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The Congregational Consulting Group, organized in 2014 by former consultants of the Alban Institute, is a network of independent consultants. We publish PERSPECTIVES for Congregational Leaders—thoughts on topics of interest to leaders of congregations and other purpose-driven organizations. —  Dan Hotchkiss, editor

Navigating the Congregation’s Reaction to a Firing

Terminating a staff member is difficult under the best of circumstances. When the congregation gets reactive in response to the termination, leadership becomes especially tricky. Five guiding principles can help you navigate the turbulence than follows a dismissal.

Staff Designs in the 21st Century

Don’t automatically replace departing staff with another person doing exactly the same work. Use staff turnover as an opportunity to examine how those dollars might be better used in a different staff configuration.

Eight Tips for Managing Part-Time Staff

Part-time employment relationships are on the rise. Many congregations are converting full-time positions into part-time roles due to declining budgets and the rising cost of benefits. Part-timers offer many advantages to a staff team, but they also pose unique supervisory challenges.

How to Delegate So Things Get Done

If you are an exceptionally bright, talented, attractive person, you can energize a congregation quite a bit by doing everything yourself. But if you want to make more happen than you personally can lead, you need to learn to delegate.

How Many People Can a Pastor Supervise?

Only the largest congregations have the resources to hire full-time supervisors. The average congregation employs a “head of staff” who also preaches, teaches, provides pastoral care, leads mission and ministry, and guides the work of the board. Given this breadth of responsibility, how many employees can a pastor effectively supervise?

Looking for the Superstar

Many congregations think the answer to their problems is a superstar—a charismatic senior pastor, a superb musician, or a Pied Piper youth director. Research on teams reveals a deep flaw in such thinking, and congregational leaders are well advised to pay attention to the data.

What Can We Expect, When We Pay So Little?

Healthy employment relationships require accountability. Accountability involves setting clear expectations, providing ongoing feedback, and inviting employees to step it up if performance falls short of expectations. This fundamental cycle of communication seems easy enough to grasp, in theory. In practice, many of us demonstrate a failure of nerve when it comes to holding church employees accountable. We grapple with whether we can expect much from our employees, especially when we pay them so little.