For a new ministry to flourish, both clergy and lay leaders need to understand the congregation’s feelings about the predecessor. Every congregation has some history with (or without) clergy. At time of clergy transition, that history influences the selection process and the partnership as it develops.
Author Archive | Dan Hotchkiss
by Dan Hotchkiss on April 3, 2017
As fundraising fashions come and go, which elements are vital and which can be varied or skipped from year to year? Congregations have successfully flouted techniques once thought essential—in-home canvassing, a published budget, the kickoff dinner, even the hallowed pledge card. Replacement approaches rise and fall: Consecration Sunday, crowdfunding, targeted giving. Has human nature changed […]
by Dan Hotchkiss on February 20, 2017
by Dan Hotchkiss It is not always easy to say what kind of planning a congregation needs to do at a specific moment. Nonetheless, dogmas abound. Some people think every congregation has to do a big, ginormous long-range, planning process every five or ten years. Only by taking a fresh, comprehensive look at everything and […]
by Dan Hotchkiss on February 6, 2017
Congregations don’t take sides in elections, but they can never be neutral about moral issues. Especially in times of sharp disagreement, clergy and lay leaders face a hard dilemma: How can we speak politically with a religious voice?
by Dan Hotchkiss on December 5, 2016
One good way to make things happen is to organize a team. At their best, teams benefit from members’ varied strengths and reach results no one imagined in advance. But what makes a team effective? A lot has been written about teams—by John Wimberly and George Cladis among others—and I don’t mean to replace or […]
by Dan Hotchkiss on November 7, 2016
Confidentiality is a term of art in ministry. It evokes the seal of the confessional: most people expect, when they talk to clergy, that what they say will go no further. This is perhaps the most widespread expectation people have of clergy, and one most of us try hard to honor. Unfortunately, keeping confidences is […]
by Dan Hotchkiss on September 26, 2016
A famous sign on Harry Truman’s desk declared, THE BUCK STOPS HERE. “The President—whoever he is,” Truman explained, “has to decide.” Truman’s example has inspired many leaders to accept appropriate responsibility. But a careless reading of his slogan can lead to the mistake of thinking that whoever can make a decision always should.