The point of organization is sustainability and scalability. Sustainability means that Christian leaders can reliably continue the work of ministry over time and beyond themselves. Scalability means that Christian leaders can anticipate growth in volunteer participation and accelerated social impact. I believe it is unfaithful for leaders to bless publics without providing a way for this blessing to continue beyond their control or their lifetime. The mission is more important than the leader.
This book customizes the organizational principles of "Policy Governance" used so successfully among non-profit organizations for the church (whether local parish or regional denomination). It explains how a foundation of trust (consensus of core value and bedrock beliefs) is crucial for permission giving organizations; how ends policies (measureable outcomes) can be defined for a spiritual organization; and how decision making habits and executive limitations can be consistently embedded into all teams and programs.
This is the book that explains in detail a genuine alternative to the administrative "councils" and layered bureaucracies typical of most institutional churches. These antiquated organizational models cannot keep pace with the fast changing world, and actually reduce effective accountability for leaders and volunteers. This is simpler, streamlined model that keep an organization from become sidetracked or plateaued, and always striving for greater effectiveness and mission impact.
Written with co-author Page M. Brooks. If denominations have a future in the 21st century, they must learn how to create healthy, missional mergers. Most mergers today fail, because they are based on self-interest and negotiated as institutions. This book blends actual experience and sound theory, to provide a step-by-step plan for successful church mergers. These are based on shared mission and negotiated as mission partners, building on the compatibilities of communities and congregations.
“Why do some merges succeed? Open any chapter of this deep dive into rich wisdom and you’ll learn much from seasoned consultants who understand the realities of mergers, especially in long-established churches. They offer practical examples of how it can be done through what they propose as the four states of merger: in principle, in practice, in fact, and in ministry. They are frank in their warning that the single underlying reason for the failure of past mergers is that their vision was too small. But they show a solution – that of putting focused attention on the overarching vision of mission to the community.” – Warren Bird
This is my first book applying policy governance to church organizations. Although its now out of print, used copies can still be found. This book helps leaders understand how to define ends policies, process policies, and executive limitations; and how to develop sound grievance policies and stress management practices.
The second half of this book is dedicated to explaining the basic principles of team-based leadership, and how small groups for spiritual growth and service based on shared affinities function. Small groups of this kind can be cross-gender and inter-generational, and are rapidly replacing the old large fellowship groups for men, women, and youth. The basic metaphor is that a church needs to learn how to "raise rabbits" (spontaneously multiplying small groups and teams), rather than "train dogs" (task groups and committees that are controlled by hierarchies and burn out volunteers).