Center for Congregations Podcast

Center for Congregations Podcast

Your congregation is important. And we know that leading and serving in congregations is hard work. Join Ben Tapper, Matt Burke and other Center for Congregations consultants as they interview thought leaders and experts to encourage, inspire and help you find the right information and resources to address your congregation's needs. Center for Congregations staff will share what they're learning through work with congregations. Speakers, authors and congregational practitioners will share their stories and best practices to help your congregation thrive.

Episodes

May 5, 2021 56 min
Rev. Janae Pitts-Murdock, senior pastor of Light of the World Christian Church and former interim pastor, joins Ben and Matt to unpack what it takes to have a successful interim ministry. She shares both out her recent experience and her training on interim ministry. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Getting_Schooled_on_Interim_Ministry
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McKenzie Scott Lewis, the northwest director of the Center for Congregations talks with Ben and Matt about the challenges and opportunities faced by congregations in seeking to practice racial equity. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/A_Primer_on_Racial_Equity
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In this bonus episode Associate Director for Resources Kate White sits down with Pastor Bruce Colbert, Systems Consultant for Custom Sound Design, Bruce shares about three topics about streaming for congregations: practical tips about internet speed and bandwidth, stepping up audio and video and thinking critically about your online presence. Bruce also talks about working with "integrators" who can help with advice for equ...
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PhD candidate Michael Rotolo joins Ben and Matt to unpack the research around Christian Nationalism as it relates to congregations and young adult engagement. Michael's recent work based on the Christian Smith cohort study highlights reasons why some young adults are drawn to Christian Nationalism. Moral Religiosities Michael's Twitter Michael's Website Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Christian_Nationalism
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March 24, 2021 65 min
Ben and Matt connect with Pastor Bere Gil Soto, lead pastor of Iglesia Hermandad Cristiana, to talk about what it's like to lead a multi-cultural and multi-lingual congregation in Indianapolis. Topics include what's it's like to be in the non-dominant culture, creating appropriate boundaries when leading and having a broad view of justice work. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Courting_Justice
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March 10, 2021 54 min
Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty, one of the co-founders of the Prickly Pear Collective, joins Matt and Ben to discuss creating authentic community where everyone is encouraged to bring their whole self. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Bring_Your_Whole_Self
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Pastor John Girton joins Ben and Matt to talk about excellence in online worship experiences using technology. We also discuss what's next for congregations and the virtual space. As always Ben and Matt share what they're learning from congregations in Indiana and they share resources you can use. Resources You can find the resources mentioned in the episode here: https://thecrg.org/collections/Tech_It_s_Not_as_Complicated...
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February 10, 2021 73 min
In this episode Ben and Matt are joined by Center for Congregations director Shellie Riggs Jordan as we interview Mark Oestreicher (a.k.a. Marko) of The Youth Cartel. Marko sets the record straight on a few myths about youth ministry and shares his wisdom from his over 30 years experience. As always Center for Congregations staff discuss how the issue is appearing in our work and share resources. Recommended Resources https://thecr...
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January 27, 2021 60 min
Aimee Laramore, lead consultant at AlLyd Solutions, joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of recognizing the assets your congregation has and the importance of using them to accomplish your goals. Along the way Aimee provides wonderful wisdom from her many years of experience as a fundraising consultant about managing these difficult times. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Adapting_To_The_Times_A_Conversation_About_...
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December 16, 2020 57 min
Ben and Matt are joined by southwest director Wendy McCormick, northwest director McKenzie Scott Lewis and president of the Center for Congregations Tim Shapiro. Each guest shares encouraging stories of Indiana congregations from their region in 2020. We're wrapping up this season with positive stories because not everything went wrong in 2020. Here is the website of Central Christian Church in Washington, Indiana's recover...
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December 2, 2020 47 min
Victoria Sun Esparza joins Ben and Matt to talk about Human Centered Design and applying it in congregations. This process is a way for you to listen well to the needs of your congregation in order to make decisions about goals, strategy and ways of serving those under your care. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Human-Centered_Design_Exchanging_Pews_for_Strollers Design Kit by IDEO https://www.designkit.org/ Dev Explains: ...
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November 18, 2020 39 min
Bishop Grant joins Ben and Matt to discuss the importance of getting back to the basics of faith. He challenges faith leaders and congregations to remember to center the people they serve as opposed to societal or theological divisions.  Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Agents_of_Unity_Center_the_People
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November 4, 2020 46 min
This week Ben and Tim Shapiro, president of the Center for congregations talk with Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. Dr. Pollard shares with us how to lead in contentious and divided times without abandoning our convictions. Resources from the episode https://thecrg.org/collections/Whosoever_Leadership_in_Divided_Times Reach out to us at podcasts@centerforcongregations.org. We'd love to ...
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October 21, 2020 60 min
Pastor Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes of the Double Love Experience joins Matt, Ben and Wendy to discuss what she's observed about rapidly changing systems in congregational life. These changes have put pressure not only on congregational systems, but also on the leaders in charge of holding communities together. Resources https://thecrg.org/collections/Kicked_Off_a_Cliff_Rapidly_Changing_Systems_in_Congregational_Life Reach out to us a...
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October 7, 2020 66 min
Hillary McBride joins Ben and Matt to talk about how congregations can be places of healing for those dealing with mental health issues. We explore Hillary's own experience with being part of a congregation and discuss what gives her hope. Kate White, Associate Director for Resources for the Center for Congregations, joins the conversation about mental health resources. Resources mentioned in this episode can be found here: ht...
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This week Ben and Matt talk with the president of the Center for Congregations, Tim Shapiro. Tim shares his experiences as a senior pastor for 18 years and from his 18 years of experience at the Center. Congregational life has changed a lot over the last three decades but the news is not all bad. We'll discuss the bright spots, creativity and possibilities of the changing landscape. Check out the resources mentioned on this ep...
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Matt and I sit down with Science Mike to discuss the problems and possibilities with engaging young adults. Congregations across religious and denominational lines are wrestling with this question, and Mike wants you to know there is hope. The resources discussed in this episode can be found by clicking here or copy/pasting the URL below. https://thecrg.org/collections/Where_have_all_the_young_people_gone Stay in touch with Mike ...
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