Mainline Protestants can still have an exciting and life-giving future. Living into that future will require us to learn deeply Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen's lessons of disruptive innovation, say three United Methodist Church leaders.
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At Una Familia, mothers and volunteers work with children in a summer tutoring program on Virginia's Eastern Shore. Leaders of Una Familia took part in the Ministry Accelerator workshops to help them expand the size and impact of their ministry. Photos by David B. Hollingsworth
Virginia United Methodists are helping established ministries expand by teaching them new skills in a two-day “accelerator” program.
The centerpiece of Simple Church, a United Methodist congregation, is a Thursday night dinner when 30 to 40 share the Lord's Supper. Photos courtesy of Simple Church
Congregants gather for a sacred weekly meal where the conversation serves as the sermon and freshly baked bread provides nourishment, communion and income. Other churches are using their template to replicate the experience.
A youth pastor who began a church-based social enterprise shares advice for others interested in this kind of ministry. The three initial phases are discernment, consulting with the community and testing.
Technology offers different capabilities -- storytelling, problem solving, design thinking -- to engage learners in religious teaching, says a rabbi and game designer.
With a mix of movement, soothing activities and cooking, The Brain Kitchen helps struggling kids learn skills to calm themselves and even rewire their brains to cope with challenges. It's a picture of how innovation happens -- with insight, small steps and experimentation.
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
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.
Level Ground Trading is dedicated to fair trade with farmers. But its co-founder also has a larger, theological vision: a system designed for the good of all.
The Columbia Future Forge, which trains and mentors students in faith, life and work, is one of the social enterprises created by the author. Photo courtesy of The Columbia Future Forge
Social enterprises might be a risky and unusual form of ministry, but a youth pastor argues that they can bring new life to the church.
What was once the sanctuary of Asbury UMC is now home to Servant Church, where the Rev. Eric Vogt, left, leads worship -- and the church -- in a new direction. Photos by Brian Diggs
After years of decline, Asbury UMC in Austin, Texas, faced a question steeped in resurrection theology: Would they be willing to let their church die in order to have new life?
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
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.
Leadership Education at Duke Divinity teaches a way of thinking that holds the past and future in tension, not in opposition.
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