Over the last two months, I’ve been gathering together research in preparation for the Best Practices for Church Boards: Advanced Edition workshop on the role of the Church Board in Vision Development and Strategic Planning. I’ve sorted through a number of coaching programs – from Church Central’s Church Consultancy, to Natural Church Development’s Coaching system, to Stadia’s New Church Strategies, to Outreach Canada’s Vision Renewal. [Hartford Seminary has an interesting list of consultant operations at: http://hirr.hartsem.edu/leadership/consultants.html.] One of the things that I’ve discovered is that for the most part each system follows a similar outline: Prepare for evaluation, Evaluate, Analyze, Resolve, Act … and then Monitor a renewed Ministry Plan. When you chart out the steps, it seems so simple and direct. Yet, as I talk with the consultants who guide and coach congregations through the process, it is one of the most difficult shared tasks congregations will endure. At first, I thought that the actual work that went into building a Ministry Plan was what made it so difficult. It is a lot of work. Most of the programs estimate the cost of creating profiles, taking assessments, crafting vision statements, and creating effective communication patterns to take: an average of 6-8 months at the cost of approximately 1 month of a senior pastor’s salary. It’s hard, costly work. But the work is not the most difficult thing. One consultant revealed the greatest hurdle faced by the Church: having the courage to embrace the cold, hard facts. It’s a direct reflection of what Jim Collins defined as the third key element of Great Institutions [Good to Great]: Yes, leadership is about vision. But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted … the good-to-great leaders understood this distinction, creating a culture wherein people had a tremendous opportunity to be heard and, ultimately, for the truth to be heard…to confront the brutal facts and to act on the implications [p, 74,89.] I suppose that it’s no surprise that most churches initiate the Re-Visioning process with a spirit of desperation, as a last resort. They can no longer ignore the brutal truth. And, I suppose it’s no surprise that those who work with such churches have such a sense of critical care. But, it could be different. As I continue to work with such instruments as Best Practices for Church Boards … I take great satisfaction in helping hurting congregations get healthy … but I am also resolved to help healthy churches see the process of Re-Visioning as a natural, normal, expected part of the cycle of their life.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. — The Apostle Paul
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Five Most Recent Articles
- Alumni in Ministry by Dr. Kenton Anderson
- The People who make up Northwest by Loren Warkentin M.T.S.
- Theology Boot Camps for Christian Growth by Eric Fehr
- New (and not so new) faces at Northwest by Loren Warkentin M.T.S.
- Changes by Dr. Kenton Anderson
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- Immerse DIP Day on August 25, 2014 10:19 am
- Greek Refresher Workshop with Larry Perkins on August 25, 2014 6:00 pm
- Immerse DIP Day on August 26, 2014 10:19 am
- Labour Day on September 1, 2014
- Greek for Breakfast with Larry Perkins on September 9, 2014 6:30 am
- Immerse Fall Intake on October 1, 2014
- Fall Fundraising Banquets on October 2, 2014 6:00 pm
- Thanksgiving Day on October 13, 2014
- Fall Fundraising Banquets on October 18, 2014 6:00 pm
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