Author Archive | Susan Beaumont

Circles

How Many People Can a Pastor Supervise?

Only the largest congregations have the resources to hire full-time supervisors. The average congregation employs a “head of staff” who also preaches, teaches, provides pastoral care, leads mission and ministry, and guides the work of the board. Given this breadth of responsibility, how many employees can a pastor effectively supervise?

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Flower

Stop Worrying About Worship Attendance — Thrive Instead!

For a long time, clergy have taken credit when attendance rose and felt guilty when it fell. Most people assume that the best measure of a congregation’s spiritual vitality is the headcount at weekly worship. But some congregations have begun to think beyond that metric and focus more broadly about how their ministry transforms lives. […]

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What Can We Expect, When We Pay So Little?

Healthy employment relationships require accountability. Accountability involves setting clear expectations, providing ongoing feedback, and inviting employees to step it up if performance falls short of expectations. This fundamental cycle of communication seems easy enough to grasp, in theory. In practice, many of us demonstrate a failure of nerve when it comes to holding church employees […]

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Sustainability, Failure

Have We Failed?

We are living in an era where many things we have done in the name of Church are no longer sustainable. Does this mean we have failed?On some level, every organization must be sustainable. If we cannot afford to cover our overhead expenses over time, we will cease to exist and won’t be able to […]

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She Looked So Good … On Paper

Nancy is failing in her new role as the Director of Education. The hiring committee carefully chose Nancy from a pool of six candidates. Everyone on the team was delighted with Nancy as their candidate of choice. She was articulate, well-educated and had experience as the principal of a private school. On paper and in […]

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consensus from Flickr via Wylio

The Truth about Consensus

by Susan Beaumont “Let’s work by consensus!” is a familiar rallying cry. It feels egalitarian, generative and worthy. So we set aside Robert’s Rules of Order and begin a dialogue where all are encouraged to weigh in. We promise ourselves that we won’t move forward until we’ve reached an agreement that everyone likes. And then the […]

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Inside the Large Congregation cover

Why We Aren’t Learning

by Susan Beaumont “What are you seeing out there that is working?” the pastor asked when we met for lunch. The assumption behind the question was that someone, somewhere had discovered a way forward, one that we might all benefit from knowing. This era of congregational life calls for innovation and learning. We praise reinvention, […]

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