BuildingChurchLeaders.com: Tracks to Run On
My husband and I helped plant a church 27 years ago. From its dubious beginning with just 12 members, it has grown into a healthy and solid congregation that has been a bedrock in our community. However, in those early days, we only thought of the spiritual impact we would have through Bible study and solid teaching content. We didn't spend a lot of time thinking about how to work with a board and establish ministry teams. But that is the nitty gritty of churches, and ministry simply doesn't happen without those structures in place. So in those early days of experimentation and uncertainty in a new church, my husband would often remark, "It would help if we just had some tracks to run on. It's twice as much work to lay the track before the train can go."
Several years into that church plant, a friend in another church that had been established for 150 years told us about resources from Christianity Today that would help provide that track. He couldn't imagine doing ministry without them. We were thrilled to find the written, reproducible materials that eventually became the online site of BuildingChurchLeaders.com.
Building Church Leaders has long provided materials for those in charge of ministry teams everywhere. If you are not familiar with this site, it provides practical training for church leaders through their downloadable resources on topics ranging from vision and planning to dealing with conflict. A pastor or chairperson can use them with their board or team to give them "tracks to run on," a place to start.
For example, what if your church wants to establish a lay counseling ministry? Where would you even begin? Start with a packet from Building Church Leaders that you download to your computer. Make as many copies as you need for those who are helping you, and you've got tracks to run on. Or what if you're having trouble getting volunteers to step up to help with your ministries? There are numerous packets that will give you some creative and balanced ideas, as well as videos to use as training and motivation.
Besides training material to start, maintain, or enhance almost any ministry, Building Church Leaders also offers numerous assessments to see how you are doing. Are you a welcoming church? Is your church ready for change? Are you planning effective evangelism? Is your church meeting community needs? How are you at reaching out to singles? Almost anything you want to measure, Building Church Leaders has a tool to help you do it.
Their newest addition includes several Training Tracks, targeted, multi-level training programs that provide church leaders help with some of the common situations and phases of a church: from the growing church to the church in conflict.
And it's a useful site to find out what the new trends are in ministry. Their weekly articles keep you abreast as to what is happening in the larger Christian world, giving you perspective that you wouldn't have from just your own congregation. Listen to what one pastor wrote to us about Building Church Leaders:
I appreciate the articles that encourage pastors of obscure churches to be faithful. You have included some reviews of books written by current church leaders. I often don't have time to read the whole book, but having someone that I trust critique it for me is a convenient way of staying in touch with current thinking on various schools of thought. Sometimes we as evangelical pastors feel alone. Hearing that other church leaders are facing similar situations in their ministries is reassuring. In general, I appreciate your commitment to the historicity of the Bible and the adherence to evangelical faith. Thanks!
So if you haven't yet discovered this site, spend some time exploring the best resources out there for building your church into all it can be.