CONFLICT & A video intro to LEAD 600 homework on conflict resolution & power-plays

This is a video that I provide to my students as an introduction to the weekly LEAD 600 (Congregational Leadership) topics.  I hope it also creates the feeling of a live course.

The video was recorded at the annual conference of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) which I was attending in Detroit. Dr. John Perkins (founder of the CCDA) has greatly influenced my thinking as evident from these excerpts that reflect Dr. Perkins’ influence on my articles and books.

©️Bob Whitesel used by permission only.




ABOLITIONISTS & The Wesleyan Movement of young pastors who asked “Can you give you life for the cause?”

(Notes on a lecture by Bob Black, Ph.D., at the CCDA conference, Detroit, 2017.)

By Francis Asbury’s death in 1802, the Methodist Church had become the largest church in America. Still, the bishops decided not to rock the boat by opposing slavery, so prevalent in the south. A presiding elder, Orange Scott (what we would call today a district superintendent) opposed slavery on biblical grounds as well as citing John Wesley’s strong condemnation of slavery.

Feeling he could no longer remain in the Methodist Church, Orange Scott  started a magazine called “The True Wesleyan.” He also called for the formation of the “Wesleyan Methodist Church,” titled thus because it was “Wesley’s view of Methodism.” There would be no slavery and no bishops. The movement, though organized in the north, began to appeal to anti-slavery Methodists in the south. A church of 40 antislavery Methodists in North Carolina ask the Wesleyan Methodist Church to send them a pastor because not pastor would lead them.

Adam Crooks, a not yet fully ordained 23 year-old minister in this new movement, left to pastor the North Carolina church stating he was glad he did not have a wife or family because he then did not need to worry about surviving. Within six months had built a church called “Freedom’s Hill” in Snow Camp, NC. Soon they planted eight more anti-slavery churches. In High Point Adam found noose with a likeness of him handing from a tree. He was poisoned and in the church he preached there were bullet holes in the door.

The Freedom’s Hill Church and the other churches in the network became stations on the underground railroad.  Many of these young pastors were harangued, attacked and even hanged. Still, the movement grew under the example of young people who, like Adam Crooks, asked “Can you give you life for the cause?”


COMMUNITY OUTREACH & Why You Need to Experience the CCDA

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 3/22/16.

Have you ever wondered where you can find innovative and field-tested ideas for reaching out to your community? As a researcher who studies how to connect people to Christ, I have found that effective outreach ideas are challenging to discover. But, one of the best resources I’ve ever discovered is the annual conference of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA).

The CCDA hosts an annual gathering of thousands of Christian leaders who are not only meeting physical needs in their communities, but also developing a community socially, economically and most importantly in Christian transformation.

If you want a conference that will give you dozens of ideas, help you apprise suitability by speaking personally with those engaged in such efforts and result in better connecting a ministry to its neighbors, then the CCDA annual conference is the experience you seek.

Find out more at …

NEED MEETING & A Leadership Exercise To Learn About Needs of Non-churchgoers

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/13/15.

I’m writing this while attending the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) conference. At this conference we try to seek out new ways to find needs in our communities and to then meet those needs as a demonstration of God’s love and His Good News.

A Leadership Exercise.

Here is a leadership exercise designed to help you uncover unmet needs in our communities that ministries can meet.

I know you understand that we must become skilled in polling the opinions and needs of our mission field (those we are reaching out to) and not just our congregants.  I often am disappointed when I hear that church leaders polled the congregants to discover when they should add another service.  What they are doing is getting the input of people who already attend their church.  Now this is fine if you are adding another service because of the onset of sociological strangulation, and thus you are targeting your existing attendees.

But if you are evangelistically reaching out to unchurched people (like every church should be doing according to Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:19ff), then we need to become better acquainted with the needs, opinions, and attitudes of unchurched people within the scope of our reach.  And, the best research is quantitatively based, not anecdotal .

Thus, in this leadership exercise, share some innovative ways that your congregation, or another ministry, has ascertained the needs and wants of the community they serve.  With students, I usually grade these postings on relevance and quality.  Thus, a student said, “Church A asked some people on the street,” this response describes a strategy that will not be very effective due to the small size of the sample.

Therefore, this leadership exercise is looking for good, creative, and powerful tools that churches are employing to reach out and ascertain the needs of the unchurched.  This may mean that you have to do some sleuthing, either on the Internet, among colleagues, or with denominational offices.  But then bring to this discussion some of the best ideas for understanding the unchurched person’s needs and wants.