STUDENT SUCCESS & How Selecting Track A or B Will Customize LEAD 545 to Your Unique Context

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  I wrote the syllabus for my “LEAD 545 Strategic Leadership & Management” course to allow each student to customize the course to their unique context.  Therefore, the course has two “tracks” with different readings and assignments from which students can choose the track that best helps them in their ministry.  The following is from the LEAD 545 syllabus and explains “how to choose a track” (which will also help you choose which textbooks to purchase).

The two tracks (labeled Track A & Track B) are described below with examples to help you choose the best track for you.  Decide which track you will choose before you describe your organizational context (in workshop 1).

If you have questions about the appropriate track, you can ask for input from your classmates and professor in the Week 1 discussion forum.

Track A: Parachurch Leader Track

This is for leaders of a ministry that is not per se a church. Examples in the past have included:

  • a home for unwed mothers
  • a food kitchen
  • a clothing shelf
  • an educational program
  • a 12-step program
  • an established charitable organization, e.g. United Way, American Heart Association, etc.
  • a hospital
  • a chaplaincy
  • however sometimes this can be a department within a church, such as:
    • Christian education department
    • Children’s ministry department
    • Church programs
    • But, if that department behaves like a “church within the church” (i.e. a sub-congregation such as a youth group, women’s ministry, men’s ministry, music department, campus or venue) then it will have more in common with the church leader (Track B) below.

Track B: Church Leader Track

This is for a leaders of a church or a sub-congregation (e.g. a sub-congregation can be a department that behaves like a “church within the church”).  Examples in the past have included:

  • lead, senior or solo-pastor
  • assistant and associate pastors
  • discipleship pastors, small group pastors, outreach pastors
  • pastors of generational sub-congregations, such as
  • youth leader
  • young adult leader
  • generational leader
  • senior adults leader, etc.
  • leaders of sub-congregations, such as
    • music ministers (when the church has or is headed toward 35+ people involved in music)
    • venue or campus pastors, etc.
    • Ethnic and cultural ministries
    • Women’s, Men’s or Singles’ ministries
  • Most judicatory leaders would fall into this track, including:
    • district superintendents,
    • bishops,
    • directors of mission, outreach, social engagement, etc.

Each student will self-select one of two tracks and the appropriate textbooks

… and utilize the following readings relevant to the student-chosen track:

  • Track A for the parachurch leader:
    • Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012.
    • And articles that will be referenced and/or provided.
  • Track B for the church leader: Whitesel, Bob. Growth by Accident,. Death by Planning: How NOT To Kill a Growing Congregation. Nashville: Abingdon, 2004.

All students will read the following textbooks…

Crutchfield, Leslie R., and Heather McLeod Grant. (2012). Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rath, Tom, and Barry Conchie. (2013). Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow. Omaha: Gallup Press.

Whitesel, Bob. (2011). Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press.