PREACHING & TEACHING: Researchers have found that framing is important; human memory doesn’t seem to fully engage in the absence of meaning and relevance. Explain how the biblical story is relevant to the listener, before telling the story.

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press.

Take a moment to read over the following set of instructions:

The first thing you want to do is decide how many items you want to incorporate. Take t hem out of t he container — it doesn’t matter which ones, as long as there aren’t any obvious signs of damage. Place them somewhere secure, as they tend to move without warning and this can be disastrous. Take the first one you want to deal with, and grasp it lightly along the short axis, then make contact between this and a fi rm but not sharp object. Be sure you also have an adequate container for the material inside. You can repeat this pro cess up to two times, but after three, you should probably start over. With practice, you will end up with a clean separation, but even experts find that it’s diffi cult to keep the various components totally under control. Remember, this is a skill that gets better with practice, and physical strength is less important than dexterity and fi nesse.45

If you read this paragraph in an online course, do you think you could accurately remember many of the key points? Or would it simply go past you in a swirl of confusing, disjointed details? But what if I told you that this “mystery process” was a description of cracking an egg? Look back at the paragraph— it probably seems far more memorable with that key piece of context. Framing is important; human memory doesn’t seem to fully engage in the absence of meaning and relevance. Thinking back to the “function-alist agenda,” this makes a lot of sense— why should we invest scarce cognitive resources on information that doesn’t complement what we already know about the world?

45 This “myster y pro cess” description is adapted from the experimental materials in J. D. Bransford and M. K. Johnson (1972), Contextual prerequi-sites for understanding: Some investigations of comprehension and recall, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 11(6): 717– 726.

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Here are the handouts for Sunday seminar attendees at the San Antonio, Texas seminar.

What a magnificent welcome you provided me at the “Growing the Post-pandemic Church seminar in San Antonio. Your passion for the Great Commission is evident. And your enthusiasm for continuing to grow into a multi-ethnic and hybrid (online and onsite) ministry is inspiring.

Here is a link to the PowerPoint slide deck (it has live weblinks to the best tools) >

And at the bottom is a link to download these handouts >

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Handouts for Houston, TX seminar attendees.

Thank you for the kind and enthusiastic response to my seminar on “Growing the Post-pandemic Church.” It is my prayer that these tools and principles will empower the Black church to make a lasting impact at this critical time in history.

Here is a link to the PowerPoint slide deck (it has live weblinks to the best tools) >

And at the bottom is a link to download these handouts >

SERMONS & To enhance retention, ditch ProPresenter and PowerPoint during the sermon! Instead write out your points on one of these four onstage boards. Communication researchers say audiences will retain more of what you are saying. #SundayChurchHacks

Communication researchers know that audiences will retain more of what a speaker is saying, if he or she writes writes something down in front of viewers. 

Here are a few examples below from a previous article.

A. Clear boards

https://www.displays2go.com/Guide/How-to-Choose-a-Whiteboard-4A
https://vault50.com/alternatives-to-whiteboards-top-5-office-classroom-use/
For more ideas see: https://vault50.com/alternatives-to-whiteboards-top-5-office-classroom-use/

BLACK CHURCHES & What My Black Students Told Me About Their Preference for the Baptist Movement 

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., Biblical Leadership Magazine, 1/17/22.

Numerous times over the years I’ve tried to help unaffiliated students who were pastors to become affiliated with The Wesleyan Church or another denomination. My rationale was not to grow any specific denomination, but because I believed accountability was good for unaffiliated pastors. Many of my students were pastoring independent churches with little accountability. I didn’t sense they needed accountability then, but I was worried they would need it sometime in the future and it would not be available.

All of my efforts were usually unsuccessful with African-American students. I often asked why. And their answers helped me understand why Baptist historians have pointed out that many black churches have affiliated with the Baptist movement. The Baptist movement was, in part, a reaction to the hierarchies found in many denominations. In hierarchal (Episcopal or Presbyterian forms of denominational government) a group of denominational leaders outside of the local church would often decide who would be ordained. 

But not so in much of the Baptist movement. They embraced an organic and indigenous route to leadership. This meant that a person first distinguished themselves inside of a congregation and then after being mentored with the local pastors might be ordained. This natural and field-based route to leadership had at least three advantages in my mind.

Firstly, you could see how a pastor led a flock from a longterm experience with that pastor. Their strengths were known, as well as their weaknesses. In many ways the congregation was the accountability factor for the pastor in training.

Secondly it created mentor/mentee relationships between senior leaders and upcoming leaders. This fostered an environment of apprenticeship and training for future leaders. Another benefit was that if a volunteer saw a senior pastor training younger leaders, the church volunteer leader might start training others under him or her. In my clients I have seen that the mentorship model runs very strong and deep in the African-American church.

And thirdly, it was less likely that powers outside the church would make decisions about the leadership suitability of people immersed in the local church culture. In many denominations, including my own, the highest leadership positions are held by people who are mostly of one ethnic culture. African-American students whom I encouraged to connect with our denomination often told me that they preferred to be independent rather than to be accountable to people who might not understand the culture celebrated in their local church.

In hindsight, this third aspect is exceedingly important for judicatory leaders to grasp. And I’ll admit that I missed the mark. These churches need to develop their own culturally relevant systems and ministries. To draw them into a bigger denomination that is largely of a different culture may, in my view, undermine their uniqueness and cultural relevance.

But what about the argument that “They need to join us and influence our leadership culture?” I believe there is an answer for this. It’s a lesson to all judicatory leaders. We need to intentionally balance our leadership diversity by promoting and hiring at the highest levels of our denomination more diverse leaders. Just having a department or a director will not change the perception that a denomination is led by those of a specific culture. And, often leaders are elected because they have a family or professional history in a denomination. We must move away from these habits and affirmatively welcome, hire and promote the “other.” If not, we may unintentionally harden those invisible denominational boundaries that further divide the Christian landscape.

Read more at … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/blogs/what-my-black-students-told-me-about-their-preference-for-the-baptist-movement/?

Read more articles by Bob Whitesel published by Biblical Leadership at … https://www.biblicalleadership.com/contributors/bobwhitesel/media/

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & My latest article published by @BiblicalLeader Magazine: Vision Statements & How to Adjust Them to Grow a Post-pandemic Church (plus pics of 2021 Missional Coaches Reunion in Orlando).


Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: To grow the post-pandemic church you must adjust your Vision Statement, especially if you have …

  • aging buildings,
  • plateaued/declining attendance,
  • overbuilt sanctuaries &
  • underfunded staffs. 

In my newly publishing article in Biblical Leadership Magazine, I explain the importance of post-pandemic adjustments to your Vision Statements in an article called: “Vision Statements: How they are underused, overemphasized and mostly ineffective.”

Check it out.  Then, check out pictures below from our 2021 Missional Coaches Reunion in Orlando as well as pictures from my seminars from the Midwest to the South.

And don’f forget –

  • If you or someone you know wants to join 44 other grads who have shadowed me in my consulting work,
  • Only 5 shadow me each year,
  • But Missional Coaches applications are now OPEN (scholarships to the first 3 who request this)>

MISSIONAL COACHES APPLICATION > https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2022MissionalCoaches

Bob
BOB WHITESEL, DMIN, PHD
COACH, CONSULTANT, SPEAKER & AWARD-WINNING WRITER/SCHOLAR

CONTEXT & What these rappers taught me about church planting. A guest post by #theCharlieMitchell

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Someone you should follow on Instagram, who has amazing insights and a beautiful way of explaining them, is Charlie Mitchell, founder & lead pastor of Epiphany Church in Baltimore. You can find him on Instagram at: theCharlieMitchell. Below are important insights, stated exceptionally well, on the power of context in church planting and planning.

MISSIONAL COACHES & As part of the MissionalCoaches.network these 3 African-American church planters are shadowing me (pictured w/ client church pastor In the middle). It feels good to give back the tools I’ve discovered from 30+ years of coaching / consulting & 2 doctorates. www.Leadership.church

Learn about a opportunity to shadow me and learn my tools from two doctorates and 30+ years of consulting at … MissionalCoaches.network

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Downloadable Notes For My Seminar.

Whether you are attending live, online or watching at a later date, this is my PowerPoint presentation with downloadable notes. For more info, read Growing the Post-pandemic Church available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Post-pandemic-Church-Leadership-church-Guides/dp

Download my notes .pdf at this link:

#COGO

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & The meaning of life, death and the afterlife will increasingly be on people’s minds and must be addressed in church teachings. #eReformation. #GrowingThePostPandemicChurchBook

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., excerpted from Growing the Post-Pandemic Church, 8/9/20.

Eschatology, the study of one’s final destiny, will be of increasing interest as the world grows smaller and waves of illnesses travel the globe at increasing speeds. 

The problem:

In recent years the church shifted away from eschatology, to topics of how to live a better life here and now. And while that may be important, it is eternal questions that will begin to dominate people’s interest as catastrophes circle the globe. 

The solution:  

Start preparing now: churches need to be prepared with orthodoxy and in clarity to address the issues of life, death and the afterlife.  

Remember …

Jesus told us, “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner. And so, it is with you. When you see all these things, you know he is at the door. Don’t take this lightly” (Mark 13:28-29, MSG).

Christ knew today’s catastrophes would happen. He is not surprised (John 16:30, Rev. 2:23). So, as knowledge of a fig tree tells an orchardist about the coming season, so too must Christian leaders discern the season we are in. It is time for church leaders to carefully adapt electronic tools, the way it once did the printing press, to better communicate the Good News.

Click to learn about the “9 other marks of the eReformation” in Growing the Post-Pandemic Church.

GUEST SERVICES & Your window to connect is 6 minutes according to this research.

I am writing a new ChurchLeadership.university course (hosted by uDemy) titled: “Church Guests 101.” It explains four (4) pivots churches must undertake to make guest services more effective. Check out those crucial pivots on ChurchLeadership.university.

Improving guest services begins my knowing your window to connect is very small. Here is a paragraph by Mark Collins, Certified Missional Coach, 10/1/19.

Mark Collins (right) at dinner with Bob Whitesel (left) and another Missional Coach in training (middle) Jeremy Schell.
We had an exciting day of discussing church growth and health with a client church.

Mark writes:

Your window to connect is 6 minutes. 

Research indicates that guests decide whether or not to come back within the first 6 minutes of arriving on campus (“Secrets of a Secret Shopper: Reaching and Keeping Church Guests” by Greg Atkinson).

This means that parking lot and pre-service experiences are crucial. 

Is the signage clear?

Do they feel safe leaving their kids?

Do your guest services volunteers seek to know the needs of the visitor?

STREAMING & #SundayChurchHacks: Check your streaming webpages early every Sunday to ensure they are ready to stream. This church’s streaming page was empty, up to & through the beginning of the service. Plus, add links on your streaming page to FaceBook and YouTube streams of your live worship (though their menu was truncated).

Even this client church, that has done remarkably well hosting online services, left many viewers without a worship opportunity.

Thankfully, the links to their FaceBook and YouTube streaming (in the top menu) added work around options for the technologically inclined.

HYBRID CONSULTATING & Hybrid workshops mean more people can participate. One lady shared how her housebound mother feels like a full participant when online. The future is not only a #HybridChurch but also #HybridMissionalCoaching #ConsultingLife

While consulting a megachurch, a leader came forward and told me the story about how online options had made her mother feel like a full participant in the church again. She told how her mother was able to go online and not only go to church services but also participate in a Bible study with other seniors. Because of health issues her mother was not able to attend church even before the pandemic began. For this woman and her mother a hybrid strategy had provided another venue for a subcongregation to develop and for congregants’ needs to be met.

CONSULTING & We are not a one-size-fits-all consulting practice. My 30+ years of coaching has taught me how to customize each & every consultation.

For over 30 years I’ve used my experiences, my education and my passion to coach leaders toward more kingdom impact.  

I customize every consultation.

So if you (or someone you know) needs help … contact me today: bob@ChurchHealth.net

BOB WHITESEL, DMIN, PHD
COACH, CONSULTANT, SPEAKER & AWARD-WINNING WRITER/SCHOLAR

MASKS & #SundayMorningHacks: In trouble if you do, in trouble if you don’t. How about this alternative?

I have clients that are being cautious and encouraging masks. And I have other clients that are almost anti-mask. What are best practices?

Because mask wearing has become a personal (and political) issue, two different cultures have emerged. And to reach multicultural congregations you must have leaders that relate to both cultures.

Therefore today, all other factors being equal, a Sunday Morning Hack is to have leaders and greeters equally balanced between mask-wearers and non-wearers. Make your worship experiences environments that make multiple cultures feel welcome and at home.