Church Leadership Workshop: Picturing Ministry- Change Your F-stop

pastor, church, change, mission, ministry, congregation, education, consultant, strategic planning

Listen, learn, and discover the value of new perspectives of doing ministry

You're invited to see things in through a different lens.

Join us Thursday October 28, 2021, 9:30 - 11:30 am CT  for a workshop for pastors. 

In photography, the f-Stop is a critical setting to determine the precise perspective you want your photograph to reflect.

This workshop brings ministry leaders together to listen, learn and discover the value of taking on new and different perspectives of ministry in these times. For some, the lens of ministry is too focused on one challenge, leaving the rest of ministry out of focus, or unclear. For others, the lens includes too many elements, which quickly overwhelms. For yet others, the lens is set just right.

In this 2- hour workshop,... read more

Is hybrid worship and online church community here to stay?

hybrid worship, online church, covid, planning, imap

Is hybrid worship and online community here to stay?


How do we know? How do we minister to those online ? What do they need?

Let's find out...
We are excited to announce the launching of a brand new assessment tool called the iMAP, the Internet Missional Assessment Profile. The Joshua Group, along with Kairos and Associates, has spent the last few months working with church leaders around the country to discover what information would be most helpful in assessing and planning for the future of their congregations' online presence.
We know that many congregations developed an online presence without having much experience or understanding of capacities, impact or effectiveness. Our hope is that the new iMAP tool... read more

Start 2021 Off Right with a Retreat for Pastors



What: "Now Is The Time!" Retreat

When: Thursday, January 21st (9AM - 2PM)

Where: Zoom  



Because pastoral leadership is hard, especially right now. We know that many of you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, uncertain, stretched, emotionally exhausted, anxious or even depressed.  As congregational leaders you have been pushed to the limits, required to make significant changes in how you live out your calling to care for members, facilitate Word and Sacrament and offer other ministries virtually. You have had to make challenging decisions with constantly changing information.

Yet, in the midst of it all, you have prevailed.  God's Word has been proclaimed, members have been cared for and Zoom is either... read more

Covid Crisis Changed Church: What We've Learned Since March

covid,  crisis, pandemic, leadership, church, change, digital

What we’ve learned about Christian leadership since March


Think back to the seven days between Sunday, March 8th and Sunday, March 15th, 2020. In just seven days, you led a transition from fully in-person worship, complete with Holy Communion, choirs, and packed pews, to fully online worship with Zoom, YouTube, or Facebook.


When we think about the ongoing changes in this time of digital distribution, we would do well not just to focus on the technologies we have adopted, but the transformative steps we have taken as leaders. In those same seven days, you started the transition from a leadership model centered around in-person staff collaboration to a practice of distributed, digital-first Christian leadership.

Digital-first Christian Leadership


A distributed, digital-first model of Christian leadership is... read more

We Have Already Changed: Church & Change

change, church, pastor, crisis, transformation, churches, mission, navigating


“We have already changed,” I replied.

A friend of mine had begun wondering about her congregation’s future beyond the pandemic.

“Do you think this will change us?” she asked. “It’s just so hard to imagine things being the same after the pandemic.”

We have already changed. And not only on a tactical level. The changes we have undergone go deeper than using our website more or live-streaming worship. How we understand ourselves as church, our core identity, is changing, almost right before our eyes.

“Oh, that’s the church that records their worship service.” Or, “I’ll never give up watching our worship services, but that church across town does a wonderful job of providing web content for my kids. So, we do both.” Or, “Now that we don’t have to ‘go’ to church, we actually get more church now than we did before the... read more

Crisis Leadership: 8 Things Healthy Leaders Do

crisis leadership church healthy mental health mission leader pastor anxiety

Leaders ask: We are managing the fast current of change, can we sustain this pace in the unknown?

The answer: no. The solution: rest.


8 things Healthy Leaders Do in this Summer of Crises:

  1. Rest
  2. Relationships
  3. Rehydrate
  4. Recreate         
  5. Reconnect
  6. Replenish
  7. Reconcile
  8. Renew


In these summer days of weird isolation, even weirder news, it sometimes feels like we are living in a parallel universe. Almost no part our lives has been untouched by pandemic, sickness, isolation, anxiety, grief, awareness of inequity and injustice, or fear and loss of control. Oh Lord, how much more can we take?


Rest is Replenishment

There will be plenty of work to do, no doubt. However, we need to pace ourselves. Pace is as important as passion. If... read more

Mental Health in a Pandemic: A Conversation for Leaders

mental health, covid19, crisis, church, leadership, leader, Christian, pandemic, depression,


Mental health challenges in this time

One of the many challenges that our faith community leaders are facing is the rising needs around mental health. Many of us are working to be supportive of those in our communities who are struggling with this issue, or perhaps dealing with our own mental health needs. The global pandemic, along with our recent national crisis around racial injustices, has only elevated this reality of increased stress, anxiety and uncertainty. The more we can do to be supportive and provide resources to each other, the healthier we will be together.  

A Conversation with Mental Health Professionals For You


We have enlisted the support of three mental health experts from around the country to be our panelists for a Zoom Conference on Monday, July 13th at 1... read more

Crisis Mentality of Leaders: Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

crisis, leadership, pastor, church, Christian, mission, change,

Many of us can’t wait for this pandemic to end so we can get back to normal.


Years ago, an organization I worked for was experiencing severe financial troubles.  As the board was wrestling with ways to get out of these troubles, one of the board members stated, “I can’t wait until we find our way out of the woods.”  To which another board member commented, “maybe this is the new reality. Instead of trying to find our way out of the woods, maybe we should learn how to live in the woods.”  Gulp.


Maybe living in the woods is our new reality. Perhaps the new era of ministry is not a focus on trying to return to some image we have of the past.  Just maybe we are being called to be and serve right here in the woods.  Maybe we are being called to live among uncertainty, change, foreign landscape and discomfort. 


Living in the woods is scary... read more

Church Leadership: Changed by Change

pastor, leader, church, change, transformation, council, covid19, crisis


Do you want the good news or the bad news?? Well, the bad news is that you as a pastor or lay leader are probably challenged in this time. The good news… you as pastor and lay leader may be transformed for mission in this time.

Do you feel like the rules changed in the middle of the game? They did. Gone is the church of yesteryear. Now we are tasked with embracing a new set of circumstances, stressors, challenges, and obstacles, yet we’re finding ways to focus on mission. The dangerous thing that’s hanging in the balance right now isn’t the future of the church. No, what’s at stake is our openness, willingness, and yes… trust to continue to be faithful God’s mission, and not the trappings of the church that have absorbed so much of our time and energy for the last 100 years, and insulated our sense of safety and righteousness.


Church Leadership is... read more

What can you offer people at time like this? Grounding.

grounded, trust, church, leadership, pastor, mission, God

I was at the chiropractor’s office this morning. I explained that my sore back could be attributed (in addition to aging) to bending over weeding my garden yesterday. I also described that I had kicked off my sandals at some point and was barefoot in the yard. The good doctor shared that being barefoot in the yard is good for us- called grounding. It connects us to the natural electromagnetic properties of the earth and has shown in research to be a healthful practice for us shoe loving humans. Okay, I thought. Who doesn’t want to be well grounded?


People ask me, what leaders can possibly offer their people in this time of covid19 pandemic, economic stress and a nationwide sense of unrest calling out racial injustice? We can’... read more