Congregational Vitality

Lurkers welcome

The Rev. Nikki Collins has been aware of the concept of empowering servant leadership since her high school days, when a teacher brought in a prominent community leader to speak to Collins and her classmates about what it means to be a servant leader.

A ministry of intellect and street smarts

As a scientist and science lover since he was a child, Fred Hanna has always found the disconnect between science and religion to be odd, if not utterly horrifying. Once in his early 30s he was having a conversation about dinosaurs with a Christian who told him, “Dinosaurs aren’t real. They were made up. Science made them up.”

An outward focus

Before COVID-19 forced him to work from home, the Rev. Dr. Alonzo Johnson, coordinator of the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, was walking in downtown Louisville one day when he came across a man holding a “I’m homeless and I’m hungry” sign. Johnson made eye contact and asked how the man was doing. The man clutched Johnson’s arms and told him, with tears streaming down his face, “Thank you for recognizing that I am a human being.”

Practicing lifelong discipleship formation during COVID-19

As more than 50 pastors and other church leaders explored together “Lifelong Discipleship Formation” —  which is one of the Seven Marks of Vital Congregations — it became apparent that during the coronavirus crisis they are discovering new ways to help people live out their Christian faith.

Varied, far-flung mission is envisioned over the next two years

Proposed budgets for the Presbyterian Mission Agency — about $61.2 million in 2021 and about $62.9 million for 2022 — will allow the agency two more years to continue the Matthew 25 focus and to carry out no small number of other worthy ministries, too.

Spirit-inspired worship requires breathing life into dry bones

Using Ezekiel’s stark vision of the Valley of Dry Bones, the Rev. Dr. David Gambrell elicited any number of innovative ideas from about 70 pastors and other church leaders during Wednesday’s videoconference on Spirit-inspired worship, one of the Seven Marks of Vital Congregations.