Why Aren’t You a Pony?

by Sarai Rice
“Why aren’t you a pony?”

This was a question asked out of the blue one day by Lynne Truss of her then-boyfriend, in what must have been a moment of either great bewilderment or great clarity. (Truss is the best-selling author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves.)

I couldn’t help but identify with Truss’s confusion as I watched yet another distressingly awful Presbytery meeting this past week in which minister members begged to continue funding positions that may never have been effective and could no longer be afforded, on the ground that Christians are supposed to be “nice.” Is it just me, or must God, too (assuming that there is a God and that God has thoughts) occasionally look at the church and ask the bewildered divine equivalent of, “Why aren’t you a pony?”

Tending the Soul of the Institution

by Susan Beaumont
The human brain favors binary thinking. We are naturally drawn to the two-sidedness of the world, the fact that everything has an opposite, a polar complement. Leaders of faith-based institutions tend the spiritual needs of our organization with the soft skills of care, prayer and discipleship. Then we turn the soft skills off and guide the organizational side of the church with the hard skills of supervision, governance, facilities and financial management. Two fundamentally different kinds of work. Two very different skill sets. Right? Wrong!

Pondering a Map for Conversational Leadership

by W. Craig Gilliam
For the past year, I have been working with a group exploring the components of leadership and conversation. I believe good leadership involves courageous, honest conversation with self, others and God, thus, conversational leadership. In this article, we will discuss 7 components of conversational leadership that cultivates healthy congregations.

Do I Have Enough Influence?

by Susan Beaumont
You are clear about the changes needed in your congregation, and you are confident in your ability to execute the change. You are not certain that you have the influence needed to overcome change resistance. This is the fundamental dilemma of every leader, especially those new to an organization.read more…

Developing a Restorative Congregation

by David Brubaker
While the great religious traditions teach the importance of compassion and reconciliation, what is often missing among the adherents of those traditions are practical ways of embodying compassion and striving for reconciliation. Restorative practices are increasingly being appropriated in local congregations as they offer effective mechanisms for compassionate communication and restoration of relationships.read more…