Congregations

Most Recently Published

Televangelist Robert Schuller in the Crystal Cathedral.  Photo by Alamy / Zuma Press, Inc.

Kate Bowler: Why are there so few mainline celebrities?

The chilly relationship between mainline Protestantism and the popular marketplace has become a stable feature of the former’s self-understanding, writes an assistant professor of church history.

The Abundant Harvest food truck is one of the many parts of St. Isidore Episcopal Church and its "offensively generous" approach to ministry. Photos courtesy of St. Isidore Episcopal Church 

Church has no walls but many doors, accessible to seekers and skeptics

One body with many parts, a Houston “church without walls” brings together house churches, a food truck, pub theology, a laundry ministry and more. Its priest isn’t trying to do something old in a new way – he’s trying to do something brand-new in the old way.

The style of worship at Munger Place falls under the “contemporary” category, with rock-style worship and video and casual dress. The building has a traditional feel, so the style seems much more traditional than the typical megachurch in Dallas. Photo courtesy of Munger Place

Andrew Forrest: Every dying church in America has a community garden

Struggling congregations tend to chase after popular strategies rather than do what Jesus commanded -- make disciples, says the United Methodist pastor of a replanted church in Dallas.

Layperson Muriel Dufendach, left, shares a laugh with the Rev. Carol Walton after a service at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Henderson, Nevada. Dufendach  carries out some traditionally priestly functions, such as presiding at the weekday Eucharist.  Photo by Ronda Churchill

A move to part-time clergy sparks innovation in congregations

Although church leaders often worry that switching from full-time to part-time clergy will lead to decline, congregations across the country are finding new vitality by reimagining the roles of clergy and laypeople.

A design team brainstorms together.

Bigstock / Ammentorp

Dave Odom: Design comes to church

In a time when congregations are customizing or developing their own events and services, all church leaders are designers. The design process centers around questions about audience and needs, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

Bread Church participants gather ingredients for an evening of baking and spiritual discussion.  Photos by Brian Diggs.

A struggling Texas church is slowly rising again, becoming leaven for the community

Despite years of decline and worries about the future, Austin's Memorial UMC is moving forward in ministry, with bread baking, ESL classes and a decidedly Wesleyan model of church focused not on themselves but on their neighbors.

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