Quick Wins

by John Wimberly

Yes, it is a gimmick. But it is a gimmick that works. When creating a strategic plan, I always encourage congregations to include one or two strategies that they will accomplish a highly visible change in a matter of one or two months. I call these quick wins.

Does Sunday School Have a Future?

by John Wimberly
Regardless of their theological beliefs, churches struggle with some common issues. Of these, one of the most surprising to me has to do with the future of Sunday schools. No one lacks commitment to educate their children and youth in the faith. However, more and more congregations are questioning whether a traditional Sunday school is the way to do it.

How Do We Evaluate Performance?

John Wimberly
Almost everyone dreads the annual performance review that remains a ritual in most congregations. The employee wonders if it will be fair. If it is the pastor who performs reviews of staff, she or he wonders if the results will be toxic for the relationship with the staff member. Pastors tell me about problems finding members qualified to perform an annual performance review of the pastor. After all, most members are not closely enough involved in the work of their pastor to perform an informed review. So the thought of annual reviews is not something that warms our hearts!

Clergy Matter

by John Wimberly
Pastor Jones arrives at St. John’s Methodist Church and, shortly thereafter, the congregation begins to grow. Father James arrives at a healthy congregation and, over the next decade, the congregation experiences a steady decline in vitality. Pastors, priests, rabbis and other clergy matter. Their performance is a key to the performance and healthy of a congregation; not the only key, but a powerful key..read more…

Stuck!

by John Wimberly
Many congregations are stuck. Despite their members’ sacrifices and love, they just don’t seem to change. The same problems—building issues, financial problems, the same group doing all the work—seem impossible to solve. The intractable nature of these problems sucks the joy out of ministry. What should be energizing becomes energy-draining. What should put wind in the sails of members’ lives becomes a drag.read more…

The Return of the Urban Congregation

by John Wimberly
The urban congregation is back! At least, it appears to be on its way. For most of my forty years in ministry, people have talked about the demise of the urban congregation. In fact, many city churches have closed or been reduced to tiny memberships. However, much of what was working against urban congregations in the last part of the twentieth century seems to be working for/with urban churches in the first part of the 21st century.