula, Webinars, & Trainings

Small Church Q&A with Tanna Muse

Most church leaders find themselves serving a small(er) church. In this conversation, we talk about the unique opportunities and challenges of small church ministry. 

View Here

CONVERGENCE offers numerous leadership and community development webinars on-demand or in a cohort:

Congregations Lead Initiative

The ELCA's Growing Younger page includes stories, resources, and tools to assist you and your congregation in connecting with new people so that our world may experience the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation; including:

6 Core Commitments                                                                            

Download The 6 Core Commitments of Churches Growing Younger pdf here.

6 Core Commitments

Register for the ELCA Growing Younger Train the Trainer Event here.

Simply Christian

Simply Christian addresses the question of the reasonableness of the Christian faith in the modern world.

Materials are available as a complete study package or individually.

Studies - In Our Library

Book - Paperback     Book - Paperback     Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality Study Guide

In Our Library

Christianity for the Rest of Us     Cover Image     Get Off Your Donkey! | Baker Publishing Group     9781426753251: The Go-To Church: Post MegaChurch Growth     Cover Image     Real Good Church | How Our Church Came Back from the Dead, and Yours Can, Too (Baskette)     Salsa, Soul, and Spirit     Cover for United by Faith


Back to Zero: The Search to Rediscover the Methodist Movement  -     By: Gil Rendle     Focus: The Real Challenges That Face The United Methodist Church - eBook  -     By: Lovett H. Weems Jr.     Book - Paperback     34138093     11093975     The Greatest Story Never Told: Revive Us Again  -     By: Leonard Sweet     54926874. sx318      Living Our United Methodist Beliefs     Book - Hardback     Picture of Our Strangely Warmed Hearts     Praying with John Wesley     Picture of Social Principles of The United Methodist Church 2017-2020     Top 10 United Methodist Beliefs  -     By: Don Adams     Transforming Disciples: The Episcopal Church of the 21st Century (Transformations) Cover Image     Image 1