by David Brubaker In what is certainly the strangest U.S. presidential election since I first voted in 1976, the polarized national political environment is now seeping into our local congregations. Pastors, priests and rabbis have reported pressure from some congregants to “speak to the issues!” and from others to “stay away from politics!” Many congregational …
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?”
by David Brubaker We live in an increasingly polarized age. Political polarization among the American electorate (and thus among those we elect) has risen dramatically. As I observed in my recent article on the deeper roots of our current conflicts regarding human sexuality, congregations and other faith-based organizations have not been immune to the balkanization …
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!
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.
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…
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…