by Lawrence Peers on February 12, 2018
I remember the moment a clergyperson said, so matter-of-factly, during a retreat: “If it weren’t for the congregation, I’d be a great leader.” We all broke into laughter. Most of us wanted to believe it. But as pleasant as the fantasy of leading without anyone else interfering may seem, we can’t lead without a context […]
by Susan Nienaber on February 5, 2018
It is hard for a congregation to revitalize, but when leaders have the courage to make major changes and live deeply into the mission, churches can rebuild. I know this, because it’s happening now in many places.
by Dan Hotchkiss on January 22, 2018
Clergy often try to change their congregations, and a rule, their efforts meet resistance. It hurts to be seen as a threat by the very people you are trying to serve, but when a leader’s first move is to advocate for change, that’s generally what happens.
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 […]