School of Congregational Development

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All Blog Posts (8)

Lenten Materials based on the theme, "Rehab" are now available

The Leadership Ministries Team at Discipleship Ministries has put together materials for worship and study that you can use during Lent based on the theme, Rehab. The materials give you a way to offer a church-wide focus during Lent that incorporates worship and study groups using the same theme each week. Lent starts on February 14th, 2018.

To learn more about the worship materials go to the…


Added by Craig Miller on January 11, 2018 at 12:23pm — No Comments

Jean Twenge to Speak at SCD 2018 San Diego

Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me and the newly released iGen will be one of…


Added by Craig Miller on November 6, 2017 at 12:35pm — 1 Comment

Planting a new church

The events of this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, reminded me of the brokenness in our world. Racism isn't new; it's been around for centuries. But between television and social media, its existence in our world has never been more inescapable, even for those who don't face it in their everyday lives. As I stood up to preach this past Sunday, I knew I could not give the sermon I had worked all week to prepare. Instead, I went off script to address how people from different walks of… Continue

Added by Rosario Picardo on August 17, 2017 at 12:13pm — No Comments

Growing Young: Real Examples of Fuller Youth Institute's Research

AT SCD 2017 I will be involved in leadership during several different pieces of the event! Everything I will share at SCD 2017 has to do with reaching out to make meaningful connections with young people.

A recent publication by the Fuller Youth Institute (Growing Young: 6 Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church) by Kara Powell, Brad Griffen, and Jake Mulder is a treasure trove of…


Added by Chris Wilterdink on July 14, 2017 at 9:43am — No Comments

Small Groups in the Wesleyan Way

What challenges are you facing in your small group ministry? Research indicates that the focus of many small groups centers around self-improvement and the interests of the participants. Like too many of our Sunday School classes, small groups can also be centered on content, intellectual growth, and personal edification that reinforce a consumerist mindset (i.e. that the church is the dispenser of goods, programs, and services, that satisfy the wants of its audience).

The Small…


Added by M. Scott Hughes on June 1, 2017 at 1:42pm — No Comments

Exploring Social Enterprise as a Way Forward

We often see churches with fairly well-maintained buildings that are used a couple of hours a week. Often these churches are in communities that are diverse in various ways; and often these churches have a homogeneous membership that has been declining, and they find it challenging to connect with their diverse neighbors.

I invite you to consider a way forward, which requires the following steps:

  • Listen to your neighbors, but dont ask them "what do you need;" Ask them:…

Added by Nora Colmenares on May 25, 2017 at 12:53pm — No Comments

Adopting a Missionary Mindset

The following excerpt was first published in the Lewis Center's LEADING IDEAS publication:

Adopting a Missionary Mindset

Douglas Ruffle


I learned some things as a missionary that I think are relevant to challenges faced by churches in the twenty-first century. The things I had to learn -- another language, an alternative culture, unfamiliar music, new art, a different way of dressing, a change in my mode of transportation,…


Added by Douglas Ruffle on May 11, 2017 at 7:56pm — No Comments

Covenant Discipleship with Youth

I spend a lot of time figuring out ways of measuring discipleship, and the impact that involvement in church has on the lives of young people. Over the past year, I have noticed a trend that has to do with keeping youth engaged as they grow older. With many younger youth, an invitation to show up is enough to get them to a youth group, a bible study, or other youth ministry activity. The chance to explore and be included in a new group can be a powerful draw for the young. Yet, as they grow…


Added by Chris Wilterdink on March 22, 2016 at 2:20pm — No Comments




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