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 more…

Noticing – Unhurried, Unafraid Curiosity

by Sarai Rice
As I remember it, the first time I visited Ed in the nursing home, his bed included some kind of sling apparatus that helped the staff get him up and out of bed. I don’t think I ever saw it used, but it was certainly clear that he didn’t get out of bed often. He also didn’t respond very much when I talked with him, even though the family had assured me that he was still quite mentally sharp.

Working around Incompetence on the Team

by Susan Beaumont
We aspire to build staff teams of competent, motivated individuals who work in dogged pursuit of a clearly articulated vision. What most of us have are teams with some outstanding staff and some not so outstanding staff, working side by side towards a vision that seems clear, on some days.

“I Promise…”

by Sarai Rice
“I promise that no one will lose their job unless they really mess up.”
I’ve heard these words, or something like them, twice in the last ten days—once from the chair of a large congregation’s personnel committee and again from the executive director of a social services non-profit created through the merger of two other organizations.
These words scare me.

Valuing our “Agents of Stability”

by David Brubaker
Much of the current literature on congregations focuses on why and how congregations must change. On the ground, we celebrate congregational leaders who are able to “revive a dying church” or “grow a struggling synagogue.” And those of us who work with congregations are often called in to assist in designing or implementing a change process. In a time of dramatic changes in our congregational environments, skilled agents of change (both internal and external) are indeed sorely needed.

Discernment and Decision Making

by David Brubaker
Think about some of the major decisions you’ve made in your life—whom to marry … or not; whether to have children … or not; where to attend university … or not; what congregation to attend … or not; what profession to pursue; and where to retire. From the day we can think independently until the day we stop doing so we constantly make choices and decisions. “Life is the sum of all your choices,” said the French philosopher Albert Camus. (read more)