Fresh Ideas for Church Leaders

At Kingdom Upgrowth, we desired to create a space to feature cutting-edge research in an easy-to-use format. We continue seeking out scholars, particularly those within churches of Christ and our affiliated universities, to learn about what they’ve studied and learned, and even more importantly, how we can put it into practice.

Very few of us can or will make time to sort through someone’s dissertation. But would you take a few minutes to let them summarize for you what they learned from their work? Hopefully so! That’s the premise of our Research Spotlight.

All interviews are recorded in a video format, made available in both video and audio-only formats.

Looking for some fresh ideas for leadership? You’ve come to the right place.

Featured Research:

Rachel Howell shares ideas from her research into Biblical interpretation. She looks at Alexander Campbell’s strong influence on Churches of Christ, the ups and downs of it, and suggests a path forward that is more inclusive of the Holy Spirit as well as the greater community of faith.
Dr. Daniel McGraw reflects on his research into healthy spiritual leadership, both what it looks like and what it takes to maintain greater health.
Dr. Mac Sandlin shares insights from his doctoral work in Christian Ethics. How does the Holy Spirit help Christians to become more like God? If we desire to be good people, what are the right questions we should be asking?
My conversation with Dr. Mark Powell about an important new book he co-authored: Discipleship In Community.
Surely one of the antidotes to cultural chaos is principled people who are intentional about their presence in the world. Chet Duke talks with us about the value of Philosophy for Christians in our faith, our ministry, and our interactions with the world.
Alicia Williamson Research Spotlight
It makes a difference if God really understands what it’s like to be us. Specifically, does God suffer with us? If so, how? Alicia Williamson speaks to these questions, as well as to how the answer points us to healthier ministry.
What if “spiritual gifts” are not secrets to be unlocked, but instead ministry roles to be embraced? Deep personal reflection, community affirmation, and leadership empowerment work together to make this possible.
Carl Williamson Establishing Ethical Financial Practices
Our thinking about church finances should be both theologically informed and engaged with the hearts and imaginations of the whole congregation. Churches should handle finances in a way that sets the model for how families do the same.
Cover image showing Dr. Rob O'Lynn as part of the Research Spotlight series
Good preaching informs, but great preaching transforms! How do we deliver sermons that provide achievable steps for our members to take next?
Dr. Anessa Westbrook of Harding University: What Helps Women to Grow Spiritually?
Men and women have different needs, but all of us need strong role models. How can we make sure that women–who make up more than 50% of our church–are getting what they need to thrive spiritually as part of our congregations?
Luke Dockery
The “best methods” for youth ministry have been thoroughly discovered and vetted at this point. What if we stopped sticking to the patterns of how we’ve always done things and actually followed the research into what is genuinely best for our young adults?
Dr. Jason Bybee Research Spotlight
If people are going to grow as Christians and as leaders, this will not happen on accident. It takes intentionally walking alongside people, sharing in life together, so that we can benefit from each other’s example.
Matt Dabbs
We’ve all seen it done badly. How can we do it well? Online conversations are an ever-present part of life. How can we take a redeemed approach to our social media engagements?
Kevin Burr Worship as Spiritual Formation
We’re all being formed by something. We’ve got to be intentional about what in our lives we invite to help us become the people God wants us to be. Worship is a key location where this can happen.
Getting the Most from your Short-Term Missions by Dr. Mark Adams
Short-Term Missions have enormous potential to disrupt congregational life in an intentional, positive way, and to invite our people more deeply into the mission of God, both at home and abroad.

Want to be featured in our Research Spotlight?

Are you a scholar who’s done some original work on what helps congregations to be healthy? Feel free to contact us about the possibility of us featuring your work on Kingdom Upgrowth.

Most often, we will feature people who have completed Doctor of Ministry degrees. Projects for the DMin degree will typically have a professional, church-focused emphasis. We are also open to considering solid M.A. theses and persona with other demonstrable areas of expertise.

While there are a lot of good projects out there, we are most interested in those with a focus on healthy leadership, strong relationships, and spiritual formation.

All interviews are recorded via a Skype video call, using Ecamm LIVE software.

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