Author Archive | Dan Hotchkiss

The Short List

by Dan Hotchkiss Sometimes it’s the simple ideas that are the most useful. I am continually struck by the way multiple priorities, distractions, interruptions, and alternative perspectives cloud my view each day. It is part of ministry, of course, to be “accessible”—which is to say, open to interruptions—but over months and years it is important […]

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Governance and Ministry: Why Worry?

by Dan Hotchkiss Why should congregations worry about governance and ministry? When there’s so much important work to do, why spend precious time defining boundaries, tinkering with bylaws and policies, delegating power, assigning duties, setting goals, and holding one other to account?

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Succeeding in a Paid Position

by Dan Hotchkiss Each year, thousands of musicians, educators, clergy, office workers, and custodians start new jobs in congregations. If all goes well, the new staff member will eventually become an energetic, well-respected, and productive member of the team. The staff member helps to make this happen, but so do the governing board, the head […]

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What Makes for a Strong Partnership?

by Dan Hotchkiss Nothing is more important to a congregation’s dynamism than strong partnership between the clergy leader and the governing board. By a strong partnership, I don’t mean one in which the partners are necessarily comfortable or happy all the time. A strong partnership is one that produces results in keeping with the congregation’s […]

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PowerStrip

How to Give Away Your Power

by Dan Hotchkiss It’s relatively easy to find people willing to do tasks. It’s hard to cultivate real leaders—people to take charge of projects and gather others to get something done. As one pastor put it, “We have willing workers, but I can’t seem to create leaders. I can delegate work, but I don’t know […]

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The Rabbis

by Dan Hotchkiss The job was to facilitate what may have been the most diverse and ecumenical gathering of rabbis ever. For this three-day rabbinical retreat, I had prepared three days’ worth of material. But I became an awed spectator of a learned debate, with lasting admiration for the willingness of fourteen rabbis to struggle […]

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Ano Lobb via Flickr

“What’s Good about That?”

It’s good to pay attention to what’s going well. Most congregations—like most people—can accomplish more by building on their strengths than worrying about how to fix everything that could be better. Sometimes that’s all it takes. But at other times, wise leaders need to add an extra twist and ask, “What’s good about this?” This […]

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