What I’m Learning Outside the Church Bubble: Day Two
By Jan Edmiston, DMin ’01 and Co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
April 2, 2016—This is the second of a three-part series by popular blogger and Columbia Theological Seminary graduate Jan Edmiston. (See the first here.) In this series, Edmiston examines different ways the Church can utilize secular business practices and principles in the “business” of running a church. In this post, Edmiston challenges us to examine whether the things we say we want are indeed what we want, and regardless of the answer, what next.
My new favorite obsession is discerning a congregation’s true culture and then helping them make transformational shifts.
Sometimes small changes make big differences. And sometimes the essential changes feel impossibly huge.
We spent time HERE on Tuesday covering intergenerational collaboration, leveraging board relationships, and partnering more effectively with volunteers. Juicy stuff. If you are feeling stuck in your ministry, integrating Church World and Business World (with a faith perspective) fuels all kinds of fresh ideas.
So, here are some truths to ponder with our boards and staffs:
- Collaboration with each other takes a lot of time and energy.
- Training leaders takes a lot of time and energy.
- Making a congregation safe and ready for diversity takes a lot of time and energy. (It also makes us smarter according to Katherine W. Phillips.)
- We have to decide if collaboration and training are worth it. (Some of us will say “no.”)
- There are simple and effective ways to “manage the pain” of culture changes (A future blog post at A Church for Starving Artists.)
- Succession plans can (and should) be considered throughout one’s service. (This is not the same as a retirement plan.) We must consider who will come after us so that we can set them up to succeed.
Along the Journey will post What I’m Learning Outside the Church Bubble: Day Three next Thursday.
Jan Edmiston is co-moderator with T. Denise Anderson of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) She has also served as associate executive presbyter for ministry in the Presbytery of Chicago, starting in 2011. Prior to that she served congregations in northern Virginia and New York. She completed her MDiv at Andover Newton Theological School and her DMin in Christian Spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in 2001. She has graciously agreed to let us repost some of her blog entries (including guest bloggers) from A Church for Starving Artists.
And when you need to re-enter the church bubble, the Center for Lifelong Learning offers courses on preaching and teaching for those in the pulpit and those in the pew. Visit our course list HERE to learn more about our classes.