Mystery, tension, data, connection, and creativity. These were recurring threads throughout my discussion with licensed clinical social worker, author, and hope-driven mental health advocate Heidi Goehmann. We talked about weariness, God’s Word, belief schemata, and setting flexible boundaries along with the fun we find through technology. Fill your favorite mug with something to sip and join us.
Digital technology is a part of daily life and our collective life together. I sat down via Zoom with Rev. Trevor Sutton, a pastor, speaker, and coauthor of Redeeming Technology: A Christian Approach to Healthy Digital Habits, to talk about thoughtfully engaging with technology, its place in ministry, and the intersection of our digital and heavenly citizenships.
When our twin boys were first beginning to eat solid food, we introduced three simple signs to help them communicate with us: more please, all done, and thank you. While I could probably extrapolate on each of these as it relates to those who serve in our congregations, today we’ll focus on saying “thank you.” Communicating appreciation not only acknowledges the work put into a particular project or effort and the sacrifices made to do so but also is an opportunity to share how an individual or group’s input contributes to the work of the Body of Christ in your particular context.
Through certain seasons in the Church Year, church workers often find themselves burning the (Advent) candle at both ends. Coming in early, working through meals, staying late — they’re all too common. And what happens once we find ourselves on the other side? Often there’s a crash, maybe some burnout, and a general lingering weariness.
With training and background as a Director of Christian Education (DCE), now ordained and associate pastor at First Trinity Lutheran Church in Tonawanda, New York, Rev. Jason Christ has long been fascinated by and experimented with technology. We recently sat down with him over Zoom and chatted about the blessings and challenges of integrating technology in ministry, giving new things a try, and engaging others in ministry through their technological gifts and skills.
It’s the time of year when we’ve generally settled into the fall rhythm of life and begin anticipating the next big things coming down the line, namely the Advent and Christmas seasons. Some have decided on a theme/focus for midweek services and at-home devotions. For others, this is the first blip on the radar.
Whether you’re already well on your way to Advent planning success, just starting to think about it, or somewhere in between, Rev. Daniel Ross suggests combining your efforts with Lent planning as well. Not only is the gap between Christmas and Ash Wednesday sometimes small, but planning for these seasons simultaneously helps keep the Gospel story and the anticipation of the resurrection tied together in our minds rather than in isolated events.
It feels so good to get things done and mark items off your to-do list. Sometimes, you’re in a groove, and everything is clicking. Other times, you can barely think, and you can’t seem to find the one book or piece of paper needed to move forward on a project.
I love heading into a new season (or month or week or even day) with a plan, knowing what needs to be tackled and when I'm going to do it. When that doesn’t happen (a fair amount of the time), it can feel defeating and I often find myself floundering, buying the lie that it’s too late to do anything, and constantly playing catch up.
Although school has already begun in most places, and many church activities are back on the calendar, it’s not too late to take time to plan for fall communications in your congregation! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
These days, it seems like social media is better known for its penchant to divide people rather than bring them together. While we’ve likely experienced something along these lines in the past few years, hidden below the divisive rubble is a tool for connection.
“People go on social media because they’re seeking connection,” Seth Hinz, Director of the Marketing and Creative department at Pathfinder Church in Ellisville, Missouri, said in an interview on the Mission Field: USA podcast.
With various service options available (different times and days, in-person and online) and full schedules, building and nurturing connections between church members can be challenging. With so many members on social media, churches have an opportunity to leverage these platforms in ways that move toward the goal of connection.
Meet Kimberly Myers, Communications Director for the Nebraska District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and a communications volunteer in her congregation. With a focus on serving a broad range of congregations throughout her district and a background in teaching overseas, Kimberly offers insight and encouragement as she shares a picture of her work in church communications.