The Nurtured Church
The Nurtured Church is a podcast dedicated to helping today’s church leaders and ministries grow their communities.
Church leaders and ministries want thriving organizations, but are often frustrated by the lack of participation. That’s why we’re highlighting ordinary churches doi
Big data is a big deal in 2020. Companies, policy makers, and security firms are all trying to figure out how to mine it, store it, surface it, and use it. What about churches, though? How can churches use data to direct their marketing messages to the right people at the right time? Ryan Moore, Principal of Clever Marketing, says it starts with knowing yourself. Ryan joined us on this episode to chat about experimenting with data-driven marketing, using data to help people find authentic relationships, and the basics of one-to-one marketing for churches. What we talked about: -How churches can use persona-based marketing and a/b testing -The value of tracking your ROI on each marketing initiative -Why you need written standards for your brand -The value of authenticity in marketing. For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
What happens when churches grow their attendance numbers but don't invest in their people? The church often collapses. Why? Because that's not the model of Jesus. He raised up disciples through His spheres of influence. How can contemporary churches grow and empower congregational leaders the way Jesus did? Kevin Cotter, executive director at The Amazing Parish, joined us on this episode of the podcast to discuss how his organization is helping Catholic parishes build leadership teams the way Jesus did. What we talked about: -The value of leadership beyond the pastor or senior leader -How to measure the engagement of parishioners and staff members -The model Jesus used for making disciples and creating leaders -The value of vulnerability between a pastor and church leaders For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
The way we engage with one another as human beings has changed dramatically, even in the last decade.That's true of any community, but it's especially true in the church space. How can churches have more meaningful connections and build better communities? And how can they leverage technology to drive deeper relationships? Kent Woodyard, who just completed three years as Director of Business Development at Pushpay, joins us right before he transitions out of the company. He shared what he learned growing up as a pastor's kid and later through his years serving churches at Pushpay. What we talked about: -The complete takeover of the digital space -Maintaining digital communities without losing authenticity -How to leverage technology to connect with people far from God and bring them closer -The communication tool that lands with people better than features or functionality -How churches can partner with other churches to drive unity For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
Culture is impossible when you have no physical location, right? That's what many church leaders say. But is it true? Has COVID-19 proven or disproven the idea that it's really hard to maintain culture when you're not all in the same building? Lisa Zeeveld, chief operating officer at BELAY, joined us on this episode of the podcast to discuss how you can extrapolate culture out of people when you're in a remote setting. BELAY helps people hire remote virtual assistants, bookkeepers, and other staff members. What we talked about: Quick tips for leading a remote team The team-building value of having a meeting agenda How to measure success for a remote team What we can take away from this season to help us grow in ways that we haven't been able to in the past For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
The gathered church suddenly unraveled when the COVID-19 pandemic began. How do we survive this experience as a community of faith? How do we have church now? Will church ever be the same again? On this episode of the podcast, Erwin McManus, iconoclast, futurist, and founder at MOSAIC, offered his insights into the opportunities COVID-19 is offering the church and how we can respond to them. What we talked about: How MOSAIC has been adapting to digital culture for several years How we can bring people what they need to thrive during this crisis What a remote model of pastoral care looks like What the church can learn during this pandemic in order to be strong and relevant in the years and decades to come. For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
COVID-19 forced online church to go from optional to essential. For some churches, that transition wasn't challenging. For others, it opened up a whole new world. Every church, though, faces the challenge of 100% digital connection in the short term at least. What did you learn during the first week of leading a fully online church during the coronavirus shutdown? That's what we asked Mark Venti, executive pastor at Churchome, a large faith community in Seattle pastored by Judah and Chelsea Smith. Mark joined us on the podcast for this second episode about church during COVID-19. What we talked about: Why Churchome was broadening its platform long before COVID-19 struck What midweek connection looks like at Churchome right now How Churchome is connecting with new viewers, people who are linking up for the church for the first time online What lessons Churchome has learned in the last 2-3 weeks and what changes they've made as a result For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, church as we know it is being disrupted. Just weeks ago, most churches thought of the digital world as the new frontier. Now, it’s the city we all live in. With everything going on, we want to resource you with practical tips from some of the churches leading the way during this all-digital chapter of the Church’s story. On part one of “Church During COVID-19,” listen in as Chad Zollo, the Online Pastor of Elevation Church, shares his advice for churches going digital for the first time.
The average person sees up to 10,000 branded messages every single day. If you're overwhelmed by that as a communicator, think about how your audience feels. At West Ridge Church in northwest Atlanta, creative arts pastor Phil Bowdle and his team are figuring out how to cut through the clutter. Phil joined us on this episode to discuss the importance of cultivating authenticity, the new way people attend church, and how to engage people in church outside of small groups. What we talked about: Practices, processes, and habits to push authenticity How the way people attend church now is different from 30 years ago What would change if we knew we had 8-10 times a year to communicate with somebody For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
Church attendance in American has been declining for a long time. First, it was the cultural Christians who stopped attending. More recently, committed church members are showing up less frequently. Are there encouraging trends among all this negative data? Thom Rainer, former CEO of Lifeway and founder of Church Answers, says, Yes! Thom joined us on this episode to discuss declining attendance patterns, new trends in worship participation, digitalization, and the increasing challenges of pastoral ministry. What we talked about: The two reasons the physically gathered church is growing again What's happening in churches that aren't on board with digital giving The one thing that bothers pastors the most and why they should hang in there anyway For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
While every church has a unique beginning, the origin of Passion City Church is particularly fascinating. The church grew out of Passion conferences, which have been attended by thousands of college-age students around the globe. This unique origin has led Passion City Church to do things a little differently, and we asked Jake Jelinek, the church’s Executive Director of Operations, to come on this episode to discuss their unique church culture. What we talked about: It’s about rhythm, not work-life balance Building community Annual sabbath For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
Today’s guest is Whit George, Lead Pastor of Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. Whit never had any intentions of being a pastor, but he eventually took over Church on the Move from his father, and has some incredible insights into making pastoral transitions smooth from that experience. What we talked about: Tips for pastoral transitions The tension between one church and many locations The generational shift toward authentic community Vulnerability in the modern Church Art in the Church For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
If you want to change your team’s culture, the first place to start is with yourself. Maybe you don’t pull the strings that could help make a change for the whole team, but you do have a circle of influence right now—starting with you. Today’s guest, in our first ever live recording, is Jenni Catron, Founder and CEO of 4Sight Group. Jenni shared her experience in the Christian music industry, as an Executive Director at vastly different churches, and some of her views on the state of church leadership today. What we talked about: Advice for someone in an unhealthy organizational culture Core competencies today’s leaders need Whether today’s pastors are equipped for modern America Her experiences at Cross Point Community Church and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church “Protecting momentum” in your church’s growth For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
“It's not a matter of the church not wanting to do more. It's a matter of the church not having the resources to do more.” We agree with Greg. That’s why we invited him on this episode to share how pastors can inspire a spirit of generosity in their congregation, which in turn allows resources to flow freely from the church to empower the kingdom. Greg Morris is a Generosity Strategist at Generis, with several years of experience both within the church as a pastor, as well as in the secular world. What we talked about: Saying thank you Spirit of generosity Generosity isn’t just about resources Generosity is a spirit Celebrating what God has already done Inspiring and motivating your church For more interviews from The Nurtured Church podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.
20. Bearing One Another’s Burdens Digitally: Why Virtual Church Just Might Actually Make Sense w/ Jeff Reed
There are 385,000 evangelical churches in the United States. Of those, only 10,000-15,000 broadcast a Sunday sermon online. And only a handful of THOSE are actual doing digital, online community. Online community? Is that even possible? Isn’t the whole point of “doing church” that you’re in physical relationship with those in your church? Not anymore. On a recent episode of The Nurtured Church podcast, we sat down with Jeff Reed from TheChurch.Digital to talk about The growing virtual church movement Why we can let go of the idea that virtual church goers have “abandoned community.” Why virtual church can be just as impactful and fruitful as traditional church
We often hear stories of thriving, growing churches that suddenly experience a culture shift. All at once their focus shifts from reaching people to paying bills. And in almost every one of these stories you can tie this shift back to a decision that was made involving buildings and debt. So, what are some strategies you can take to ensure your facilities are fueling your ministry? Instead of your ministry fueling your facilities? Nathan Artt, Owner and President of Ministry Solutions, came on The Nurtured Church podcast to share his expertise on how churches can make sound real estate decisions that lead to a thriving church community.
As the CEO of Church Fuel, Michael Lukaszewski spends his days helping pastors navigate leadership challenges so they can grow their ministry and their church. When Michael was pastoring a church in Atlanta, they were reaching many people and growing quickly. But he realized something about a year into the journey of planting his church: A crowd and a church are very different. On today’s episode Michael walks us through why getting your church to invite new people on Sunday morning has become so difficult. And, he’ll give us practical strategies to try as we equip our churches to grow the ministry.
17. Ensuring Your Church Website is Creating Connections Within Your Community w/ Aimee Cottle and Shayla Kenworthy
When it comes to being strategic about nurturing community, your website plays a critical role. Fishhook is 16 years into helping churches design world class, modern websites. So, we invited Aimee Cottle, Director of Marketing, and Shayla Kenworthy, Communications Strategist, onto this episode of The Nurtured Church to share their thoughts on the role that a church's website plays in creating meaningful connections. What we talked about: How Fishhook is serving churches Why you need to start with strategy first How your website is your welcome mat Website best practices Next steps Resources we talked about: Aimee’s LinkedIn Shayla’s LinkedIn Fishhook
Often misunderstood is the idea of stewardship. How is it different from giving? And what does stewardship have to do with building community? We addressed these concerns and more on this episode of The Nurtured Church podcast. Our guest, Dave Briggs, is currently Director of Stewardship at Central Christian Church. Previously, he led the stewardship ministry at Willow Creek Community Church. As someone who has been active in stewardship leadership for a while now, Dave has a very healthy perspective on this conservation that we were happy for him to share on the show. What we talked about: What Central Christian Church is doing in their stewardship ministry The difference between stewardship and giving How churches can address stewardship more effectively Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast: Dave Briggs Christian Stewardship Network This post is based on a The Nurtured Church podcast with Dave Briggs. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe here. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, you can listen here.
When it comes to technology, there’s a common criticism: it’s an obstacle to real relationships. But Thomas Road Baptist Church sees it differently. They’re actually leveraging technology to deepen relationships and expand their ministry. So, on this episode of The Nurtured Church podcast we caught up with Scott Pleasants, Chief Information Officer at Thomas Road Baptist Church, to discuss how they’re using technology to nurture engagement.
Community doesn't just happen. It has to be created, nurtured, and pursued. So, as you know, we've been looking at how different churches and different ministries are creating community within their congregations. Today, we’re continuing that thread by looking at how you can create engagement opportunities through your missions ministry. On this episode of The Nurtured Church podcast, Kent Woodyard connects with Jared Romano from Focus Ministry on what makes a healthy mission ministry and how to create opportunities within that ministry to build community. Jared also shared a couple of key stories from churches you may recognize on how they put it all together to have a big impact on their missions ministries.
Generosity is a sensitive issue. After all, it requires talking about money. That’s why, when it comes to giving, people typically take a pass. They reserve money talk for times when it’s absolutely necessary — like when there's a crisis or the annual budget meeting is coming up. If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. But we hope you’ll be encouraged by the conversation we recently had with Greg Gibbs, Lead Navigator at AUXANO. Greg he’s been passionate about generosity and community for a long time and currently works as a consultant, helping churches with generosity development. He came on this episode of The Nurtured Church podcast to talk about generosity and how it relates to building a healthy community.
As churches grow, and as the congregation becomes more diverse, it can be difficult to create an environment where parishioners feel connected. In addition, St. Anthony of Padua has faced additional challenges, like Hurricane Harvey. Nevertheless, by focusing their communication efforts on connection the church is building a place where engagement thrives. Stephen Lenahan, Director of Development & Communications at St. Anthony’s, came on the latest episode of The Nurtured Church podcast to share the story of St. Anthony’s and to talk about how they’re using their communication efforts to build engagement among their parishioners.
10. A 3-Part Framework for Doing Church Social Media (Without Sounding Like a Boring Stage Announcer) w/ Haley Veturis
Early on, the questions about social media in the church world were skeptical: “Is this a legitimate platform? Should we get on?” Now, everybody’s on it—but not everybody’s using it properly. In this episode, we interview Haley Veturis, Director of Digital Engagement at Bayside Church in Sacramento, CA. Prior to that, she was the social media manager for years at Saddleback Church. Listen in to hear Haley share a three-part framework for engaging your church on social by paying attention to the needs of the individuals in your community.
When we think about building an engaged community, we typically think of things like small groups and volunteer opportunities. These events are important. But engagement starts with building a great foundation — a great leadership culture. Bobby Bogard, our latest guest on The Nurtured Church podcast, has decades of experience building community. Bobby has served as Executive Pastor at Gateway Church and currently works with Bogard Group Ministries and LINC. He came on the show to talk about the keys to setting a great foundation that blossoms into an engaged congregation.
Your church staff culture will have a trickle down effect on your congregational culture. That’s why it’s so important to think about nurturing engagement as you hire, onboard, and integrate your staff members. I wanted to talk with someone who has a great perspective on this. Holly Tate is the VP of Marketing at Vanderbloemen — they help churches and faith-based organizations build their best teams, which now often includes “Experience Pastors.” So, on this episode of The Nurtured Church podcast, I talked with Holly about how churches are thinking about staffing, particularly with new pastoral positions focused on the member journey.
In this episode of The Nurtured Church podcast, Katie Allred, Assistant Professor at the University of Mobile, talked about why church branding matters and how you can achieve excellence in your own brand strategy.
What does a church leader do when they get punched in the mouth? You can ask Tyler Reagin. Reagin is the president of Catalyst, a development organization focused on raising the next generation of church leaders. He's also the author of The Life-Giving Leader. Reagin joined us on The Nurtured Church podcast recently, and shared his thoughts on church leadership, current and future. Across the faith spectrum, the one thing that leaders keep coming back to is if you want to talk about community, engaging people on the heart level, and connecting wherever they are, you can't do that without strong leaders. Leadership is simply influence; everybody in a community has influence in some way. How they steward that is their leadership journey.
On our most recent episode of The Nurtured Church, we picked up where we left off with our guests Ryan Van Sickle and Chris Ames from North Point Ministries. Ryan is the Director of Operations at North Point and Chris is Director of Digital Environments. Ryan and Chris shared their expertise on building connection, in your congregation and beyond.
Today, we featured two guests on The Nurtured Church podcast. Chris Ames, Director of Digital Environments, and Ryan Van Sickle, Director of Operations at North Point Ministries, joined the conversation to talk about growing and scaling church communities from an insider's perspective.
Our latest guest on The Nurtured Church podcast is Chris Kehayias, CEO of Think Ministry. (Think Ministry is the creator of MinistryPlatform, a church management system.) On this episode, Chris shares his thoughts about using a management platform to support your member journey, finding the balance between engagement and pushiness, and why it’s not actually about the data. Here’s what he had to say.
No matter how big your church is, if your organization isn’t healthy, you’re likely not going to be around for very long. You can be hosting thousands of people every weekend, but if your staff is burned out, or you run your church like a dictatorship, using people to get what you want, your church likely won’t be doing all that it could be.
How Church Leaders Build a First-Class Community Online When it comes to technology within our churches and ministries, the time isn’t yesterday. It’s now. And the online, mobile, and digital spaces aren’t where our “second-tier” efforts should be. A physical church, and its digital touchpoints are one, one community, one team, one heart, and one soul. … Sound like a pastor-y thing to say? That’s probably because our recent podcast guest, Nils Smith, was a student pastor, innovation pastor, social media pastor, — you get the picture — for 13 years. Now, he’s the Chief Strategist for Social Media & Innovation at Dunham + Company. With an innovator’s mindset, and a pastor’s experience, Nils came on the Nurtured Church podcast to share his insights on how churches can build first-class online communities:
“We want to make giving to your church as easy as buying a song on iTunes.” It sounded crazy at the time because the year was 2011, and though we may not want to admit it, churches aren’t always on the cutting edge of technology. But in 2011, Pushpay started with a crazy vision statement and an audacious goal. We wanted to facilitate one billion dollars in giving among all the faith communities that we partnered with. One billion. With a B.