Tag: fourth sector

Ideas that can change your ministry

From around blogdom, some good ideas that have translation potential for churches:

  1. 20/20 powerpoints — Kevin Kelley points to a new trend among business presenters to limit their presentation to 20-slides that flash for no more than 20-seconds each. Total presentation time: 6-1/2 minutes. Do I hear “sermon” anybody?
  2. Renaming — Seth Godin suggests that human resource (HR) departments change their name to “Talent.” Godin thinks this raises the perception of employees from a commodity (resource) to an integral part of a company’s mission. Churches might want to rename “prospects” or “lost” or other names for outsiders with new names like “friends” or “guests” or “neighbors.” Radical, huh?
  3. Self-supporting ministry — Andrew Jones has written a nice piece on self-supporting ministry, calling on the writing of Henry Venn of a century ago. Jones picks up on the “fourth sector” label, and applies it to ministry today. The church-as-abbey picks up the same idea from Celtic Christian abbeys that sustained themselves, and provided economic benefit to the community they served. Rather than ask for donations, ministry can actually make enough to support its own operation. Remember tent-making?
  4. Spirit2go — Steve Taylor creates worship and art experiences like nobody else. He’s way down there in New Zealand, but what a creative guy. Spirit2go is for Lent this year (okay, I’m a little late getting this up), and was designed for people who don’t come into the church. Check out his stuff, you’ll think differently afterward.
  5. Books — Suzanne posts up a nice list of books for the “small membership” church, which is a term I like, but has too many syllables.

That’s it for today. Let me know what you think of any or all. Be warm and well-fed.

The abbey church and economics

Yesterday I posted Ten Marks of the Church-as-Abbey. 4_sector-11.jpgOne of the characteristics, economics, plays an important role because the ancient celtic Christian abbeys were self-supporting while providing economic transformation to the community. Today, tall skinny kiwi posts about the fourth sector — groups that want to change the world while making their own way financially.  The term “fourth sector” distinguishes itself from the other three sectors, which are:

  1. Public sector — usually means government.
  2. Private sector — usually means businesses.
  3. Voluntary sector — usually means non-profits who depend on volunteers for funding and, well, volunteering.

Here’s what Andrew is doing, in his own words:

I just wrote an article about Co-operatives and social enterprises for a missions publication. I made reference to our new venture – The Old Sorting Room – which we will launch in a few months and which can only be described as our monastic-inspired cooperative-run social-enterprise micro-business fourth-sector for-benefit organisation.

Of course, being from New Zealand, he spells organization funny, but that’s not my point. My point is that around the globe, churches and individuals are doing parts of the church-as-abbey, without necessarily calling it that. And, I like Andrew’s description —

  • “monastic-inspired” (Note: the abbeys were monasteries and nunneries, but of course you knew that.)

So, there you are. Another example of the abbey church function — economic self-sufficiency through work. More to come on the abbey phenomenon.