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A Word of Grace

grace, church, pastor, mission, crisis, leadership, vision, faith, generosity

“You’re doing the best you can with the resources you have”      -    a wise mentor once reminded me. 

 

Churches all over the country are finding themselves at various points on the continuum of readiness in moving from a centralized onsite ministry to a remote, technology-driven ministry.  For some this can be an overwhelming transition amidst a whole host of other concerns and worries.

We can feel the weight of this stress as we check in with pastors and lay-leaders trying to navigate these uncertainties. There is much we don’t know, but there are some things we DO know:

 

God is Faithful.  

We will be pushed out of our comfort zones and expend more energy in the coming days, but we can trust that God is present and the Spirit is working in and through us. 

 

God is Opportunistic. 

In... read more

Navigating Crisis May Require New Set of Questions

church, growth, leadership, crisis, strategy, worship, survival, mission, covid19,

“How well your congregation navigates this crisis may depend upon the questions leaders are asking.”

Had you asked me a month ago to reflect upon “The Most Frequently Asked Question by Congregational Leaders,” I would have started typing by reflex. Whether drawing upon seven years of experience as a consultant or over three decades as a parish pastor, the answer (or the question) has been the same. “How do we grow our church?”

The primary metric for evaluating church growth during those years has indisputably been worship attendance. If you have doubt, ask a pastor if she serves a growing or declining congregation. She will not justify her response by using preschool enrollment or the number of meals served at the soup kitchen. She will share with you the same data which annual parochial reports ask her to track, i.e. the number of... read more

A Message from Kairos & The Joshua Group

 
 

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

leadership, anxious, culture, change

These are unpresidented times. The issues are too big, involve too many people and the stakes are too high. We can't see very far in front of us. It's paralyzing.

When you don't know what to do.... do this:

  • Breathe deep, exhale and repeat.
  • Admit to another human being: “I don’t know what to do.”
  • Go outside and walk around the block.
  • Find ways to remind yourself of your purpose or values. Find an image, statement, song, poetry, Scripture, or art and post where it can be seen.
  • Be present where you are.
  • When people asked you for a specific answer for which you don’t know the answer, pause, and say: “I’m not sure we know yet.” Or “I don’t know.”
  • Unplug for a while.
  • Do the next right thing, even a little thing.
  • Be present for those you are with.
  • Don’t rush to make people feel better. This... read more

3 Things Leaders Need Do While We Wait

leadership, mission, order, values, connection, organization, culture

I don't have to tell you that we are in a crazy and unique time in our history. You know that. You're trying to figure out how to lead in this limbo time. How can one talk about performance reviews, scheduling programs, or implementing anything right now? It seems silly, while the world feels like it's falling apart.  It's time of waiting, holding, hoping and fearing. How do leaders need to show up in this time? 

3 Things Leaders Need Do While We Wait

 

1. GET CLOSE

Get close. Not physically close. However, connect deeply with your staff, your board, your council, your church members, and your donors. Find excuses to call, to email, to text, and to video chat. Strong human bonds are fuel for a healthy organization and we need it more than ever. Remind people to be hopeful, to be mindful, to be generous. Tell your people you care. Ask... read more

Is Anyone Listening? Leaders & Communication

leadership, communication, message, leader, organization

Leader, you have a lot to say, and it’s important. Is anyone listening?  Most of time it feels like they're not. How do you get people to listen and respond to you? 

It’s easy… all you need is salt, a cookie sheet, and a guitar amp. 

“Resonance occurs when an object’s natural vibration frequency responds to an external stimulus of the same frequency.”

Nancy Duarte describes that below in a beautiful visualization of resonance.

My son poured salt onto a metal plate, then hooked up to an amplifier so that the sound waves traveled through the plate. As the frequency was raised, the sound waves tightened and the grains of salt jiggled, popped, and then moved to a new place, organizing themselves into beautiful patterns as though... read more

6 Methods for Team Decision Making

group team decision making process nonprofit change collaboration

6 Group Decision Making Methods

It's good to be aware of different decision-making methods groups or teams can use, and choose an appropriate method for the kind of task or decision being worked on. If we are not intentional about chosing a method, we may fall into a default method that might be less helpful for our team or task. So, take a look at these 6 methods for decision making and then discuss with your team so the best method can be employed for your work. 

1. Decision by Lack of Response (Plop)

This method is evident “when someone suggests an idea, and, before anyone has said anything about it, someone else suggests another idea, until the group finds one it will act on. All the ideas that have, in a real sense, been decided on by the group. But the decision has been simply a common decision not to support them,... read more

7 Ways to Create Psychological Safety

psychological safety, culture, leadership, interaction safety, change,

What is Psychological Safety?

It is the creation of a safe space for people to risk being themselves, sharing ideas, wondering and doubting. Meaningful change or even strategic renewal requires psychological safety, (sometimes called interaction safety). Healthy organizations have psychological or interaction safety. It allows you to leverage your people for ideas, for change, for ownership of mission, for benefiting from the best people have to offer.

 

“Interaction safety creates an environment through intentional actions and behaviors that encourage reasonable risk-taking, sharing ideas, and creating an inclusive, collaborative workplace. It is an environment that makes people feel safe enough to share not just their best ideas, but their still-in-formation ideas.

When interaction safety exists, people know they... read more

Did It Work? 4 Steps to Measure Impact of Change

measure change, change, leaders, leadership, organizations, evaluation

Organizations try new things all the time. We may see someone else do it and copy it. We may get an inspiration and try it. Others innovate to push the envelope. No matter how you get to that point of change, it’s a gamble. How do we know if our efforts are worth it?

Lucky for us, people have asked this question before. Donald Kirkpatrick wondered about this very thing and, in 1959, developed the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model. It’s been tweaked over time to meet challenges of the day. But Don was onto something. He wanted to know if what was changed made any difference at all: for individuals and the organization.

Here are Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation you can use to identify how change is working in your organization.

Level One-... read more

The Case for Change

leadership, change, problem, solutions, leaders, organization, church

One thing leaders everywhere know is that the world is changing, and it’s changing at a rate faster than ever. We know our organizations need to adapt in order to be helpful, relevant, and viable. Leaders work hard to imagine changes that will help their church or organization to engage people in new and helpful ways and to implement those changes.

However, if you are a leader, you have probably been frustrated by investing yourself (and the energy of other leaders) in changes only to have your plans and efforts dissolve into what seems to be the indifference of the organization.

This often occurs because people do not “buy into” the problem leaders are trying to address with the change. Usually it’s not that people don’t care or are uninterested. It’s more often that they don’t appreciate why change needs to occur. The case for change simply hasn’t been made... read more

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