September 28, 2022
For most traditions, the disproportionate aging of clergy is a crucial challenge. Lovett H. Weems Jr. highlights some of the findings in the National Congregations Study (NCS) and names some of the challenges facing denominations today.

In-depth Interview with Elizabeth Shulman
How can congregations support persons with dementia and their caregivers? Jessica Anschutz interviews Elizabeth Shulman, who offers an organic, three-part program to aid congregations in creating ministries to meet the needs of persons with dementia and their caregivers.

Lovett H. Weems Jr. reports that the declining number of young elders in the United Methodist Church has accelerated while the number of young deacons increased. The number of young clergy continues to be a cause for concern.

The Right Question
Leaders do not need answers. Leaders must have the right questions.
Courtney E. Martin says that people who want to be sensitive to persons different from themselves often focus too much on looking for something to read or the advice of an expert. When there is uncertainty about how plans may be received by others, she suggests that asking these questions is preferable::

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Learn best practices your church can use to increase in-person and online worship attendance.

Tuesday, October 25, Noon-1:30 p.m. Eastern

For most congregations, attracting new people was a challenge even before the pandemic. Now, churches must focus not only on the continuing need to reach new people but also on reconnecting with the sizable percentage of those who attended regularly before COVID-19 but have not yet returned to the pews. Join Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe Jr., Rev. Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr., and Rev. Dr. Jessica Anschutz for this timely and important webinar to learn ways to improve your congregation’s in-person and online worship attendance.

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The Wesley Academy for Advanced Christian Studies — created in partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary — offers online courses and educational materials that are theologically rich and deep. Courses are appropriate for anyone, lay or clergy, and may be used to earn CEU credits and a certification in Advanced Christian Studies.

Registration is open for these upcoming courses:

Leading Ideas is made possible by contributions to the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from readers like you. Thank you.
Churches that receive a young pastor need to remember how lucky they are! Many congregations say they want a younger pastor, but few have the opportunity. Learn how you can support a young pastor with To the Point: Suggestions for Churches with a Young Pastor.

“Quotable” Leadership
Compassion makes no distinction between friends and enemies, neighbors and outsiders, compatriots and foreigners. Compassion is the gate to human community. Joan D. Chittister
Video-based Adult Christian Study Curriculum
Presented by Dr. Francis S. Collins, former director of the National Institutes of Health
Is it possible to be a Christian and take science seriously? Must we choose between God and science? The nine lessons in this essential and inspiring course offer a positive alternative: a way to live in today's world as scientifically informed. Religion and Science is ideal for your congregation's online or in-person small groups, adult Bible studies, and Sunday School classes.

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