Strategic planning: in some congregations it’s the “go-to” solution whenever leaders feel stuck. We need to grow. We want more families with young children. We don’t know what to do next. Let’s plan! But strategic planning is usually a poor choice for getting unstuck. It takes a lot of time and energy—and in many cases postpones action when action is most needed.
When were your glory days? Pose this question and a congregation’s leaders will often tell stories of high attendance, engaged participation, and buildings that couldn’t hold it all. Glory-era memories are almost always recounted as blissful, happy times of pure goodness. However, parts of the story rarely get told—including how the seeds of decline may have been planted amidst the goodness.
Chaos is a natural by-product of innovation. Innovation happens best in conditions of upheaval, disturbance, and dissonance. However, people expect their leaders to keep things calm, predictable, and orderly. How do we coax order out of chaos without squelching innovation?
How does a leader say, “I don’t know what to do next,” without seeming indecisive?
In a liminal season, it simply is not helpful to pretend we understand what needs to happen next. But leaders can still lead.
There is no one right way to evaluate the performance of a senior minister. However, there are many ways to do it that can harm the relationship between minister and the congregation and impair, rather than enhance, the minister’s performance.
Many congregations assign to each staff member a personnel liaison: a lay leader who serves on the board or personnel committee and is charged with supporting that specific team member. Few congregations manage these liaison roles well, and as a result they often do more harm than good. Congregations appoint liaisons for a variety of …