Considerations for congregations when moving from a full-time to a part-time pastor
Pastoral Care

Considerations for congregations when moving from a full-time to a part-time pastor

By Laura Stephens-Reed It is no secret that many churches, once pushing the fire marshal’s maximum occupancy to its limits, are now in numerical decline. I have my pick of statistics that I could cite, but here’s a particularly poignant visual from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research: The pews are no more than 38 … Continue reading

The pros and cons of hiring a member of the congregation for your church staff
Pastoral Care

The pros and cons of hiring a member of the congregation for your church staff

By Rev. Laura Stephens-Reed Many pastors are taught in seminary that a church should never hire one of its members to serve on staff, for reasons explained below. That said, ministers might enter a new-to-them context where a member is already in the role of Administrative Assistant or Director of Christian Education. And there might … Continue reading

Why bringing in young families is not a magic bullet for your congregation
General CBF / Pastoral Care

Why bringing in young families is not a magic bullet for your congregation

By Laura Stephens-Reed I have heard it many times in congregations experiencing stagnation or decline: If we could just bring in more young families… This is an understandable thought. For churches with nurseries that once burst at the seams or with memories of youth choirs that went on tour in the summers, bringing in more … Continue reading

Becoming a hybrid congregation
General CBF / Pastoral Care

Becoming a hybrid congregation

By Laura Stephens-Reed Two years ago the world locked down, seemingly overnight, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Many congregations went from having a website and a minimal social media presence, which sometimes included recordings or livestreams of worship, to creating online community wholly through previously utilized and new-to-them media. Churches pivoted again and … Continue reading