Leadership in Ministry Feature: Bill (William) Pyle

Leadership in Ministry Feature: Bill (William) Pyle

This post is part of a feature series on Leadership in Ministry faculty.


Bowen Family Systems Theory offers a way of thinking that affects every aspect of leadership in ministry.

Workshops are taught by BFST experts and help participants confidently lead their congregations and organizations. Participants gain insight from learning with others while sharing their unique vocational challenges and joys.


This feature explores the thoughts and experiences of Leadership in Ministry faculty member Bill (William) Pyle.


How long have you been a faculty member with LIM? How did you become part of the faculty?


I joined the faculty in 2007. I began the workshops as a participant in 2001 and when there was an opening for a faculty coach in 2007, Larry Mathews invited me to join the faculty.


What do you enjoy most about teaching and coaching in the workshop?


I enjoy watching the development and maturation of the participants. Participants often begin the workshop at a time of crisis in either their personal or professional life. Once the crisis passes, participants can begin the long-term process of growth.


In what ways do you see the workshop helping congregational and other leaders?


Participants often report being less anxious and less reactive. They report clearer thinking and more principle-based decision-making. They tend to take less responsibility for the functioning of others, both in their families and their work setting.


Why do you think the theory is appropriate as a “theory of practice” for clergy?


The theory is based on observations about how humans function and interact with one another. Since it is a descriptive theory that attempts to describe observable dynamics, it has universal application.


Which of your presentations are favorites for you? Why?


“Herding in the Bovine and the Human” is my favorite presentation. The presentation was an introduction to beef cattle and pointed toward ways that anxiety moves within cattle and in humans.


Can you give one example of how the theory has helped you in your work or life?


I think that I am less reactive to individual differences in my relationships with family members and with parishioners. I am less likely to push my perspective at the expense of other people’s perspectives. I am less likely to push for conformity and am more accepting of differences.


If someone doesn’t see the value in this program and the positive impact it can have on participants, what would you say to them?


I would share my experience and story of the impact the workshops have made in my life and ministry and then I would trust them to make their own assessment of the value of the workshops.


If you’re looking to teach how the concepts of the family emotional process can be applied to all aspects of ministry, Leadership in Ministry workshops may be for you.

Those seeking to explore the theological implications of this concept, opportunities for personal ministry reflection through small groups and presentations, guide and encourage participants’ work on genograms and family of origin issues and prefer a peer group setting, could benefit from LIM.


Click here to learn more about the program.

The Rev. Dr. (Bill) William T. Pyle serves as Intentional Interim Pastor at Warrenton Baptist Church in Warrenton, NC. He has taught previously at Campbell University Divinity School, North Carolina Wesleyan College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is trained as an Intentional Interim Minister through the Center for Congregational Health and is challenged to understand congregational dynamics from a systems perspective. A participant in the Leadership in Ministry workshops since 2002, he joined the LIM Workshops faculty in 2007.

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