by Susan Beaumont on January 8, 2018
The change of a calendar year suggests inspiration. The old year with its depleted reserves is behind us. For leaders especially, the new year calls forth optimism and imaginative beginnings—or it should. But what if you just feel empty? What can you do when fresh vision eludes you, when you have lost capacity to dream […]
by John Wimberly on December 11, 2017
We live in a society that assumes larger is better. But as Isaiah wrote, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (55:8) Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that Jesus challenged the assumption that larger is better: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jesus’ […]
by Sarai Rice on December 4, 2017
Many congregations are seeing a decline in contributions and attendance. Most of them try to address the decline, usually by tweaking staff size and deferring maintenance. But I rarely encounter a church that is willing to consider one of the biggest and potentially most energizing changes: letting go of the building.
by Lawrence Peers on November 27, 2017
An organization director I once worked with was asked, “What do you do?” He replied, “I attend meetings.” Sadly, this was true. The “meetings and meetings-about-meetings” culture was pervasive in that director’s organization. Once while sitting in a meeting with people flown in from around the country, I started estimating the travel and staff time […]
by David Brubaker on November 20, 2017
The dramatic decline in denominational affiliation and loyalty in the U.S. the last half century has prompted many to ask, “Do denominations (and their regional bodies) matter?” When there is often more variation in belief and practices within a given denomination than between denominations, what does it mean to identify as a Presbyterian or Methodist, […]
by Dan Hotchkiss on November 13, 2017
How is a pastor like a forklift operator? Not very much, apparently. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the jobs of clergy and equipment operators are about as different as two jobs can be. If you’re a clergyperson and your board is full of forklift operators, this fact might help explain why […]
by Susan Beaumont on October 30, 2017
Performance management conversations are inherently difficult. It is just hard to talk with another about failed expectations. When the supervisor and employee don’t share similar cultural backgrounds, these conversations can be treacherous.