The Sustainable Ministry Show

Bryant Johnson

The Sustainable Ministry Show - The place where we talk about church, sustainable practices for ministry, and other ministry related subjects that are on our minds. For more about our team, visit ministryarchitects.com

All Episodes

How can we move away from a model of ministry that treats giving to others as a way to get something from them, and instead toward an understanding that giving does more to the giver themselves? On this week’s episode, the team discusses gratitude, generosity, and the ways our ministries benefit when we put the focus on giving rather than transactional relationships.

Nov 1

34 min 25 sec

Many churches have pivoted online during the pandemic - but is it important to stay online? On this week’s episode, the team talks about what it means to do ministry and worship both onsite and online and what it might mean for your community.

Sep 13

29 min 32 sec

When people ask you why your church exists, what do you tell them? On this week’s episode, the team talks about the importance of a well-written, well-cast vision, one that helps people focus on what God is calling your church to do.

Aug 2

39 min 24 sec

Once you've got your volunteer team, getting them engaged, equipped, and excited for the year ahead is an important step! On this week’s episode, the team talks about the importance of getting your volunteers invested in your kickoff volunteer trainings. 

Jul 19

46 min 34 sec

Is your church figuring out how to reopen? What are you doing about masks? Is it okay to pass the peace? And what about hugs? On this week’s episode, the team talks about what to do as we start to move out of the cloud of the pandemic – while recognizing we’re not all the way there yet.

Jun 28

54 min 35 sec

How do you know when you’ve got the right person in the right place in your ministry? On this week’s episode, the team talks more about volunteers and how to make sure you've got people serving in the role that fits them best.

Jun 7

42 min 13 sec

On this week’s episode, the team talks about fun! Fun may not always be the goal in your ministry, but here’s how it can play a worthwhile part in getting there.

May 10

35 min 50 sec

If you're going to make Sabbath work, you've gotta plan for it! On this week’s episode, the team talks about how to prepare for your Sabbath, including a strategy to help you plan flexibility into your week.

Apr 26

41 min 39 sec

Is it really alright to take a break when the world is like...well, this?On this week’s episode, the team talks about the importance of Sabbath – even, and especially, during these upside-down times. 

Apr 12

41 min 22 sec

Don't let current circumstances stop you from building and growing your ministry team! On this week’s episode, the team debunks some myths around volunteer recruitment during this time of upside-down ministry.

Mar 22

18 min 52 sec

Don't just call them volunteers - the work is bigger than that! On this week’s episode, the team discusses three big myths about recruiting people to serve in key roles at your church.

Mar 8

48 min 16 sec

How are you using this unique Lenten season to prepare your congregation for this year's Easter? On this week’s episode, the team talks about the advantages of planning for Easter now, as well as discussing the types of needs your congregants might be feeling during this Lenten season.

Feb 9

32 min 15 sec

It's not too early to start looking ahead - especially given the times in which we're doing ministry! On this week’s episode, the team talks about preparing for Easter, and how the changes that will come this year can still make Easter fruitful.

Jan 26

37 min 44 sec

Every ministry has turnover - so how do you find the next right fit for your open position? On this week’s episode, the team talks tips for starting the search process for your next ministry leader, including how to prepare, who to include, and where to begin.

Dec 2020

37 min 35 sec

A light shines in the darkness - but in the middle of a pandemic, can we see it? On this week’s episode, the team talks about this, the season before Christmas, and the different ways we can help our congregations get ready to welcome the newborn baby – even in the middle of this upside-down time.

Dec 2020

48 min 8 sec

What does it take to make a church's family ministry fruitful - and sustainable? On this week’s episode, Bryant welcomes author and pastor Chris Sasser to talk about the essentials of family ministry, and the steps you can take to build bridges between parents and the church.

Oct 2020

38 min 11 sec

What do you do when the job feels like a lot? On this week’s episode, the team talks about the importance of self-care in your ministry, especially in these times when so much around us is draining.

Sep 2020

45 min 16 sec

When a Major Event is over, what should you do - other than take a nap? On this week’s episode, the team talks about what happens after a Major Event, and what is and is not different in that process during the pandemic.

Sep 2020

44 min 49 sec

Why do you do the events you do - and could the pandemic give you a chance to do some much-needed pruning? On this week’s episode, the team talks about the Major Events Calendar, a tool for establishing rhythm in your ministry, and how our current circumstances might give you opportunities for growth and change.

Sep 2020

38 min 30 sec

How are you feeling as you look at your ministry calendar for the fall? On this week’s episode, the team discusses the very real fatigue many of us are feeling right now, including tips for facing your weariness with grace and love.

Aug 2020

44 min 4 sec

How are you feeling about ministry this fall? On this week’s episode, Bryant welcomes children’s ministry expert Annette Safstrom to the podcast team, discussing how finding ways to be grateful during this time can help your ministry to become more innovative. 

Jul 2020

38 min 19 sec

Welcome back to the Sustainable Ministry Show! On this week’s episode, Bryant and Aqueelah reconnect for the first time on the podcast since the beginning of the pandemic, discussing the journey of the last four months and what it means for churches and church systems as we strike a new way forward.

Jul 2020

45 min 22 sec

When a church empowers its youth, God shows up in incredible ways - and during this season, the church needs that power more than ever! On this week’s episode, Mark is joined by two teenagers, Colette and Avery, to talk through how listening to the youth in your church can be a source of amazing innovation, especially during this unprecedented time.

May 2020

37 min 43 sec

Now that we're past the chaos of planning for an Easter under quarantine, we can turn our attention to the road ahead - but what does that even mean? On this week’s episode, Mark and the team talk with ministry pro Jen DeJong to hear her thoughts on how long we might find ourselves in this unprecedented season, and how we can plan to be innovative for an extended period of time. 

Apr 2020

28 min 2 sec

This is a uniquely stressful time, so as ministry leaders, what kind of toolbox do we need to make sure we don't buckle under the weight? On this week’s episode, Ministry Architects founder Mark DeVries and our panel welcome special guest Margaret Burnett to talk about resilience, and how centering yourself can help center your kids and your church.

Apr 2020

28 min 32 sec

As our churches begin to adapt to doing life in this unprecedented time, what should our ministry begin to look like? On this week’s episode, Ministry Architects founder Mark DeVries and familiar Sustainable Ministry Show voice Aqueelah Ligonde talk with the team about doing ministry in the middle of this moment of crisis, focusing on how to move from a place of survival to a posture of service to the community and the world. 

Apr 2020

43 min 38 sec

As we get our feet under us in this unprecedented time, how do we use the tools we have to still do ministry well? On this week’s episode, Ministry Architects founder Mark DeVries leads a panel discussion on doing ministry while your community is away from your church building, including innovative ways to use technology, how to plan for Holy Week, and more.

Mar 2020

40 min 20 sec

We are living in unprecedented times - and God is calling us to be innovators in how we minister to our churches right now. On this week’s special episode, Ministry Architects founder Mark DeVries leads a panel discussion with ministry experts about what it means to be innovators during the disruption caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Mar 2020

33 min 30 sec

What common problems do churches usually have in recruiting volunteers, and how do they frame those problems? On this episode of the Sustainable Ministry Show, the team starts a two-part conversation about volunteering, introducing the problem of how ministries tend to talk about the issues of volunteer recruitment and retention. 

Feb 2020

30 min 58 sec

On this week’s episode, the team welcomes April Diaz, founder of Ezer & Company, to share her story about how her personal faith journey has led to a passion for empowering women around the world.

Jan 2020

41 min 44 sec

Can you believe we've done a hundred of these? We can't either, and it's time to celebrate what God has been doing! On this week’s episode, Bryant is joined by voices from all over the Ministry Architects world, sharing stories about our successes and failures, to celebrate this amazing milestone. 

Dec 2019

57 min 26 sec

We've been doing the Sustainable Ministry Show for 99 full episodes, and we'd love you to join us as we record number 100 live. On this special bonus episode, Bryant has a special message for what's in store at our live recording. Join us at the Ministry Architects Facebook page on Thursday, December 19th, at 2:10 pm to help us celebrate!

Dec 2019

2 min 6 sec

What is it like to be passionate about growing a youth ministry from the ground up? On this week’s episode, the team is joined by Lawrence Coles, youth minister and owner of Speek Lyfe Entertainment, who shares wisdom on growing thriving youth ministries through the lens of his own personal story.

Dec 2019

53 min 5 sec

We all believe our congregations to be unique, but we often have more in common with other churches than we realize - and figuring that out can open us up to new possibilities. On this week’s episode, the team welcomes Trey Wince, Director of New Disciples for the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, to share about a new resource to help your congregations understand who they are and how they can best grow.

Nov 2019

46 min 23 sec

Sometimes the tools we need to cultivate thriving ministries aren't just spreadsheets and notebooks. Sometimes, it can be as simple as living with a thankful heart. On this week's episode, the team talks about cultivating expressions of gratitude, acknowledgments of abundance, and acts of generosity, all of which can shape not just how you perceive your ministry but how your ministry itself develops.

Oct 2019

43 min 10 sec

When your ministry is in charge of multiple major programs and events, how do you keep track of all of the little things that need to get done? On this week's episode, the team lays out one of the most important tools you can have in your ministry tool belt that will help you both with short-term tasks and long-term planning: the Preventative Maintenance Calendar.

Oct 2019

41 min 30 sec

What can your church do to be more inclusive of families of kids with special needs? On this week’s episode, the team welcomes special guest Julie Hornok, author of "United in Autism: Finding Strength Inside the Spectrum" and mother of a daughter with autism, to talk about how churches, leaders, and parents can work together to welcome kids with autism and their families fully into the life of the church.

Sep 2019

41 min 19 sec

You just pulled off a major event - congratulations! What happens next? On this week’s episode, the team talks about the ins and outs of debriefing after a major event, and how a good process can make that event even better next year.

Aug 2019

40 min 24 sec

On this week’s episode, the team talks about the big events that every church expects staff to run, and how recruiting and equipping a major events coordinator can help make those events more successful and sustainable.

Jul 2019

40 min 50 sec

How do we keep volunteers enthusiastic and engaged in our ministries? On this week’s episode, the team talks about how to equip your volunteer team for serving in the ministry - not just in one training session, but throughout your program year.

Jul 2019

39 min 37 sec

It's almost time for the start of another program year, and you want to start it off right! On this week’s episode, the team talks about starting your program year with enthusiasm and excitement by building an amazing Leaders Launch and a fantastic Ministry Kickoff.

Jun 2019

40 min 34 sec

Spring is a time to get rid of the old and bring in the new - and that applies to your ministry's staffing structure, too! On this week’s episode, the team discusses renovating your ministry’s staff structure to make sure there’s clarity among three important roles: the Architect, the Contractor, and the Laborers.

May 2019

37 min 26 sec

What do you do with the needle in the haystack once you've found it? On this week’s episode, the team finishes up their two-part conversation about bringing in the right candidate for your open ministry position, including how to make them feel like part of the team right away.

May 2019

19 min 56 sec

Finding the next person to fill your open ministry position might seem like finding a needle in a haystack, but with the right processes in place, you'll be finding that needle in no time. In this week’s episode, the team starts a two-part conversation about hiring for ministry positions, focusing first on the importance of an excellent search process.

May 2019

39 min 2 sec

Communication and marketing are two sides of the same coin: both essential to your ministry, but very different in focus and execution. What kind of story are you telling about your ministry? In this week's episode, the team talks about the differences between communication and marketing, and how a plan of intentional marketing can draw in people who are outside your ministry.

Apr 2019

36 min 19 sec

Successful communication with your congregation is vital if you want your ministry to thrive, so how can you be sure you're being heard when you're shouting down from the mountain? In the week’s episode, the team discusses the do’s and don’ts of ministry communication, and how an intentional plan could be key to getting more buy-in from your congregation.

Mar 2019

35 min 17 sec

Knowing that you need to start volunteer recruitment early in order to be successful, how can you set yourself up for maximum success? In this week's episode, the team talks about a powerful recruitment tool called the Volunteer Fishing Pond that gives you a framework to find the volunteers you need for your ministry to thrive.

Mar 2019

40 min 4 sec

The Sustainable Ministry Show Episode 084 Getting a Volunteer's Best YES! - Is it crazy to start recruiting for your Fall programs in the previous February? It'd be crazy not to! In this episode, the team discusses starting volunteer recruitment early and how it leads to getting the best "Yes!" you can from your volunteers.

Feb 2019

32 min 30 sec

The Sustainable Ministry Show Episode 083 The Secret Sauce of Benchmarks - Now that you have your Big Hairy Audacious Goals, how do you evaluate them? In this episode, the team discusses evaluating your three-year goals using benchmarks and how those benchmarks are key to building sustainable processes.

Feb 2019

34 min 47 sec

BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals - what are they, and how can they drive success in your church? In this episode, the team talks the importance of crafting BHAGs for keeping your ministry from just maintaining the status quo.

Jan 2019

37 min 31 sec