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This Week in Ministry: What You Can Do Now to Plan for the Future

This week’s Ministry Briefing offers a series of articles that will challenge you to prepare for the future. Innovating and jumping on trends can be risky, but it’s equally risky to change nothing and to risk being left behind without a plan for moving forward. We’ll help you ask the tough questions and consider your options for the future. Perhaps the easiest place to start with planning the future is your financial outlook. True, finances are often a source of stress, but thankfully there are several tried and true ways to plan for your future will help your church immensely. While most churches are jumping on the opportunity to set up online giving and recurring gift options, don’t overlook the other opportunities for your church to use. For instance, talk to some financial planning experts about stocks, bonds, and legacy giving options. It’s hard enough for churches to move from cash and checks to online giving options, but perhaps your future stability hinges on your ability to prepare for the future with some planned gifts or stock donations. A far more difficult moving target for pastors planning ahead is the next generation after millennials. One Snapchatting, hip hop heavy youth pastor in Texas has found ways to connect with teenagers, making pop culture connections in his sermons that resonate with his younger audience. While he insists that he’s not watering down his message but adapting it to a new time, there are important discussions we can still have about the ways that his methods nevertheless impact his message. How do we adapt, innovate, and make the message relevant without obscuring or altering it? It’s time to start looking beyond millennials, and if you thought the culture divide between boomers and millennials was wide, just wait! It can be tough to receive criticism in ministry, but how do pastors prepare for criticism that isn’t valid? A piece in Sojourners this week addresses the troubling trend of congregations critiquing the appearance of their pastors. From weight, to hair styles, to fashion choices, these inappropriate critiques are evidence of boundary problems and issues with expectations at many churches for pastors. Is it possible for pastors to set up appropriate boundaries with their congregations? How do pastors absorb these criticisms gently without undermining their ability to minister? Find this story interesting?  It’s just one of dozens of stories great leaders are reading about this week in Ministry Briefing! All readers of my blog can get the next four issues of Ministry Briefing for just $1!

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