Who Speaks on Behalf of Soul?

by Susan Beaumont
Who speaks for the congregation’s soul? When it comes to discerning mission, vision and strategic direction, who gets to name the congregation’s giftedness and vocation? Is it the senior clergy leader, the governing board, the congregation, or someone else? (read more)

Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

by Susan Beaumont

On airplanes, adults are told to put their masks on before helping others so they will be fully conscious. In churches, adults need to attend to their own spiritual consciousness before they can ably assist children and youth with faith formation.

Unfortunately, the way we structure our staff teams reinforces semi-conscious adult faith formation. We follow time-honored traditions of staffing faith formation in children and youth first. Then we staff the needs of the organization. We give left-over oxygen to our adults. Can we really “train up a child in the way he should go,” when the quality of adult faith formation is so far behind the quality of our children and youth programs? read more

Breaking Our Dependence on Praise

by Susan Beaumont
“You like me. You really like me!” Let’s face it. We are all guilty of defining our self-worth by what others think. When people praise us we feel successful. Are we?
Courageous and adaptive leadership requires leaning into our own incompetence, and pointing out the incompetence of our congregations. Leading beyond our own competence will invite mistakes and failures. Mistakes and failures call forth criticism.
Anything really worth doing as a leader is going to involve criticism. How do we wean ourselves from a dependency on praise and teach ourselves and others to work well with criticism?

You Disappointed Me

by Susan Beaumont

A volunteer agrees to complete a task but fails to deliver, or delivers a less than satisfactory outcome. A leader violates an established behavioral standard. What do you do? How do you redeem the situation?

Disappointment is inevitable when people are involved in ministry, but disappointment doesn’t have to be the final word. Delivering an effective feedback message in the face of disappointment can turn the situation around and introduce accountability into the volunteer relationship.

Supervision Myth Busters

by Susan Beaumont

Pastors generally do not enter ministry with a strong desire to supervise the work of others. For many, supervision is a necessary job, a burden to be tolerated on the way to the good stuff. If you are struggling in your role as supervisor, you may be harboring false assumptions about supervision—myths that get in the way of a healthy supervisory approach.

Examining these myths and replacing them with more truthful assumptions is the first step in developing an effective supervisory style. The act of supervision becomes easier, and a more natural expression of your authentic personality, when you begin with the right assumptions.

How to Have a Better Conversation

by Susan Beaumont

Board leaders long for meaningful meetings. Instead, many participate in mind-numbing meetings that repetitively chase topics, with little forward momentum. Agendas are rigidly structured around the receipt of reports, with little work that actually impacts the future of the congregation. What would it take to foster more fruitful board conversations?