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101 results for Implementation
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Strategic Planning for Congregations
Curator Tim Shapiro
For The CRG Created For The CRG
The Practical Implementation of Appreciative Inquiry

In recent years, many congregations have asked about the use of Appreciative Inquiry (AI).

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is the process of identifying, considering and leveraging strengths. It is inclusive, engaging the entire congregation, in asking important questions such as, “what gives life to our congregation when it functions at its best?”

Implementing AI

Many pastors and congregational leaders have asked us about the practical implementation of this process. How is it used, where do you start and what is my role?

Here are some important things to consider:

The Center for Congregations, through the CRG, recommends many resources on Appreciative Inquiry and positive change to help you get started. As always, we stand ready to answer your questions.

article
Strategic Planning
This two-page guide examines what to consider when beginning the strategic planning process, outlining the virtues of self-led and consultant-led processes.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
Leadership and Management

Many congregational leaders know the importance of clear mission and vision statements. However, congregational leaders are less capable at enacting plans.

Years ago, Kennon Callahan described this as “calling plays the players can play.” There are lots of visionary congregational leaders, but not so many who can pull off Vacation Bible School. There need to be more leaders who learn to put plans into action. There need to be more who can manage annual festivals, start a small group ministry or spearhead an outreach trip. As a congregational leader, dreaming the big stuff can be seductive. But sometimes leadership means being able to design an operational infrastructure that can support a new Advent program.

After all, what good is a vision if the website hasn’t been updated?

The difference between management and leadership

I know there is a difference between management and leadership. But I also think the difference of the two apply more distinctly to very large organizations. Given the scale of most congregations, the distinction between leadership and management is certainly smaller than for a Fortune 500 company.

The link between leadership and management in the congregation is learning. Effectiveness at both means a commitment to learning how to do something new. Sometimes it is not so much vision that is needed as the ability to learn to accomplish tasks. This dynamic is true for many in the congregational system. The dynamic of learning is not limited to the lead pastor or to the chair of the board.

Flourishing congregations

Congregations that flourish function as a learning community. This is true even if the congregation doesn’t call itself that.

There is an observable pattern among congregations which learn to do new things. This pattern goes beyond the distinctions between leadership and management. The specifics of this pattern differ from congregation to congregation. However, this pattern reveals the importance of plans and behaviors as a congregation moves through:

Is all this not theological enough?

This pattern is interestingly close to the pattern of revelation, identified by James Loder in his book The Transforming Moment. This pattern is at least as important, however less enticing, than having a vision. Sometimes good management is excellent leadership.

In terms of organizational learning, the book Immunity to Change from Kegan and Lahey provides a powerful perspective on how to manage any number of relational and missional challenges while leading and managing a congregation.

book
Advanced Strategic Planning: A 21st-Century Model for Church and Ministry Leaders
This book emphasizes the importance of planning to carry out a mission, breaking down strategic planning into a four-fold process.
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Fast Facts for the Faith Community Nurse: Implementing FCN/Parish Nursing in a Nutshell
This resource provides quick access to content and tools for designing programs on diverse issues individuals may encounter in the field of parish nursing.
web resource
Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship
This four-section guide developed by FEMA helps congregational leaders create an up-to-date emergency operations plan in case of a natural disaster or an active shooter.
book
Pastor, Staff, and Committee Job Description Book
Written by the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, this free download provides sample job and committee descriptions for congregations to follow and apply.
article
Running Church Meetings Skillfully and Carefully
This article offers practical suggestions to implement more productive meetings.
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Change and Conflict in Your Congregation (Even If You Hate Both): How to Implement Conscious Choices, Manage Emotions and Build a Thriving Christian Community
This book frames conflict as a tool to move congregations forward if used positively. In this resource, conflict can spark changes that will allow your congregation to tell a new story about its identity, purpose, and future.
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The Equipping Church Guidebook
This biblically-based guidebook details a vision and strategy for implementing a congregational collaborative ministry.
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