Author Archive | Sarai Rice

bird and cage tattoo

How Do We Best Serve Our Neighbors?

As a strategic planner, I encourage congregations to look for places where their gifts and skills can meet the particular needs of their neighbors. As a human service provider, I watch my clients trudge all over town, piecing together services they need. I worry that despite our good intentions, sometimes congregations make life harder for […]

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By Kastranec (Own work) [<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a>], <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AA_Smarketer.jpg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Let’s Play!

Six of the eight Presbyterian congregations in my community are small enough to be within sight of closing. But I’m done being sad for them or anxious about them, and I think they should be done, too. I think it’s time for all of us to play!

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Old church building

What Will We Do About the Building?

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.

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Innovation light bulb

Eight Rules for Innovation in Congregations

Innovation is a standard expectation for leaders who want congregations to attract and retain new members or reach out to the community in new ways. But many congregations, having never had to go beyond small programmatic tweaks, don’t know where to start. Based on recent experience with a major innovation at the faith-based nonprofit that […]

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Hello my name is Jerk

Rules for Not Being a Jerk

Most congregations have at least one jerk. You know who I mean—the one who takes up far more than one person’s share of time and energy and leaves the group feeling discouraged, disempowered, and exhausted. How can you be sure it isn’t you?

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