Our Latest Perspectives
Pastors Stressed about Evaluation
Pastors can be in a tough spot—on the “losing” end of an evaluation process—whether they’re the evaluator or the employee. Unclear expectations and flawed accountability structures create stresses that can threaten any pastor’s ministry. Fortunately, the church can do better.
Reorganizing, Now That You’re Smaller
“We don’t have enough people to fill all of our positions.” I hear this complaint a lot, especially in congregations that are smaller than they used to be. Their official structure may call for a dozen or more boards and committees. Add it all up, and a congregation that sees 50 people on its pews feels obliged to fill up 60 or more seats around committee tables. Streamlining the official structure is a challenge, but with a clear plan and some determination, it can be done.
Life after Death for Congregations
For perhaps the first time in American history, more congregations are disappearing every year than are being born. But even in decline, some are finding new ways to serve people and communities.
Staff Team Design for a New Era
The pandemic unraveled staff team structures. Resignations and retirements were at an all-time high. Downsizing was necessary for some congregations. Others hired new staff to respond to the unique needs of a pandemic era. Now things are settling down and leaders are questioning whether they have the right configuration of staff. Fruitful staffing conversations begin with the congregation’s unique circumstances and are guided by a realistic vision of its future.
Getting the Nuts and Bolts Right
It is impossible to check my email without a bunch of articles popping up regarding the “macro” context for ministry these days. People are obsessed with it. They can’t stop writing and talking about all the changes that have taken place post-pandemic, most of which actually started about forty years ago. In contrast, I am obsessed these days with “micro.” Congregations cannot seize the macro-opportunities of this decade without tackling their many micro-issues—getting the nuts and bolts right.
Some People Don’t Want to Come Back. Now What?
As the Covid era passes, employers and churches face some similar dilemmas. Employers struggle to decide how and whether to transition back to in-person work. Churches wonder whether they should try to bring everybody back into the sanctuary or accept remote worship as part of the new norm. Since going backwards is hardly ever successful, we need to benefit from one another’s thinking about how to move ahead.
The End of the Race to Be Lax
The most lasting legacy of the Covid epidemic may not be the new ways people can show up, important as those are. The most lasting legacy may be new ways of thinking about when and whether to show up. For congregations, the era of attracting people by low expectations may have come to a belated end.