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 current and former Center for Congregations consultants Dr. Terrance Bridges, JC Campbell, Abby Miller, Shellie Riggs Jordan, McKenzie Scott Lewis, Ben Tapper, Matt Burke 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. The views expressed by podcast guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by CfC employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of the CfC. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact us at 866.307.2381 or info@centerforcongregations.org.

Episodes

July 10, 2024 41 mins
Rev. Dr. Quincy McGhee, Senior Pastor of Lifeway Bible Fellowship and Grants Administrator for Associated Churches of Allen County, joins Abby and Matt to talk about his experiences regarding fundraising. Rev. McGhee helps to redefine how we approach needs: both our own and those in the community around us. Resources The Kaleidoscope Institute (organization) Indiana Community Foundations (webpage) Council on Foundations Community F...
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Join Center for Congregations staff Dr. JC Campbell, Dr. Terrance Bridges, Rev. Shellie Riggs Jordan and Matt Burke as they discuss their work with congregations and what we can all learn from what's happening around the state of Indiana. Dr. Campbell and Dr. Bridges both share about recent situations with congregations from which we can take hope, learning and resources. Resources The Congregational Resource Guide (The CRG; web re...
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Rev. Lisa Cole Smith, Founding Pastor and Artistic Director of Convergence Church in Alexandria, Virginia, joins JC and Matt to talk about how her congregation weaves aesthetics and the arts into the life of their congregation and community. Rev. Smith discusses the origins of their congregation, the trajectory of their ministry, and how congregations can be more intentional about their aesthetics, facilities and creativity. Resour...
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Rev. Brad Thie, Director of Duke Divinity School's Thriving Rural Communities Initiative, joins Abby and Matt to talk about his work with congregations in rural North Carolina. Rev. Thie discusses what defines a thriving congregation and how congregations can be tightly tied to their communities. Resources Thriving Rural Communities Initiative (organization) Rural Congregations: A Story of Pain and Promise (resource collection) Rur...
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Whether we're prepared or not, Artificial Intelligence is now a part of our every day lives and our future. Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions joins Shellie Riggs Jordan and Matt Burke to discuss how AI can aid congregations and the ways in which not to engage with it. Resources Midnight Oil Productions Human-Centered AI (article) The Ultimate Guide to AI, Pastors, and the Church (article) AI Generated Images Native American P...
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April 10, 2024 41 mins
Lenmarie Pascall, Director of Coaching at Urban Youth Workers Institute, joins Shellie Riggs Jordan and Matt Burke of the Center for Congregations for an insightful discussion on youth ministry. Lenmarie asserts that urban culture is increasingly shaping the broader youth culture landscape, emphasizing the importance for parents and leaders to grasp how to support youth in flourishing within these environments. Resources Urban Yout...
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"Every congregation is unique" — it’s not a cliché, it is true. Rev. Tim Lake, pastor of Union Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, and Rev. Raymond Dix Jr., pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church of Fort Wayne, sit down with Matt Burke from the Center for Congregations to share the unique makeup of their congregations, the changes and challenges they have experienced, and why it is important to embrace and understand your congregati...
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Nathan Parr, Facilities Stewardship Specialist with Smart Church Solutions, joins Dr. Terrance Bridges and Matt Burke of the Center for Congregations to discuss the challenges and solutions with facility management of congregational buildings. Nathan shares practical tips for congregations to assess and quantify the issues and costs for maintaining facilities. Resources Smart Church Solutions (organization) FacilitiesNet (web resou...
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National speaker, advocate and emcee, Rev. Julian DeShazier, joins JC Campbell and Matt Burke from the Center for Congregations to discuss how congregations can better adapt to changing culture and circumstances. Topics discussed include ministry arms of congregations being open about their faith background, using modern tools without losing your values, the strength of "old" songs and more. Matt and JC also discuss how change in c...
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February 14, 2024 51 mins
Rev. Jermine Alberty joins Abby Miller and Matt Burke from the Center for Congregations to share about his experiences as a pastor and Mental Health First Aid trainer. He discusses the importance of mental health awareness both for congregational leaders and the members of congregations. Resources Mental Health First Aid (organization) Jermine Alberty (website) NAMI (organization) Pathways 2 Promise (organization) Sanctuary Mental ...
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Please note: this episode contains conversation related to suicide. Feel free to pause or stop listening if you need to and seek personal support of a friend or loved one. If you find yourself struggling with suicidal thoughts please reach out to a professional and/or call 988. Col. Glen Bloomstrom joins Matt Burke and Shellie Riggs Jordan from the Center for Congregations to talk about how congregations can be places of support an...
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As the year begins, allow yourself and your team the power to take hold of your pace and passion for work. Brenda Jank, Founder and CEO of Run Hard, Rest Well, joins Matt Burke and Abby Miller from the Center for Congregations to talk about how to help clergy and congregational leaders find rhythms of rest in order to lead well. Compelling, practical, and eye-opening, this episode will help to create a work life balance that is lif...
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Rev. Dr. Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes joins Abby and Matt to talk about how she envisions engagement with young adults. The conversation focuses on defining what one means by "young adults" and ways to create relationship and space for this demographic. Resources Young Adults and Your Congregation (article) Thinkq media (organization) Technology, Innovation, & Digital Engagement Lab (Tidel) Engaging Young Adults: Creating a Culture of Belon...
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Tyler Harden, co-founder of Firm Foundations Marketing joins Shellie and Matt to talk about marketing and communications. He discusses the importance of understanding not only those who you are speaking to but also understanding your own congregational identity. Resources Less Chaos, Less Noise by Kem Meyer (book) The Association of Religious Data Archives (website) Ministry Reset (website) Firm Foundations Marketing (organization)...
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November 15, 2023 48 mins
Dr. Nii Addy talks with Shellie and Matt about how he came to his interest in neuroscience and mental health, how understanding neuroscience can benefit knowledge about mental health, medication reluctance and processes for approving psychiatric medication and mental health resources for congregations. Shellie and Matt talk about why they are so interested in neuroscience and also recommend some helpful resources for congregational...
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November 1, 2023 62 mins
Kaitlyn Schiess, author, speaker, podcaster and doctoral student joins Matt and Abby to discuss her book The Liturgy of Politics. The conversation centers on the deeper meanings of politics and liturgy and how this deeper understanding can create a flourishing community. Resources The Colossian Forum (organization) Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide (book) The Ballot and the Bible by Kaitlyn Schiess (book) The Litur...
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The co-founders of Courageous Healing, Janell and Aaron Lane, join Abby and Matt to discuss mental health in congregations. The Lanes share how they developed an interest in the field, barriers to mental health treatment in congregations, healing journeys as ministry and more. Resources Thrive and Cultivate Summit '23 (virtual summit) Mental Health Gateway: Gateways to Hope (training organization) Courageous Healing (the Lane's org...
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Dr. Jessica Brown joins Shellie and Matt to discuss the challenges of multivocational ministry: both those in clergy roles and those in volunteer roles who also work. Dr. Brown discusses how ministry in this way can be healthy and fulfilling with the right mindsets and boundaries. Shellie and Matt discuss how these challenges are showing up in Indiana congregations and recommend some resources. Resources Boundaries: When to Say Yes...
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Rev. Dr. Marcus Carlson joins McKenzie and Matt to talk about generational differences. Generational differences are inevitable but navigating them well can support and sustain congregational ministry. Shellie and Matt also discuss how generational differences show up in their work and share resources. Resources Preparing for Amazement Ministries (Rev. Carlson's organization) Fuller Youth Institute (organization) Barna Group (organ...
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September 6, 2023 62 mins
Shellie and Matt are joined by Dale Sellers, author of Stalled and Executive Director of the 95Network. Dale discusses misconceptions about smaller congregations and small congregation leadership and shares how to think about and become healthier congregations. Resources Stalled: Hope and Help for Pastors Who Thought They'd Be There by Now (book) Thriving Rural Communities at Duke Divinity School 95Network (organization) Karl Vater...
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