Basic Rules for Planning Congregational Education Programs

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Here are a few basic rules I always share with folks looking to get a handle on how to plan their church education program:

Continue reading Basic Rules for Planning Congregational Education Programs

What I’m Learning Outside the Church Bubble: Day One

By Jan Edmiston, DMin. ‘01

This is the first of a three-part series by popular blogger and Columbia Theological Seminary graduate Jan Edmiston. In this series, Edmiston examines different ways the Church can utilize secular business practices and principles in the “business” of running a church. In this post, Edmiston asks some great questions of church leaders regarding why we do things the way we do, and they reflect whom we believe we are as a church. Continue reading What I’m Learning Outside the Church Bubble: Day One

Common Sense in Pastoral Leadership

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Emotional Intelligence is a field of research currently being applied to pastoral leadership, to great benefit. I think it holds great promise to effective pastoral leadership because the nature of leadership in the relational context of congregations is more about understanding emotional process than about anything else typically associated with what constitutes “leadership” (management skills, education, intellect, good looks, personality style, etc.). But I think in many cases, “common sense” may be as valuable an asset for the leaders as a high score on any emotional intelligence inventory.

Here are some common sense factors that too many congregational leaders, whether pastors or staff, seem to not “get”: Continue reading Common Sense in Pastoral Leadership

No Perfect Age, No Secret Formulas in Youth Ministry

By Michelle Thomas-Bush and John Turnbull

On Sunday nights at Myers Park Presbyterian in Charlotte, NC, youth and advisors gather for dinner before youth group, while younger children assemble for age-group programming.

Imagine this scene unfolding. Then listen in on a conversation between youth leadership team staff members Michelle Thomas-Bush and John Turnbull as they discuss the value of intergenerational relationships.

At one table, recent college graduate Hannah offers study tips to a few youth who are stressed out and worried about their grades. At another table, Tom, a parent, is talking about equal pay for women and the youth are getting passionate in their responses to the issues he is raising. Continue reading No Perfect Age, No Secret Formulas in Youth Ministry

Five Elements for Effective Instruction

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I’ve been reviewing video presentations for a project. Primarily I screen them for delivery rather than content. It’s amazing how many basic rules of good communication presenters break—consistently—even professional speakers and celebrated “master teachers.” The other side of the equation that puzzles me is the level of tolerance audiences seem to have for poor presentations. I wonder sometimes if we have seen so few well-delivered presentations that we have lowered our expectations, and therefore, demand so little of presenters. Most of the presentations I see are entertaining but not educational, even when they portend to be.

Continue reading Five Elements for Effective Instruction

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