November 2019 E-news from the Siburt Institute

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Renewal begins: Another congregation’s journey
In my consulting work with congregations I have the remarkable opportunity to walk alongside all sorts of churches. More and more often, the ones I work with are churches that recognize they are getting smaller and older. Recently I have had multiple conversations with leaders in churches that are preparing to sell their buildings and close up shop. Are there other options?

Yes, other options exist – provided that folks believe in a God who brings life out of death. Church revitalization or church renewal is quite possible when a congregation is willing to acknowledge that, without the work of the Spirit, there is no future for us. In other words, for a church to really thrive, it must first actually believe in the Christian faith!
I’ve been spending a lot of time with one such church for the past six months. Click here to continue reading on Mosaic.

Equipping for Ministry
Are you looking for ways to connect with other leaders in your area? Equipping for Ministry is a networking and learning opportunity we provide in collaboration with the ACU Alumni and University Relations team. Participants gather to share a meal, connect with other leaders, and gain valuable resources. If you’re a minister, elder or other Christ-follower interested in vibrant churches and healthy church life, you’re invited! Save the date for our upcoming spring events in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio (see dates below). Learn more.

From the trenches to the balcony Ministry often occurs in the trenches as ministers offer hands-on service to their churches and communities – from hospital rooms to baptistries. While this work is vital, it is also vital for leaders to spend time in the balcony, writes Dr. Daniel McGraw (’16 D.Min.), who serves with the West University Church of Christ in Houston. The balcony offers a different perspective, helping ministers envision a path forward. Read more.

Ministers’ Support Network (MSN)
Countless ministry couples have become adept at pretending the hard questions don’t exist. Is the call to ministry still a passion, or does it feel like a job? After pouring into the lives of others, what happens when the minister or spouse feels spiritually empty? MSN offers a safe space to tackle the hardest questions as well as a community that will walk with you long after the retreat is over. Contact Robert Oglesby (’81) to recommend yourself or someone else for MSN. Learn more. Fulfill UR Ministry If planning mission experiences is something you do, check out this robust database of more than 1,700 missions resources and missions-sending organizations. Anne Hocking, who works down the hall from us in the Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service, manages this website, which is free for all users. She and her team have compiled a wealth of information about these organizations to help people find tools to benefit current missions endeavors or missions opportunities that align with factors such as core values, group size, trip duration, and destination. Learn more. Team spotlight: Ron Bruner In addition to his work as executive director of Westview Boys’ Home in Hollis, Oklahoma, Dr. Ron Bruner (’10 D.Min.) serves as editor of our digital journal, Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry. With an emphasis on effective ministerial practice, Discernment presents articles from an array of contexts such as cross-cultural settings, congregational life and ministries, extra-congregational ministry, and mission contexts. To access published articles or submit an article for review, click here.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS Equipping for Ministry: Houston Ministers’ Breakfast, Jan. 27
Contemplative Ministers’ Initiative Retreat, Feb. 10-13
Equipping for Ministry: DFW Ministers’ Lunch, Feb. 27
Equipping for Ministry: Austin Ministers’ Lunch, March 24
Equipping for Ministry: San Antonio Ministers’ Breakfast, March 25
Ministers’ Support Network Retreat, April 2-5

Our work in the Siburt Institute is made possible by the generosity of friends like you who support and share our mission to serve church leaders and other Christ-followers.

Give to the Siburt Institute.The Siburt Institute for Church Ministry exists to equip and serve church leaders and other Christ-followers for God’s mission in the world.   For more information, visit or contact our office at or 325-674-3732.

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