The Suprise Discipleship Tool

Written Job Descriptions

How a written job description is a tool to help ministry leaders succeed. It’s a tool to guide training and discipleship of the leader. It’s a tool to help avoid conflict between pastors and ministry leaders, but when conflict does arise, it provides a way forward. That’s powerful work for a one-page document.

Pastor As Coach (Not Athlete)

#2 in a series of three articles about metaphors for pastoral leadership

A coach calls it training, a pastor calls it discipleship. For both the coach and pastor, success is not their own: it lies in the actions of the athlete and church member. At the same time, the athlete and church member needs what the coach and pastor provide.

2016 Hope Rally

Family Leadership Initiative “takes over” Meijer Gardens

The Hope Rally is both celebration of and encouragement for the work done by both volunteers and participants of Family Leadership Initiative -- and an opportunity to take families out of the daily grind to enjoy each other.

The Simplest Consensus-Building Tool Ever

The five-finger vote

“The primary tool for pastoral leadership outside preaching and teaching is meetings. And so many people lead bad meetings.” Rev. Tony Campbell teaches us how to use the five-finger vote to build consensus and lead a better meeting.

Are you a superhero or a gardener?

#1 in a series of three articles exploring metaphors for pastoral leadership

Superheroes are extraordinary lone heroes who often leave devastation in their wake. Gardeners are patient and generous stewards who understand how to tend their plants through challenges so the garden can still be healthy and fertile. Which sounds more sustainable to you?

Who will pastor the pastors?

What can pastors do when they are pressed by troubles from every side and are weary down to their bones?

Getting Unsnared

How having written policies and expectations can give a church more time and energy for its true mission

At the first Lunch and Learn Session, pastors and church board members learned about solutions to recurring organizational and administrative problems.

Summer Camp for Clergy?

Not two weeks in the woods, but experiences to help pastors recharge themselves and their ministries

GoH is gathering pastors and ministry leaders in small groups for experiences that will give them (1) access to experts to help them work through the conflicts and hurts that often result from a life in ministry; (2) opportunities to rest, recharge, and make friends across denominational lines; and (3) tools and skills to help them better manage themselves, their boards, and their congregations.

The Thriving Small Congregation

Celebrating the strengths of the tiny church

While megachurches get a lot of attention, over half of American congregations have fewer than 100 regular attenders. But don’t cry for them. They have strengths that help their people thrive: intimacy, vulnerability, and a focus on discipleship.

Unity is a Force Multiplier

Pastors and community leaders come together to hear from Luis and Kevin Palau

Pastors and community leaders in Grand Rapids hear from Luis and Kevin Palau about the Palau Association philosophy--“Love and serve the community with no strings attached, based on the needs, not on a program, and joyfully proclaim the Gospel”--and consider whether to do a big event together in the future.

To Spur Action, Recruit Imagination

How stories help us rehearse the people we will be

What influences our action? Not our thoughts, not our ideas. Imagination. Story. Narrative.

Thank You, Dr. Mariano Avila

Leader of Hispanic Ministry Certificate Program makes a difference in his students and in our city

Dr. Mariano Avila is granted the 2015 Community Service Award for his leadership of the Hispanic Ministry Certificate program, a collaboration between Calvin Seminary and Gatherings of Hope.

Three Churches Amass Six Million Skill Points

The Bethel FLI Cluster Rocks Khan Academy

Seeing and Doing

Exploring Art at the GRAM

The Holy Work of Sharing

Krystal Sweat