With things in decline, on average in our churches (which, by the way is not unique to Churches of Christ) where do we go from here? How do we find the path? Is it finding the right program? Adopting a new leadership style? Is it equipping? What is the path to a better future? This podcast will explore how we move ahead and what it is going to take. It won't be easy but with God's help, all things are possible.
We all have to deal with suffering in our lives. How do we deal with suffering in a way that is honest and faithful? Trusting and lamenting? John Mark Hicks walks us through the suffering he has faced and works us through the five anchors in scripture that enable us to trust God when the storms get rough. For more information on this subject you will want to consider purchasing his book and journal. If you are wanting more or want to present this material to a Bible class please consider purchasing the video series. Wineskins doesn't get anything from your purchase. We believe this material is helpful and want to make people aware of it.
"Anchors for the Soul" (Book)
"Meeting God at the Shack" - the other book John Mark mentions in the podcast.
To read more of John Mark's excellent work online check out his blog.
Did you know that 63% of ministers in Churches of Christ have considered leaving ministry entirely?
Did you know that only 56% say they know their next employment will be congregational ministry?
What factors affect the spiritual, physical, mental, familial, and vocational health of ministers? We ran a study of 118 ministers in Churches of Christ to assess what factors contributed positively and negatively to health outcomes. We also assessed minister longevity and attrition (how many ministers are considering leaving ministry and what factors affect that). At the end we point ministers to resources that can help them get healthier approaches to life and ministry.
This talk was given at the 2017 Pepperdine Bible Lectures and has been edited for the podcast. The data was collected in the Spring of 2017.
We sit down with Stan Granberg of Kairos Church Planting to review his findings on the decline in Churches of Christ and what we can do looking ahead to move our churches into the 21st century in meaningful and vibrant ways. There are a number of resources and organizations mentioned in the podcast this week. You can find that information here:
Let's Start Talking - They didn't make it into the podcast due to a recording glitch but were mentioned in the organizations working together for Healthy Churches.
Many of us have experienced shrinking attendance and shrinking budgets in our congregations. Just how prevalent is this? How fast are we declining? What are the projections for the future? Most importantly, what can be done about it? This podcast is to make you aware of some very important information prior to having Stan Granberg on the podcast next week.
We aren't all doom and gloom. We trust God has thinks worked out. It helps to be informed. It helps to encourage each other and equip each other looking ahead so that our best days are not behind us...the best days are still ahead! But it is going to take some adjustments to see that happen.
Reference - Stan Granberg, "A Case Study of Growth and Decline: The Churches of Christ, 2006-2016," Great Commission Research Journal, Fall 2018, 88-111.
Jimmy Hinton is a minister and church consultant specializing in helping churches protect against child predators. We are seeing more and more headlines about churches failing to protect their kids. Often things were known for years and never disclosed to the congregation. We can do better. That means we have to be prepared.
How can we as parents, ministers, and church leaders keep our kids safe? What are the warning signs? How does a child predator think and how can that help you prevent kids from being in dangerous situations?
Listen to the podcast to hear Jimmy's unusual story and how that has launched him onto a mission to protect kids from pedophiles and sex offenders.
For more information, to get advice for your church from Jimmy, or to listen to his podcast "The Speaking Out On Sex Abuse Podcast" see his website - Jimmy's website & Podcast
Some of the most challenging issues in our churches have to do with our leadership model, governance and the equipping (or lack of equipping) of our leadership. Tod Vogt, Executive Director of Mission Alive gets to the heart of these issues and gives us some encouragement and instruction on how church leaders and elders can be equipped to be effective leaders.
In the second half of the interview Tod talks about his work at Mission Alive and how churches can make disciples, which is also a needed move for so many churches.
Here are some of the resources he mentions in this episode:
Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman
Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards
The Unnecessary Pastor: Rediscovering the Call by Marva Dawn
Neil Reynolds finishes out his five components of church renewal. In this episode Neil deals with moving from an inward focus to an outward focus and on how the Sunday gathering can be changed to catalyze renewal in an existing church. It becomes very easy, over time, to attune to insiders and cater to them without thinking about how those decisions might make it more difficult for the lost to find Jesus. How does your church service help or hinder disciple making? What are some adjustments to your Sunday gathering that can help people find Jesus without compromising your message?
This is an important conversation for leaders in your church to familiarize themselves with and consider what changes they can make to more effectively reach the lost and make disciples resulting in church renewal.
Find out in Episode 3!
In our second episode we interview Neil Reynolds: minister, author, and Pathways Director at Kairos Church Planting. In Part 1 Neil outlines three of five key areas necessary for church renewal and revitalization: Everything rises and falls on leadership, church renewal takes place alongside renewed faith in three key areas, and church renewal takes place when the church is equipped for the work of ministry.
The resources mentioned in this episode include:
How to Break Growth Barriers by Carl George
Revival Starts Here by Dave Clayton
Real-life Discipleship Training Manual by Jim Putman
How we read the Bible is essential to our faith. Many of us never assess what underpins how we read the Bible. How do we know what the Bible means and how do we go about discerning which parts of the Bible are applicable to us today and which are not? What has the historical church of Christ hermeneutic (way of reading and understanding the Bible) been and is there an approach that can get us closer to the meaning of the text and the God the text is pointing us to? How do we go about this in a loving and respectful way?
Listen to our very first Wineskins podcast where we unpack these things in a discussion of John Mark Hicks' new book "Searching for the Pattern." If you would like to purchase the book you can find it on amazon.