3-STRand LEADERSHIP & Your guide to the 6 leadership “styles” and the difference between them and the 3 leadership “traits.”

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Most leaders gravitate towards leading in one of three ways: visionary/strategic, administrative/tactical or relational/operational. These are leadership “traits,” the natural way we lead and to which we fall back when under pressure. Most people have one trait that is the strongest. I’ve written much about this and even designed a short questionnaire to help you discover your mix of leadership traits here: https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2020/11/22/todays-1st-sundaychurchhack-most-churches-talk-too-much-about-new-programs-so-they-implement-them-too-slowly-rx-find-your-tacticians-organizers-rom-127-8-with-this-self-scoring/

But in addition to leadership “traits” (which are innate, organic and the way you naturally handle leadership because of your personality and upbringing): there are leadership “styles.” And leadership “styles” are a bit more complex and are learned. Here’s a good overview to the types of learned leadership “styles.”

Your guide to leadership styles” by the editors of Leaders.com, 9/12/22.

… inthis guide to leadership styles, we’ll take a look at six of the most common styles of leadership.

#1: Autocratic leadership

Autocratic leadership is also sometimes referred to as authoritarian. In this leadership style, one person makes decisions and passes those decisions along to the rest of the team. These leaders tend to be decisive and do not require input from others to make difficult judgments.

Pros:

… little time is wasted … leaders are extremely skilled at taking the reins, moving a project forward, and communicating the strategy to their team. There is also very little room for confusion in an autocratic style of leadership.

Cons:

… team can feel unheard. For those who enjoy collaboration and discussion, it can be hard to work for an autocratic leader. Additionally, these leaders tend to dislike criticism of their decisions.

Example:

John, head of the marketing department, is told by his boss that the team needs to produce ten new leads each month from their digital marketing channels. Dave takes this information and decides on a strategy to make it happen. He then calls a team meeting and explains to each employee their role in enacting the plan. 

#2: Democratic leadership

The democratic leadership style is the mirror opposite of autocratic leadership. Also referred to as participative leadership, this style of leading is all about inviting others to help make decisions. A democratic leader will present problems and ask teams to collaborate on the solution.

Pros:

Democratic leadership allows everyone’s voice to be heard. Employees who enjoy collaboration will feel that their input is valuable and that they have the chance to help steer the direction of the ship. This can lead to higher buy-in as employees begin to own their solutions.

Cons:

While teams often enjoy adding their own input into the decision-making process, democratic leaders can slow down projects with indecision. Too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen can lead to ineffective strategies and confusion about project roles.

Example:

Susan is asked to pitch a new digital product to the C-Suite to solve a current user issue. Susan calls a meeting with her team, presents the problem, and asks for everyone’s input. She weighs the insights every team member brings to the table, and works with everyone to collaborate on their end solution. 

#3: Bureaucratic leadership

Bureaucratic leadership is a style in which company policy and procedures take precedence over everything else. These leaders are usually leaders by title and prescribe to a set way of handling things. A bureaucratic leader will check every box and dot every “i,” always following the book. You’ll often see this leadership style in bureaucratic organizations, such as governmental agencies or long-established corporations.

Pros:

There is an immense amount of stability with bureaucratic leadership. Employees can expect things to follow a specific format. This leadership style is also often rewarded in organizations where company policy is strict, and deviation from regulation or rule is prohibited.

Cons:

With no room for thinking outside of the box, this leadership style can feel stifling for creative types. It also lacks room for innovation and can cause employees to feel trapped into doing things the way they have always been done.

Example:

Melissa is told that the new company policy requires every retail location to increase rental rates by 12%. One of Melissa’s store managers explains a set of reasons as to why this will damage the bottom line for their store. Melissa provides the employee with the corporate memo and lets her team member know that she expects them to abide by the policy regardless of how it will affect revenue. 

#4: Hands-off leadership

Commonly referred to as laissez-faire leadership, this style of leading focuses on letting employees work independently. A hands-off leader will explain a goal, provide necessary resources, and walk away. They will check back in when the project is due and will otherwise leave their employees unsupervised.

Pros:

For those who thrive working independently, this can be a great leadership fit. Employees who are highly motivated, skilled, and problem solvers will be able to work on their own to tackle projects. This can lead to a high level of satisfaction, as employees see their work come to fruition.

Cons:

A lack of accountability can spell trouble for employees who struggle with self-motivation or have difficulty with time management. Additionally, employees who crave coaching and mentorship will feel abandoned by this leadership style.

Example:

Ben tells his employee that all accounting reports are due at the end of the month. He hands over the data set his employee needs, along with the template for submitting the report. At the end of the month, Ben expects them to hand in the report on time. 

#5: Transactional leadership

A transactional leader functions off the methodology of entering into an agreement or contract with their employees. This style of leader will explain what needs to be done and, in return for pay, expects employees to obey. A transactional leader will also often use rewards and punishment to motivate employees.

Pros:

With transactional leaders, everything is extremely cut and dry. For those who enjoy knowing their role and are motivated by rewards, this can be an effective strategy. Often, sales teams operate under a transactional leadership model.

Cons:

For some, transactional leadership can feel heartless. Everything seems as if it boils down to numbers or agreements, and there is a lack of motivation to work beyond the transaction.

Example:

Bobby tells his sales team that if they exceed their monthly sales goal, he will throw an after-work party for the team. He explains, however, that if the team falls short of their goal again, no one will be receiving their quarterly bonus. 

#6: Transformational leadership

Also called visionary leadership, transformational leadership is about inspiring employees and motivating teams. Transformational leaders tend to have high emotional intelligence, integrity, and humility. These are the leaders who empower their team members to become their best, constantly working to move roadblocks and continually setting clear goals. Transformational leaders also welcome feedback and innovative ideas, always asking their teams to question the status quo.

Pros:

Transformational leaders tend to be highly effective at building trust with employees and creating strong teams. They are a perfect fit for businesses undergoing change or looking to transform processes.

Cons:

Transformational leaders believe in improving processes and are unafraid of change. Their bold approach can be intimidating and unsettling for those who enjoy the status quo.

Example:

Maria is in charge of leading digital transformation in her company. She motivates her team through a story that showcases the importance of helping lead this transformation. She asks each team member to consider how they can contribute and invites all ideas to the table. Later, she speaks with her team lead one-on-one, asking what roadblocks are in the way of him reaching his current goals and how she can help.

Read more at … https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/your-guide-to-leadership-styles

GROWING THE POST-PANDEMIC CHURCH & Houses of Worship Face Clergy Shortage as Many Resign During Pandemic. #WallStreetJournal #LeadingInLiminalTimes

by Ian Lovett, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 21, 2022.

…For eight years, Keith Mudiappa accepted the challenges of serving as pastor at his nondenominational Minneapolis church—the 70-hour workweeks, the low pay, the calls from parishioners at all hours—in exchange for the joy of seeing people come to the faith.

But the rewards of the job were tough to come by during nearly two years of online-only services. Late last year, Mr. Mudiappa quit and moved with his wife and children to Florida. He now works at a bank.

Read more at … https://www.wsj.com/articles/houses-of-worship-face-clergy-shortage-as-many-resign-during-pandemic-11645452000?

MERGERS & If you do not sell you church buildings & start over by building new; within five years, your total attendance will be less than the larger of the two merging congregations.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. I have facilitated many mergers in my three+ decade career of coaching churches. And I’ve come to a conclusion that:

In a merger if you do not sell you church buildings & start over by building new; within five years, your total attendance drop to less than the larger of the two merging congregations.

Bob Whitesel PhD

I was encouraged the other day when one of my former clients sent me this note. He said,

“I’ll close with a statement from somebody I found to be my friend when he told two merging congregations; ‘(In a merger) if you do not sell you church buildings & then build new; within five years, your total attendance will be less than todays larger congregation.’ FYI = True words. Came true ☹! Today, the Pastor’s bible study has about three people & the attendance on Sunday’s averages 15 to 20 people in a sanctuary/balcony with seating for 300!” Chuck Miller, church board member.

CHURCH REVITALIZATION & For dying congregations, a ‘replant’ can offer new life.

By Bob Smietana, Religion News Service, 1/7/21

…LA City Baptist Church is what’s known as a “replant,” an attempt to restore an older, dying congregation to health using some of the lessons gleaned from startup congregations known as church plants. Replanting often involves adding a new pastor who has been trained in how to do outreach, as well as funding and sometimes an influx of volunteers. The idea is to provide resources and new energy to an old congregation, rather than shutting the church down and starting over.

Although not widespread, church replanting is growing in popularity and the approach has been adopted by denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention, whose North American Mission Board is supporting Lee’s work to replant LA City Baptist. In 2020, NAMB helped fund 50 such replants, according to the latest data available. The agency hopes to work eventually with about 200 replants a year, said Mike Ebert, a spokesman for NAMB.

According to data from the Faith Communities Today 2020 survey, there are lots of churches in the same boat as LA City. The median worship attendance for congregations is 65, down from twice that number in 2000 — leaving many congregations wondering what their future will look like.

Read more at … https://religionnews.com/2022/01/05/for-dying-congregations-a-replant-can-offer-new-life/?

GENERATIONS & If you work with Baby Boomers you need to know their subgroup: “Generation Jones.” Here is comparison between “Early Boomers” & “Generation Jones.”

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: New generations are upon us. Following the “Millennials” born between 1982 and 2009, the next two generations are now “Generation Alpha” from 2010 to 2024 & “Generation Beta” from 2025 to 2039. See the chart at https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/generations-the-emerging-agreement-on-age-ranges/

But there are so also two segments of the “Baby Boomer Generation” (the generation born between 1946 and 1964). The first sub-segment is the “Early Boomers” of which I am one. They (we) were teens in the 60s.

But here I want to consider the so-called “Late Boomers,” or as I like to refer to them “Generation Jones.” They’ve been bestowed this moniker because in their teen years they were struggling to “keep up with the Jones” (i.e. older, Early Boomers). The best way to think about them is (as the author below says), “Early Boomers (teens in the ’60s) and Generation Jones (teens in the ’70s).”

A few notes about Generation Jones.

“Early Boomers” like me were profoundly impacted by the Vietnam war and the civil rights movement. We saw the world as a place we could change … and we had a duty to change it!

Generation Jones, which became teenagers in the 70s, had to muddle through the Watergate fiasco, rampant inflation, oil embargo’s, etc. And, as such they became much more skeptical about being able to change their world.

I’ve observed that …

  • Many of the “Early Boomers” became Christians because they thought, through Christ, they could help people change inwardly … and then they would change the world outwardly.
  • While “Generation Jones” grew skeptical about changing the world and therefore fewer followed Christ as a change agent.

Read the following article for more insights … https://www.generations.com/insights/early-boomers-generation-jones-meet-the-two-boomer-subgroups

Early Boomers + Generation Jones: Meet the Two Boomer Subgroups

by Skylar Werde

It’s time to set the record straight. While Baby Boomers are often spoken of as one large cohort, there are indeed two different types of Boomers.

… The Boomer cohort is typically referred to as one group, born within the 20-year time span of 1946–1964. During the Boomer birth year, a baby was born every eight seconds. Clearly, the title baby “boom” was certainly appropriate for this big generation of 80 million. By 1964, Boomers comprised 40% of the US population. Looking at them as a whole, this generation has been incredibly influential and inspirational, creating waves of change from an early age… With dramatic changes in the political, global, and social landscapes, the Baby Boomers can be divided into Early Boomers (teens in the ’60s) and Generation Jones (teens in the ’70s).

Early Boomer: teens of the ’60s

Born 1946–1954
Early Boomers grew up as the world was wildly shifting. They were inspired by the changing role of women, the new economic landscape, and the rise of a counter-culture that was determined to leave a lasting impression on the world. These Early Boomers were inspired to action by the icons they were seeing stand-up for change. They idolized, followed, and fought with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr, Gloria Steinham, and JFK. These early Boomers were committed to reassessing the Traditionalist worldview and refocusing the world they lived in so that it reflected values inspired by their youth-driven counterculture.

While the nation adjusted to the counterculture movement, the resulting growing pains only stoked the youth desire to push the envelope and move the country closer to their idealized collective values. These growing pains can be seen most clearly in the form of the highly controversial Vietnam War and the draft that drove youth into action. The passionate demonstrations behind both the support and opposition of the war were striking and, for the first time, teens and young adults were challenging the status quo and the political decision to enter a war that raised more questions than it answered. Pair the image of hippies protesting the war with other images of youth involved in rallies for women’s rights, civil rights, and gay rights, and you see a generation of born activists.

The power to make change and see that change flourish, coupled with their success in growing their careers during a booming economy, has left Early Boomers with an optimistic and idealistic set of traits that they have taken with them throughout their lives. This optimism has manifested itself into a youthful outlook on aging as they redefine retirement and continue to stay active and energetic as they enter the next phase of their lives.

KEY EVENTS + CONDITIONS
Woodstock, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Rights Movement, Moon Landing

Generation Jones: teens of the ’70s

Born 1955–1964
While Early Boomers had major icons to look up to, Generation Jones was too young to remember these icons in their zenith. These Gen Jonesers were too young for Woodstock, the “I have a Dream” speech, and the assassination of the first Catholic president. The youth-driven counter-culture movement had accomplished many of its goals, and those kids that had been fighting for change were fighting for career growth by the 1970s. Instead of the idealistic and optimistic outlook of the Early Boomers, this generation was experiencing the backlash of an economy that was falling dramatically. This economic hardship and slipping post-war optimism defined the atmosphere that Gen Jonesers experienced as they were coming into their formative years.

Life at home was more different for Gen Jones than the more traditional setting that Early Boomers experienced. More homes were being forced into having two working parents due to changes in the economy and job availability. When Gen Jones went to school, there were not enough desks or books in the classroom because the school system wasn’t ready for this large cohort. They weren’t ready to put their kids in the same situation, so families were beginning to shrink in size. The pill became available so birth control and family planning were easier than in the past. With the competitive job market and economic stresses, divorce was on the rise as Gen Jones entered their formative years, causing teens to spend more time working independently and caring for themselves. While this wasn’t the generation of latch-key kids, Generation Jones was on the trailing edge of Generation X, which saw a dramatic spike in divorce rate and latch-key kids.

While the economy took a nose-dive, fuel prices spiked, the oil embargo impacted the nation, and job opportunities shrunk. Gen Jones had to become more independent and learn to fight for their future, because they quickly understood that nothing would be handed to them. With the tight job market, they knew they had to put their head down and work hard, dress for the jobs they wanted not the jobs they had, and develop methods of standing out. This was important for career growth, but at the time the main focus was on simply keeping their jobs. This period of fierce competition for job stability has stayed with the Gen Jonesers, who earned their names because they were constantly striving to “keep up with the jones” or “jonesin” for something more.

KEY EVENTS + CONDITIONS
Watergate, Stagflation, Oil Embargo, Iran Hostage Crisis, Deindustrialization 

GENERATIONS & These are the commonly accepted designations for different age groups.

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 4/4/21.

During today’s Easter gathering with my children and grandchildren, the question came up about generational designations. In case similar questions have or will arise in your family gatherings here are the designations as used by researchers and media outlets.

There are varying ways to designate generational cultures. The most widely accepted labels have been put forth by Philip Bump in his article “Here is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts.”[1] Synthesizing work conducted by the US Census Bureau, the Harvard Center and Strauss and Howe, Bump suggests these designations:

  • Greatest Generation, born before 1945
  • Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964
  • Generation X, born 1965-1984
  • (overlapping: Generation Y, born 1975-2004)
  • Millennials, born 1982-2004
  • TBD, 2003-today[2]

Philip Bump, The Atlantic, titled “Here Is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts” (3/25/14)

Excerpted from my Abingdon Press book ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church. Read more here … https://churchhealthwiki.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/change-harnessing-the-differences-between-generations-their-approaches-to-change/

#OD723

TURNAROUND CHURCH & My new article published: 3 Ways Turnaround Pastors Can Overcome A Negative Mindset … in Themselves!

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., Church Revitalizer Magazine, 7/1/19.

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Younger people today are discovering churches best grow when focused upon creating community.

So rather than trying to be as good a preacher as a famous mega-pastor, spend your time developing community and commonality within the church. Create church-wide unity building events. And create a vision that all segments of your church can embrace and get behind. Research has found (Bruno Dyck and Fredricks Stark, Administrative Science Quarterly) that pastors who held unity events that united church around a common purpose, created a “community” that was attractive rather than a program or a pastor. So work on finding that mission that everybody in the church can get behind. And, spend as much time working on it as you do your sermons.

I can’t turn around a church because I’ve never done it before. 

This may be the second most common negative mindset. And, this stands to reason, because we are always intimated by what we have not yet experienced. But Paul, who had his own series of challenges, states, “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there.” (1 Corinthians 7:17 MSG).

Today there is a growing number of good resources that can equip the pastor to turn around a church, so that prior experience, while helpful, is not mandatory.

Magazines like “Church Revitalizer” magazine and resources like Renovate Conferences offer church leaders the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by successful church turnaround leaders.

I allow each year a handful of potential turnaround coaches to shadow me and learn the turnaround coaching insights I’ve gained from doing this for 30 years and earning two doctorates on the subject (Fuller Theological Seminary). The shadowing program is called MissionalCoaches.com and dozens have graduated from this program and gone on to help turn around churches.

So while prior experience is helpful, the proliferation of good resources like this magazine and other sources means that having experience turning around a church is not a requisite to doing an effective job.

I can’t turn around a church because I don’t like the traditional way of doing things; and I want to do things in a new way.  

There is nothing wrong with innovative and contemporary forms of worship and ministry. But traditional forms of worship and ministry are also valid for the people who connect through those aesthetic forms. Because you don’t like their styles doesn’t mean God doesn’t use their traditional liturgical aesthetics to connect them to God.

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I learned this firsthand, growing up in a mega-church with traditional Gospel Quartet music. The Bill Gaither Trio were often guests at our church meetings. I grew up to associate their country-influenced Gospel music with my parents’ church. But that wasn’t my style. My parents loved it. And I love my parents and the Good News they instilled in me. But I yearned for a younger musical style, to which I and my friends could relate. African-American rhythm and blues and the resultant rock ‘n’ roll music resonated with me. But it also led me to see the church as culturally different from the aesthetics I enjoyed. Subsequently, I found little relevance in the church and into the world of rock ‘n’ roll I journeyed. Yet in that world, I found other young people who loved rock ‘n’ roll and also loved Jesus even more. As a result of their culturally relevant presentation of the Good News to me, I gave my life to Jesus and set upon a path of writing and leading contemporary worship. 

However, because I saw the church as captive to traditional and Gospel music, I developed an unhealthy aversion for older forms of music. That was until I met a beautiful Lutheran girl, who was much more spiritual than me. Yet to her the Lutheran hymns of her church had provided a spiritual strength and wisdom during her youth. She showed me that her music was just a different style than mine, but which for her was still relevant. She gave me an appreciation and love for classical music to this day. Subsequently I became a connoisseur of Charles Wesley and his great hymns.

Our family appreciates a healthy mix of both traditional music and contemporary music. My wife’s loving example of aesthetic flexibility led me to a more holistic life and allowed me to write several books on how to have both traditional and contemporary music in the same church.

Turnaround church leaders learn how to bring unity out of diversity.

Often a dying church will have one form of music and worship aesthetic. It may be a traditional form, it could be a gospel music form, or it could even be a contemporary form. What happens is a church offers only one liturgical aesthetic. And because people have come to connect with God through that particular style, they strongly resist any changes. Change means interfering with their communication with God.

But usually another generation or demographic will emerge that has a different musical appreciation and aesthetic style. And, they will usually go to a new church down the street that offers their liturgical aesthetic. The problem is that this new church down the street usually winds up being as homogeneous as the church that was left behind. What results is that our churches tend to focus on one liturgical aesthetic. Then they rise and die with that aesthetic.

Many turnaround church pastors undertake a strategy I call “1+1 +1 = 1” (“A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church” Abingdon Press). This means allowing traditional congregants to keep their historical way of worship while adding a new worship opportunity. This can be done by hosting a 20-minute pre-glow (pre-service) with a different style of music. Or it can be accomplished by hosting a post-glow (post-service) with 20 minutes of a different style of music. Eventually this can emerge into two worship opportunities. I’ve helped churches do this even when they were small, just a couple dozen people. 

The key is to move toward offering two or more liturgical expressions that can relate to both the existing church culture and the emerging culture of a neighborhood or community. Yet people often say, “You’re spitting the church part.” But you’re only allowing them to self-select the cultural expression of worship that they enjoy. And, the running of the church (e.g. its administration, mission, focus and health) should still be conducted by committees and boards made up of people from different cultures. I’ve often said, you learn more about a different culture by working on a committee with them, than by warming a pew next to them. It has been my experience as a missiologist that you gain more cultural understanding by strategizing, compromising, sharing and dialoguing in a committee setting than you do by simply sitting adjacent to them in chruch. 

So though a turnaround church leader will usually prefer their own worship style, they must be careful to not inadvertently prioritize their preferences over those of others. Instead, multiple worship expressions can be valid means to connect the different cultures in a church to God.  Even if you don’t enjoy their music, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn about it, understand it and help others connect with God through it. Subsequently, alongside a traditional worship expression you can create a second culturally distinct liturgical expression, that another generation or culture can connect with as well. Though everyone has their own preferred style of worship, a church turnaround leader will usually be the principle connector between the the different cultures God is sending to a church.

Download the entire article here: ARTICLE ©Whitesel Church Revitalizer Magazine July:Aug 2019 Overcome a Negative Mindset

You will find more about Church Revitalizer Magazine and how to subscribe here: http://renovateconference.org/magazine

BIO: Bob Whitesel DMIN PhD teaches “Church Revitalization” for Fuller Theo. Seminary’s DMin, which can be audited this fall (see the ad in this issue). Bob is an award-winning author/consultant on church health and growth. He been called “the key spokesperson on change theory in the church today” by a national magazine, co-founded an accredited seminary and leads one of the nation’s most respected church health consulting/coaching firms: www.ChurchHealth.net

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CHANGE & Harnessing the Differences Between Generations & Their Approaches to Change

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., an address delivered to the Great Commission Research Network (GCRN), Asbury Theological Seminary, Oct. 19, 2017.

“How Changing Generations … Change: Harnessing the Differences Between Generations and Their Approaches to Change.”

Abstract

This article will compare and contrast two leadership change strategies as observed in older generations (influenced by modernity) and younger generations (influenced by postmodernity). It will be suggested that modernist leadership strategies may focus more on command-and-control and vision. It will be further suggested that postmodern leaders may employ a more collaborative and mission-centric approach to change leadership. This latter approach will be shown to have been described in postmodern circles by organic metaphors and four conditions as set forth by organizational theorist Mary Jo Hatch. Subsequently, it will be suggested that the style of leadership embraced should depend upon the cultural context of the generational actors and the environment.

This study must begin with a few delimitations and explanations regarding terminology that will be employed. I present these as juxtaposition propositions.

Boomers vs. Everyone Else (Gen. X, Y & Z)

There are varying ways to designate generational cultures. The most widely accepted labels have been put forth by Philip Bump in his article “Here is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts.”[1] Synthesizing work conducted by the US Census Bureau, the Harvard Center and Strauss and Howe, Bump suggests these designations:

  • Greatest Generation, born before 1945
  • Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964
  • Generation X, born 1965-1984
  • (overlapping: Generation Y, born 1975-2004)
  • Millennials, born 1982-2004
  • TBD, 2003-today[2]

Philip Bump, The Atlantic, titled “Here Is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts” (3/25/14)

To complicate matters, I have suggested the older generations are more influenced by modernity while the younger generations by postmodernity.[3] Though it is hard to designate an arbitrary point at which the majority of a generation crosses the modernal divide, this article will assume these influences. I have made at length a case for this elsewhere.[4]

Modernity vs. Postmodernity

To contrast modernity and postmodernity is beyond the scope and scale of this article. However, the genesis of these two views coupled with a meta-perspective on culture can frame our discussion.

Modernity roughly coincides with the emergence of education as the interpreter of knowledge. Emerging with the Reformation and gaining momentum in the Enlightenment, modernity viewed the mentor-mentee form of education as the arbitrator of civilization. Modernity hoped that through education the world would become a better place. Therefore, while sitting at the feet of experts, neophytes could build a better life for themselves and others.

Somewhere around the beginning of the 20th Century, disenchantment with the modern experiment arose. Modernity hoped that its emphasis upon education and knowledge would usher in a new world of peace. Instead, it had created new powers who tapped their educational resources to create weapons of mass destruction. The carnage of World War I was a verification that modernity had failed, as witnessed through the most educated countries on the earth becoming the most likely to devise new ways to kill people en masse.

The reaction first took hold in the art world, which employed an oxymoron (postmodernity) to describe a world in which humans move beyond the modern experiment (i.e. into post-modernity).[5] While modernity saw education from experts as the redeemer of culture, postmodernity began to prefer experience as its arbitrator of civilization. Modernity dictums such as “Get an education to get ahead” were replaced with postmodern maxims of “Try it, you may like it.” Thus arose in postmodernity an emphasis upon experience as a better teacher than experts.

To highlight this, the terms modern and postmodern will be used to highlight the difference in leadership approaches between younger and older leaders. The reader is cautioned to not apply these descriptors too narrowly or too generally. Rather, the judicious academic should allow these categories to inform his or her analysis of leadership while also taking into account the context and the players.

Organic vs. Organization

Over time, the term organic church has been more palatable in Christian circles than the term postmodern church. For instance, my publisher rejected my use of the term postmodern in the chapter titles of a 2011 book, because of the perceived anti-religious bent of postmodernity. Thus, I chose the term organic because it is helpful when describing the New Testament concept of a church as an organism with its interconnected, inter-reliant parts as seen in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 1, and Colossians 1.

Theologian Emil Bruner also emphasized that though the church is a spiritual organism (requiring pastoring and spiritual growth) it is also an organization (necessitating management and administration ).[6] Therefore, the term organic organization will be employed in this article to emphasize both elements.

I find it interesting that secular postmodern organizational theorists, such as the influential Mary Jo Hatch, have picked up upon the organic metaphor as a designation for healthy organizations.[7] Hatch suggests organic organizations embrace four conditions, which I will utilize in this discussion to frame how change mechanisms respond to them.

Condition 1: Organic, postmodern leadership understands it is dependent on its environment. While a modern leadership approach might try to colonize or impose upon another culture a leader’s preferential culture; according to Hatch an organic approach adapts its leadership practices to the indigenous cultures in which it hopes to bring about change.

Condition 2: Organic, postmodern leadership envisions a dissonant harmony that must be cultivated between the varied parts in the organization.[8] While a modernist strategy might overlook parts of the organization in order to emphasize those organizational aspects with growth potential, the postmodern sees an interconnectedness that requires addressing weaknesses in addition to building upon strengths. (Biblical examples for this view may be inferred from I Corinthians 12:12, 14, 20, 27; Romans 12: 4-5 and Ephesians 4:12 – 13).

Condition 3: Organic organizations adapt continually to their changing environments. The organization learns from its environment, weeds out aspects that can be unhealthy and learns which aspects can be embraced without compromising the mission or vision. To do so without compromising an underling mission, Kraft suggests this requires us to see Christ as “above but working through culture.”[9] Eddie Gibbs elaborates by suggesting that behaviors, ideas and products of a culture must be “sifted.”[10] Using a colander metaphor, Gibbs suggest this is an incarnational approach, “He (Christ) acts redemptively with regard to culture, which includes judgment on some elements, but also affirmation in other areas, and a transformation of the whole.”[11]

Condition 4: Organic uniqueness recognizes that certain species flourish in some environments and die in others. Hence, to Hatch what works in one organization cannot necessarily be franchised into another context. Therefore, Hatch and other postmodern theorists like Zalesnick reject the notions of “irrefutable” and “unassailable” leadership laws or rules that can be applied in a general manner.[12]

With the above understanding of generational depictions, the philosophical forces that inform them, the organization as organism, and the conditions of an organic organization, we can move on to compare two areas where modern and postmodern leadership may differ. This is not to say these are the only or even most powerful areas in which they differ. I have compared and contrasted eight areas in my Abingdon Press release: ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church. More depth on this discussion can be found there. However, for the present article, I will delve into two aspects that were not discussed to this depth in the aforementioned book.

Command-and-control leadership vs. collaborative leadership.

Modern leadership has customarily been associated with command-and-control leadership as depicted in Adam Smith’s seminal book The Wealth of Nations.[13] In this model the role of the leader or manager is to command often unwilling workers to pursue a goal while controlling their actions to attain it. Upon Smith’s ideas Frederick Taylor built Theory X, famously asserting; “The worker must be trimmed to fit the job.”[14]

Postmodern leadership, not surprisingly, reacted against this emphasis on a leadership expert and instead embraced a consensus building and collaborative approach. Harrison Monarch describes the contrast this way:

The archaic command-and-control approach is shelved in favor of a culture in which managers admit they don’t have all the answers and will implement and support team decisions. This means mangers become the architects of that team dynamic rather than the all-seeing purveyors of answers. The result is a culture of trust and employee empowerment that is safe.”[15]

Support for this approach can be found in the research of Bruno Dyck and Frederick A. Starke. Not only organizational theorists who study of the formation of breakaway organizations (e.g. how organizations lose their change proponents), they also participate on the boards of their churches. They have applied their understanding of breakaway organizations to what they’ve witnessed in churches.[16] Dyke and Starke found that pastors who dictate change (or even who align themselves with a subgroup of change components who do so) will usually be pushed out by the status quo unless the leader demonstrates collaborative leadership. They discovered that the successful leader will build consensus for a change, even among the naysayers, before the change is implemented. They also discovered that implementing change too fast and without vetting it with the status quo results in failed change. Thus, change often fails in churches because it was not implemented in a collaborative fashion. Disturbingly, they also discovered an end result is that pastors and those proposing change are forced out of the church because they didn’t attain a unifying outcome.[17]

John Kotter is a Harvard management professor who wrote the seminal article (and the resultant book) on change, titled Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail.[18] He states that the “second step” for bringing about change is to create a “guiding coalition” to generate that change. He found that when one person or one side pushes for change, the other sides will push back with the resultant change creating division rather than progress. Kotter’s solution is to create (as the second step of the eight-step process) a “guiding coalition” of both change proponents and the status quo who will bring change in a collaborative manner.

Best practices for the church: A leader must resist command-and-control tendencies and instead embrace approaches oriented toward collaboration. Best practices include Dyke and Starke’s suggestions that church leaders go to the status quo and listen to their concerns before launching into a change.[19] While field-testing this, I have found that simply giving status quo members a hearing goes a long way to helping them feel their voice and concerns are heard. Dyck and Starke also found that when an inevitable alarm event occurs through which some change begins to polarize the congregation, the collaborative pastor will bring the people together to grasp the common vision and cooperate on a solution.[20] Kotter even pushes the establishment of a guiding coalition to the top (second) of his eight tactical steps.

Motivating by vision vs. motivating by mission

There is some confusion among practitioners regarding the difference between vision and mission. Kent Hunter and I, in an earlier book, sought to compare and contrast various ecclesial definitions of vision and mission and suggest an abridgment.[21]

George Barna[22]  

Elmer L. Towns[23]

 

Whitesel / Hunter[24]
Mission:  

A philosophic statement that under-girds the heart of your ministry.

Your ministry emphasis and your church gifting. “What do we do” (and why do we do it, 2017)
Vision: A clear mental image of a preferable future imparted by God, and based on an accurate understanding of God, self and circumstances. Same as Barna. “Where do we believe God is calling our church to go in the future?”

 

My experience has been that older generations, influenced by modernity, typically emphasize the vision. By this, I mean they have a clear mental picture of the future and try to muster all of their forces to attain it. This can, and often does, result in a parade of different programs being promoted to the congregation which often – by their sheer frequency – overwhelms and wears out the congregants. Burnout is often the result.

I have noticed that younger generations are more likely to emphasize the mission that undergirds these various visions. This is perhaps because they have witnessed this in their parents’ congregations. According to Barna, a mission is “a philosophic statement that undergirds the heart of your ministry.”[25] This leads postmodern-influenced leaders to emphasize less the different programs that are being implemented and instead to motivate by stressing the mission behind them.

An interview with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s in USA Today yields a useful example.[26] In the article, Nadella criticizes founding CEO Bill Gates for mixing up the difference between a mission and a vision. Nadella states, “It always bothered me that we confused an enduring mission with a temporal goal… When I joined the company in 1992, we used to talk about our mission as putting a PC in every home, and by the end of the decade we have done that, at least in the developed world.”

“…we used to talk about our mission as putting a PC in every home, and by the end of the decade we have done that, at least in the developed world.” – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s in USA Today

Nadella was right because “putting a PC in every home” is not a mission – it is a vision. It is something that can be reached, can be pictured in your mind and is temporally bound. You can see a vision in your mind. You can envision every house having a PC computer. That is why every house today doesn’t have an IBM PC. Instead, many have Apple Macs.

A mission, however, drives the company and its values, therefore shaping its decisions. It is much bigger and grander than a vision.

When Steve Jobs was luring Bill Scully from PepsiCo to become CEO of Apple, Jobs shared a mission, not a vision, saying: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”[27]

A mission is just like that. It is exciting, world-changing … but somewhat imprecise so it could manifest in many different outcomes (i.e. visions). It is also not temporally bound, like “putting a PC in every home.” A mission drives your values and decisions through many different projects.

Apple’s mission reminds me of the trend I see in my youthful seminary students to emphasize mission over vision. They correctly understand that mission can be realized in many different visions. Apple’s mission would be realized in varied visions including: the vision to revolutionize the way music is purchased via iTunes, the vision to miniaturize the computer into a handheld device, etc. The result is that Apple devotees have a passion that IBM followers don’t. Apple has an ongoing mission that continues to be realized in various visions. As a result, the clarity of Apple’s mission, best exemplified in Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad, unleashes a passion in its followers.[28]

Best practices for the church: When leading younger leaders, it may be helpful to emphasize the mission while letting many subcategories of vision come and go as opportunity rises and wanes. The younger generations appear to want to be reminded of the mission but allowed to create multiple visions of how it may be carried out. They don’t want to stick to one idea or tactic, but rather one mission. Therefore, the mission becomes more important than a time and measurement constrained vision which often influenced their parents’ church.

Though they may not realize it, Hatch’s four conditions of organic organizations are reflected in the postmodern emphasis upon an unchanging mission in lieu of the temporal- and quantitative-bound nature of vision. For example, “Condition 1: An organic dependency on its environment” is reflected in the postmodern emphasis that church should not be a closed, self-contained system; but rather an organic congregation tied to those it serves inside and outside the organization. Hatch’s “Condition 2: An organic harmony among the parts” is reflected in the postmodern propensity toward dissonant harmony among multiple constituencies. “Condition 3: Organic adaption to the surroundings,” is exhibited as these organic experiments adapt to the culture of their surroundings by changing visions as the environment changes. And finally, “Condition 4: Organic uniqueness from other organizations” is mirrored in their intentions to not franchise what works in other churches but to create indigenous and elastic visions that serve an immutable mission.

The tip of an iceberg

These approaches to change are just the tip of an iceberg of divergences between the leadership modality of the modernist and postmodernist. I’ve compared and contrasted more areas in my Abingdon Press book ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church. The reader may be interested in how I delve into the striking difference regarding how younger generations offset the disadvantages of homogeneity. For a thorough investigation of the distinctions between modern and postmodern leadership, I would encourage the reader to consult this volume.

[1] The Atlantic magazine, March 25, 2014.

[2] Generation Z has been suggested as the descriptor for this generation by the New York Times, see Sabrina Tavernise, “A Younger Generation is Being Born in Which Minorities are the Majority,” New York Times, May 17, 2012.

[3] Bob Whitesel, “Toward a Holistic in Postmodernal Theory of Change: The Four-forces Model of Change as Reflected in Church Growth Movement Literature,” The Journal of the American Society for Church Growth, Fall 2008.

[4] Bob Whitesel, Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church (Indianapolis: The Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007, pp. 53-56.

[5] Eddie Gibbs in Church Next (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2000, p. 23) explains that though Frederico de Onis created the term “postmodern” in the 1930s it was not until the 1960s that it gained popularity due to its use by art critics.

[6] Emil Bruner, trans. Harold Knight, The Misunderstanding of the Church (London: Lutterworth Press, 1952), pp. 15-18.

[7] Mary Joe Hatch, Organizational Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 53-54.

[8] While Hatch utilizes the term requisite harmony, I have substituted the helpful term dissonant harmony as employed by Bruno Dyck and Frederick A. Starke, The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model. Administrative Science Quarterly (1999), 44:792-822. I have applied the Dyke-Starke model to the church in Bob Whitesel, Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change and What You Can Do About It (Abingdon Press, 2003).

[9] Charles H. Kraft, Christianity in Culture, (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1979), pp. 113.

[10] Eddie Gibbs, I Believe in Church Growth, op. cit., p. 120.

[11] Eddie Gibbs, I Believe in Church Growth, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981), p. 92.

[12] See for the example the hedgehog versus Fox’s comparison in Abraham Zalesnik’s book, hedgehogs and foxes: character, leadership, and commanding organizations parentheses New York: Palm grave McMillan, 2008). Zalesnik use this is a metaphor of hedgehogs who live by unwavering rules with the more long-lived foxes who adapt to their environment..

[13] Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776; reprint, Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1976), books 1 and 4.

[14] Quoted by Daniel Boorstin, The Americans: The Democratic Experience (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp. 368-369

[15] Harrison Monarth, Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009), p. 55.

[16] Bruno Dyck and Frederick A. Starke, The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model. Administrative Science Quarterly (1999), 44:792-822.

[17] For more on this seek Bob Whitesel, Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change, And What You Can Do About It (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002) and the chapter titled “Go Slowly, Build Consensus and Succeed” in Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church (Indianapolis: The Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007, pp. 151-169.

[18] Harvard Business Review (Boston: Harvard Business Press, January 2007).

[19] Bruno Dyck and Frederick A. Starke, ibid., 44:812-813.

[20] ibid., 44:813-819.

[21] Bob Whitesel and Kent R. Hunter, A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001), p. 107.

[22]George Barna, The Power of Vision: How You Can Capture and Apply God’s Vision for Your Ministry (Ventura, Calif.: Regal Books, 1992), pp. 28, 38–39.

[23] Elmer L. Towns, Vision Day: Capturing the Power of Vision, (Lynchburg, Virginia; Church Growth Institute, 1994), pp. 24-25.

[24] Whitesel and Hunter, op. cit., p. 107.

[25] Barna, op. cit., p. 28.

[26] Marco della Cava, “Microsoft’s Satya Nadella is Counting on Culture Shock to Drive Growth,” USA Today, Feb. 20, 2017.

[27]John Sculley and John A. Byrne, Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple: A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future (New York: HarperCollins, 1987), p. 90.

[28] The 1984 Apple commercial is available on YouTube and is best described by MacWorld writer Adelia Cellini in the following: “Apple wanted the Mac to symbolize the idea of empowerment, with the ad showcasing the Mac as a tool for combating conformity and asserting originality. What better way to do that than have a striking blonde athlete take a sledgehammer to the face of that ultimate symbol of conformity, Big Brother?” “The Story Behind Apple’s “1984” TV commercial: Big Brother at 20,” MacWorld, 21 (1), p. 18.

Download the article here… ARTICLE Whitesel 2017 Changing Generations Change GCRJ GCRN 17.10.17

Bio

Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D. holds two doctorates from Fuller Seminary and is the former founding professor of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. A speaker/consultant on church health, organic outreach and multiethnic ministry, he is the award-winning author of 13 books published by national publishers. National magazines have stated: “Bob Whitesel is the change agent” (Ministry Today) and “Bob Whitesel is the key spokesperson on change in the church today” (Outreach Magazine). The faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary awarded him The Donald McGavran Award for outstanding scholarship in church growth and The Great Commission Research Network awarded him The Donald A. McGavran Award for outstanding leadership in church growth.

Speaking hashtags: #Kingwood2018 Theological Reflection Seminar #TheoReflect #GCRN

METAPHOR & A Domino Effect Video: “Who am I, and where do I belong?” narrated by Sharon Koh

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  One of my recent DMin students at Fuller Seminary, Rev. Sharon Koh, shared an amazing “domino effect” video that uses OT metaphors to teach “It is not who you are, but whose you are.”  Watch this intriguing video (I guarantee you won’t stop it once it starts).

Here is the link to the video: https://vimeo.com/123465875

WORSHIP SERVICES & How to Create a New Service START-UP PLAN in 5 steps

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/8/15.

This week I’m teaching a DMin course at Fuller Seminary in Calif.  I am also teaching  an online course for Wesley Seminary. In both I received a similar question about how to create a “start-up plan” for a new service.

A young female Presbyterian pastor asked about reaching out to the urban poor in her church neighborhood. And the African-American Pastor asked about reaching out to Hispanics. The latter summarized stated well the question that I often receive.

Larry said, “In the past we have thought about starting an all Hispanic service once a month and bring in a Hispanic speaker to help connect us to this community.”

In my response (below) I outlined the six steps to the start-up planning for a new service. You can also find more about “worship services,” both their launch and their planning on this blog.


Hello Larry,

I think you have some good ideas about reaching out to the Hispanic community. However you may be getting the cart before the horse.

By starting with a worship service and bringing in an outside speaker, you coils be beginning an attractional model for which you don’t have any Spanish-speaking persons in the church to support.

Rather if you search on churchhealth.wiki about “person of peace” I describe a more indigenous approach.

Here Is the plan briefly:

1) You look for an emerging culture to which you can reach out.

That would be the Hispanic culture.

2) You begin looking for a “person of peace” in that culture.

This is someone similar to whim Jesus told the disciples to look for in Luke 10:1-12. This is a person of “shalom” (the Hebrew equivalent term) that is well regarded in the community and an influencer. They also are a person who builds compromise and peace among people with different viewpoints. You reach out to that person and begin to disciple them.

The Seventy Sent Out

10 Now after this the Lord appointed [a]seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no money belt, no [b]bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ If a [c]man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in [d]that house, eating and drinking [e]what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet [f]be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

3) Then when they are ready, you help  The person of peace start a small group Bible study (and which you help them launch)

4) Once you have a small group (up to about eight or 10 people) you explain to them their purpose is to take a few people from the existing group and start another small group. This creates a second small group of this emerging culture.

5) Finally once you have two small groups of about 8 to 10 people each (of this new culture), you offer to them the church building in which to launch and lead their indigenous worship service. They then come together and organize the worship service themselves (under your leadership, but with their aesthetics and speakers).

This way Larry you create an indigenous and organic new worship option that is based upon:

  1. Find an emerging culture,

  2. Connect and discipling a person of peace,

  3. Create a small group the person of peace leads,

  4. Start a second small group from members of the first small group,

  5. Then let them launch a worship service.

Speaking Hashtags: #Renovate16

CULTURES & An Emerging List of Cultures (and citations from my books)

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 1/29/15, excerpted from my books with page numbers and footnotes.


Ethnicity

Anglo (Change, 68)

Hispanic (Change, 68)

Latin American (Change, 51; Cure 34)

Hispanic American (Change, 51; Cure 34)

African American (Change, 51; Cure 34)

African American (Change, 51; Cure 34)

Native American (Change, 51; Cure 34)

Anglo American (Change, 51; Cure 34)


Generation

Generation Y (Change, 52; Cure 34)

Postmodern Generation X (Change, 63; Cure 34)

Leading Edge Generation X (Change, 53; Cure 34)

Builder (silent) generation (Change, 63,68; Cure 34)

Boomers (Change, 68; Cure 34)

Builders (Change, 52; Cure 34)


Socio-economic

Urban/poor (Cure 34)

Working class (Change, 51-52; Cure 34)

Middle class (Change, 51-52; Cure 34)

Capitalist (upper) class (Change, 51-52; Cure 34)


Affinity

Motorcycle riders (Change, 56; Cure 34)

NASCAR Nation (Change, 56; Cure 34)

Goths (Change, 57)

Cowboy churches (Cure, 34)

Emerging postmodern churches (Cure, 34)

Café Churches (Cure, 34)

Art churches (Cure, 34)

College Churches (Cure, 34)


Other

Ingrown and outgrown churches (Cure, 23)

General and demographic churches (Cure, 31-33)

Worship styles are varied (Change, 67)


Resources

Cure for the Common Church

Types of Cultures: Figure 2.2 pp. 34

Footnotes: Online in PDF Cure for Common Church http://www.wesleyan.org/cure

Preparing for Change Reaction

Chapter 3 (p. 49-57)

Footnotes: 1-13

  1. Here and throughout the book, I will use the customary congregational size designation as codified by Gary McIntosh in One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Bringing Out the Best in Any Size Church (Grand Rapids, Mich,: Revell, 1999), 17-19.
  2. The 2001 census in the United Kingdom created controversy when it listed the following ethnicities. These categories are reprinted there again, not to offend, but to demonstrate the broad range of possible designations and the difficulty in creating acceptable lists. Thus, the purpose of this list is simply to acquaint the reader with the immense variety (and potential controversy) of ethnic groupings.

White: British, White; Irish, White; Other

Mixed: White and black Caribbean, mixed; white and black African, Mixed; White and Asian, Mixed; Other

Asian: Indian, Asian; Sri Lankan, Asian; Pakistani, Asian; Bangladeshi, Asian; Other

Black or Black British: Black Caribbean, Black or Black British; Black African, Black or Black British; Other

Chinese or Other: Chinese, Chinese or Other; Other

  1. The World Factbook: CIA Edition (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books; rev. ed., 2006, CIA 2005 ed.).
  2. For the reader looking for a more in-depth analysis of socio-economic levels and their influence on behavior, consult David Jaffee’s books: Levels of Socioeconomic Development Theory (New York, Praeger, 1998) and Organization Theory (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001)
  3. Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, Studies in Social Discontinuity (Burlington, Mass.: Academic Press, 1980).
  4. Joseph V. Hickey and William E. Thompson, Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology, 5th (Boston, Mass.: Allyn and Bacon, 2004).
  5. See Bob Whitesel and Kent R. Hunter, A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps in Your Church (Nashville: Abingdon, 2001).
  6. For an extensive analysis on the distinguishing characteristics of each generation see Whitesel and Hunter, A House Divided and Gary McIntosh One Church, Four Generations: Understanding and Reaching All Ages in Your Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2002).
  7. Bob Whitesel, Inside the Organic Church: Learning from 12 Emerging Congregations ( Nashville, Abingdon, 2006), x-xii.
  8. Mike Yankoski, Under the Overapass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America ( Colorado Springs, Multnomah, 2005)
  9. Whitesel, Inside the Organic Church, x-xii, xxvii-xxxiii. For a detailed look at the postmodern Xer; fresh ideas for the church, as well as the differences between modernism and postmodernism, see Inside the Organic Church: Learning from 12 Emerging Congregations. x-xii, xxviii-xxxiii.
  10. Anonymous, Thunder Roads Magazine, vol. 5, no. 2 (2007): 5.
  11. For more on this innovative, growing evangelical church with the unlikely name, see the chapter dedicated to the church and what every church can learn in Whitesel, Inside the Organic Church, (76-87).

Organix

Does not have an explicit list of cultures (especially like the ones in Change an Cure). However, it does discuss “mosaic churches” on pp. 71-72 (footnote 39- 41 – see below) and 77-81 (footnotes 59-63, also see below).

Pages 71-72

  1. For more on these types of churches, see “Types of Multiracial Churches” in George Yancey’s One Body, One spirit: Principles of Successful Multiracial Churches.
  2. See Whitesel, “The New Network Approach”
  3. Ibid.

Pages 77-81

  1. Bob Whitesel, “Communicating the Good News Across Cultural Divides” in Preparing for Change Reaction: How to introduce Change in Your Church (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2008), 62-68.

60.Brian Schrag and Paul Neeley, eds., All the World Will Worship: Helps for Developing Indigenous Hymns (Duncanville, Tex.: EthnoDology Publications, 2007).

  1. C. Peter Wagner traces such blending through history as an “assimilationist model” that seeks “Anglo-conformity” in Our Kind of People: The Ethical Dimensions of Church Growth in America (Atlanta: John Knox, 1979), 45-49.
  2. Such committees might include trustees, financial, staff-parish (HR), and so on.
  3. Sociologists, however, refer to this as the “new pluralism” or “structural pluralism.” See Milton Gordon, “Assimilation in America,” Daedalus 90, no. 2 (1961): 263-85.

64.George G. Hunter III, The Contagious Congregation (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1979), 63.

  1. Mosaic is a term that has been applied to multiethnic churches largely due to the popularity of some megachurch models. See Erwin Raphael McManus, An Unstoppable Force: Daring to Become the Church God Had in Mind (Colorado Springs: Group Publishing, 2001).
  2. The melting pot imagery can be traced to Israel Zangwill’s popular play The Melting-Pot (1908) where the protagonist cries, “Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians – into the crucible with you all! God is making the American.” Quoted in Winthrop S. Hudson, ed., Nationalism and Religion in America: Concepts of American Identity and Mission (New York: Harper and Row 1970), 127. C. Peter Wagner, who wrote his dissertation on models of assimilation and pluralism, defined new pluralism as “a model in which America is seen as a nation that maintains group diversity within national unity.” Our Kind of People, 50.
  3. Nathan Moynihan and Daniel Patrick Glazer, Beyond the melting Pot (Boston: MIT Press, 1984).
  4. Indiana University scholar Gerardo Marti has written extensively on Mosaic Church in Southern California (led by Erwin McManus) and believes that its multi-ethnicity is produced in part by “playing down” ethnic differences and uniting around evangelicalism. For more on Marti’s analysis, see A Mosaic of Believers: Diversity and Innovation in a Multiethnic Church (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009).
  5. Wagner, Our Kind of People, 51.

Hashtags DMin

3-STRand LEADERSHIP & A Questionnaire to Discover Your Leadership Mix

by Bob Whitesel D.Min, Ph.D., 1/4/08. Adapted from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007.

Typically in our churches we have (three types of leaders):

Strategic Leaders.

They see the need and the future. They have a limited idea of how to get there, but they have been exposed to various models to accomplish change. However, strategic leaders do not typically have the patience to analyze, fine-tune, crunch-the-numbers, tweak, perfect, evaluate and adjust a strategy. Subsequently, strategic leaders often try to just apply (e.g. franchise) a strategy that has worked elsewhere. The strategic leader may purchase step-by-step manuals for relational leaders. And while this is a good starting place, because tactical leaders who can adjust the methodology for the church’s own unique scenario are not involved, the canned strategy is often abandoned with people saying “that doesn’t work here.” Again, the problem is not the strategic leaders or the relational leaders. They are both doing their jobs. The problem is created because an important linking and planning element of leaders is missing: the tactical leaders and their organizational skills.

Tactical Leaders

They then become our crucial … and missing link in effective change. If they are missing, change strategies are not adapted to the local context and the process is unorganized.  They are the key go-betweens among the strategic and relational leaders. Tactical leaders have the requisite skills of analysis, step-by-step planning, numbercrunching, and detail management to bring a change to fruition. This is the contribution of the tactical leaders.

Relational (formerly designated Operational) Leaders

In military jargon these are the “boots on the ground,” meaning the frontline workers who must adjust the tactics they are given. They are relational teams of workers, who derive much of their satisfaction from both their teammates and their visible accomplishments. Relational leaders may also volunteer to be tactical leaders, because relationships are so important to them they do not want to see the strategic leader in a quandary. They may say something like “Pastor, I know you are in a spot here. So I’ll help you out.” If a relational leader says this, interview that person and then if this relational leaders does not have the analytical, diagnostic and methodical skills to create and manage an elaborate plan, graciously decline their offer. To thrust relational leaders into tactical positions will frustrate them, and eventually due to their gracious and relational nature, they will quietly fade away from their failed tactical task.

Change is Difficult Because Tactical Leaders Are Missing

PreparingChange_Reaction_MdWhy then does change so often fail in congregations? It has been my observation that it is because strategic leaders (often pastors) try to orchestrate the tactical process. Often if a strategic leader in the role of a pastor or a department head tries to move the church forward with some change, the congregants will become frustrated because of a lack of precision in the plan. The plan to them will appear too nebulous and imprecise.

At the same time the strategic leader will expect the relationally-orientated leaders to create a plan. And though the relational leaders are the key to the success of the process, their emphasis upon relationships usually trumps their interest in the administrative details, budgeting, volunteer recruitment and evaluation that is required.

The answer is that change needs the critical link between strategic leader and relational leaders: tactical leadership. Therefore, to succeed with change, it is important that at the outset of this book the pastor look around him or her develop those tactical leaders who can map-out the change processes outlined in this book, and who will enjoy doing so.

Questions for Discovering YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE mix:

1. What kind of tasks do you enjoy?

(Circle only those letters that correspond to tasks you greatly enjoy.)

a.  Dreaming about the future.
b.  Preparing a budget.
c.  Getting to know a person you work with.
d.  Graphing on paper a new plan.
e.  Analyzing what when wrong with a past strategy.
f.   Creating a visual map of the planning process.
g.  Balancing your checkbook.
h.  Sharing about your family history.
i.   Reading books on new ideas.
j.   Attending seminars on creativity.
k.  Tackling a numerical problem.
l.    Reading books on history.
m.  Researching costs associated with a project.
n.   Creating a survey.
o.   Taking a survey.
p.   Leading under 12 people on a project.
q.   Recording the minutes of a meeting.
r.    Loading and adjusting new software on your computer.
s.   Designing ways to better communicate an idea.
t.    Relaxing by sharing with friends about hobbies.
u.   Relaxing by sharing with friends about what when wrong.
v.    Relaxing by dreaming with friends about new ideas.
w.   Working on a hobby with a few closer friends.
x.   You share your personal feelings easily with others.
y.   You share your new ideas easily with others.
z.   You like to get a job done with a minimum of fuss.

TOTAL BELOW:  For each letter you circled, put a check in the corresponding box below.  You may be primarily comfortable with a leader style associated with the box that contains the most checkmarks.

Relational Leaders most likely checked boxes: C, H, P, T, W, X, Z,

Tactical Leaders: B, D, E, F, G, K, M, N, Q, R, S, U

Strategic Leaders: A, I, J, L, O, V, Y

STO Leadership Questionaire TOTAL box copy

Adapted from Preparing for Change Reaction: How to Introduce Change in Your Church by Bob Whitesel (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007.  Download the entire chapter here >> BOOK BW EXCERPT CR Change Reaction Chpt.2 STO Leaders ©Dr.Whitesel

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether #SalvationCenterTX  #NewDirectionChurch STO STRand 3-STRand #STO  3-STRand   STRand   #ThinkTankOH  #TTOH   #3-STR #3-STRand. #TTIN

WESLEY & The Poor: “Put off the gentlewoman” & Experience First-hand the Poor

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min., Ph.D., 9/23/15.

An integral part of John Wesley’s “method” was to encourage wealthy people to first-hand experience the needs of the poor.  Here is his response to a wealthy woman who avoided the poor. Note the lessons (p. 782):

“I have found some of the uneducated poor who have exquisite taste and sentiment; and many, very many, of the rich who have scarcely any at all … the poorest of the poor, who, if they have not taste, have souls, which you may forward in their way to heaven.  And they have (many of them) faith, and the love of God, in a larger measure than any persons I know.”

He then exhorts the rich gentlewoman:

“Creep in among these, in spite of the dirt, and a hundred disgusting circumstances, and thus put off the gentlewoman.”

Then he concludes:

“Do not confine your conversation to genteel and elegant people.  I should like this well as you do: but I cannot discover a precedent of it in the life of our Lord, or any of his Apostles.  My dear friend, let you and I walk as he walked.”

Wesley was a firm believer in authentically and indigenously experiencing the poor in their surroundings.  He knew this would create a life-long solidarity with those in need.

Thus,

1) If you are one of my students or leading a team, ask yourself (and them): when is the last time you experienced first-hand the living conditions and spiritual sensitivity of the abject poor?

2) If you have not done so in the last four weeks, then plan to do so today!

3) And make this fellowship with the poor in their environments, a part of your spiritual formation (it was for followers of Wesley’s methods, who became know as “Wesleyans”).

John Wesley, “The Works of the Reverend John Wesley, A.M., New York: Emory and Wauch Publishers, 1831, p. 782

The full text of Wesley’s letter to Miss March, John Telford, ed., The Letters of John Wesley, A.M., 8 vols. (London: Epworth Press, 1931), 6:30-31 (retrieved from http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/the-letters-of-john-wesley/wesleys-letters-1776/)

Speaking hashtags: #BetterTogether


To Miss March

LONDON, February 7, 1776.

I have found some of the uneducated poor who have exquisite taste and sentiment; and many, very many, of the rich who have scarcely any at all. But I do not speak of this: I want you to converse more, abundantly more, with the poorest of the people, who, if they have not taste, have souls, which you may forward in their way to heaven. And they have (many of them) faith and the love of God in a larger measure than any persons I know. Creep in among these in spite of dirt and an hundred disgusting circumstances, and thus put off the gentlewoman. Do not confine your conversation to genteel and elegant people. I should like this as well as you do; but I cannot discover a precedent for it in the life of our Lord or any of His Apostles. My dear friend, let you and I walk as He walked.

I now understand you with regard to the Perronets; but I fear in this you are too delicate. It is certain their preaching is attended with the power of God to the hearts of many; and why not to yours Is it not owing to a want of simplicity ‘Are you going to hear Mr. Wesley’ said a friend to Mr. Blackwell. ‘ No,’ he answered, ‘ I am going to hear God: I listen to Him, whoever preaches; otherwise I lose all my labor.’

‘You will only be content to convert worlds. You shall hew wood or carry brick and mortar; and when you do this in obedience to the order of Providence, it shall be more profitable to your own soul than the other.’ You may remember Mr. De Renty’s other remark: ‘ I then saw that a well-instructed Christian is never hindered by any person or thing. For whatever prevents his doing good works gives him a fresh opportunity of submitting his will to the will of God; which at that time is more pleasing to God and more profitable to his soul than anything else which he could possibly do.’

Never let your expenses exceed your income. To servants I would give full as much as others give for the same service, and not more. It is impossible to lay down any general rules, as to ‘ saving all we can’ and ‘ giving all we can.’ In this, it seems, we must needs be directed from time to time by the unction of the Holy One. Evil spirits have undoubtedly abundance of work to do in an evil world; frequently in concurrence with wicked men, and frequently without them.

Speaking hashtags: #Kingwood2018 #DMin

WORSHIP & A Short Video on ‘Is There Such a Thing as Normal Worship?” NO.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This video was shared by one of my Wheaton College grad. students. (Don’t worry, I haven’t left Wesley Seminary at IWU.  I’m often a guest professor for Wheaton College).  This 4 minute video explains why having both separate and combined worship experiences is important. (For more on why both are necessary, download ‘Five Types of Multicultural Churches‘ from my book: The Healthy Church.

This video explains that asking ‘What is normal worship?’ is really the wrong question. Produced by InterVarsity’s Multiethnic Ministries this video ‘invites us into a journey of diverse worship by opening our eyes to our own worship home cooking.’

TEAMWORK & Keys to Developing Leaders When Your Team Grows Too Big

by Lighthouse: A Blog About Leadership & Management, 7/4/15.

…As your team grows, it becomes geometrically more complex to manage your team. As this image from StackOverflow below shows, every person you add to a team adds many more lines of communication, making everything harder for your team. developing leaders lines of communication stackoverflowAnd as a manager, you’re caught in the middle of this. As your team grows, there are more tasks to delegate and outcomes to manage, more communication issues to navigate, and more interests and motivations to consider. As those issues build up, it then becomes easy to have soft skills slip. Unfortunately, it’s exactly then, when you don’t give everyone the attention, feedback, and coaching they need, you all lose. Your team can easily slip into disorder or simply resentment for you as you break promises, forget what matters to them, and struggle under the growing stress.

The breaking point: 10-12 direct reports

We’ve had managers of all levels of experience and team size use Lighthouse to help them manage and motivate their teams and the common pattern we’ve seen is managers struggle most with more than 10-12 reports. It’s at 10-12 people that the complexity and demands become too great for even a well-trained, experienced manager. Just look at the diagram above and how a team growing from 6 to 10 people causes the lines of communication to grow from 15 to 45 (and 66 by employee #12!). But don’t take my word for it, here’s what some experts have said:

  • Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, has a “2 Pizza Rule” which really translates to ~8 people, since a pizza is normally cut into 8 slices and 2 slices per person is a reasonable amount.
  • Michael Lopp, author of Rands in Repose, uses the formula 7 +/- 3, which crucially takes into account how much time you could be committed to in 1 on 1s with everyone on your team.
  • Tomas Tunguz, VC at RedPoint Ventures deep dives into the concept from many sources to conclude “roughly 7″ and explores how “Span of Control” and “Span of Responsibility” impact it.

The consensus appears to be that double digit team sizes are generally a sign of trouble for a manager. So what do you do? Start developing leaders on your team.

Read more at … http://getlighthouse.stfi.re/blog/developing-leaders-team-grows-big/?sf=eyvzx

AFFILIATION & Research Discovers Top Reasons People Join & Leave a Church

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: This Pew research on Religion in Public Life find found that most young people leave their childhood religion sometime before the age of 24 … and most just drift away. The most commonly cited reason is that their “needs were not being met” or “likes and dislikes about practices and people” in the previous religious experience. This may indicate lack of need-meeting and/or cultural relevance leads to the majority of people who drift away. And, they do so in their youth and because of a lack of need-meeting and/or relevance in their childhood religious institutions.

by Pew Research, 4/27/09.

Americans change religious affiliation early and often. In total, about half of American adults have changed religious affiliation at least once during their lives. Most people who change their religion leave their childhood faith before age 24, and many of those who change religion do so more than once. These are among the key findings of a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. The survey documents the fluidity of religious affiliation in the U.S. and describes in detail the patterns and reasons for change. Read the full report: Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S. (April 27, 2009)…

One of the most striking findings from the 2007 Landscape Survey was the large number of people who have left their childhood faith. The 2007 survey found that more than one-in-four American adults (28%) have changed their religious affiliation from that in which they were raised…

Combined with the 44% of the public that currently espouses a religion different than their childhood faith, this means that roughly half of the U.S. adult population has changed religion at some point in their life.3

The survey finds that religious change begins early in life. Most of those who decided to leave their childhood faith say they did so before reaching age 24, and a large majority say they joined their current religion before reaching age 36. Very few report changing religions after reaching age 50…

The faith of most people who have changed religions was on the wane in the year or two prior to leaving their childhood religion, with few saying they had very strong faith during this time…

For instance, the most common reason for leaving Catholicism cited by former Catholics who have become Protestant is that their spiritual needs were not being met (71%). A similar number of former Catholics who have become Protestant say they left their former religion because they found another faith they liked more; nearly six-in-ten of those who changed denominational families within Protestantism also say this…

By contrast, those who have changed denominational families within Protestantism are much less likely to cite beliefs as the main reason for leaving their former religious group; the same is true for those who have become affiliated with a religion after having been raised unaffiliated. Instead, those changing within Protestantism tend to cite likes and dislikes about religious institutions, practices and people (32%) as the main reason for leaving their former faith. Life cycle changes also figure prominently for this group, with nearly three-in-ten mentioning marriage, family or other changes in their life as reasons for their departure from their childhood faith…

Chart Reasons for Leaving a Church copy

Read more at … http://www.pewforum.org/2009/04/27/interactive-reasons-for-joining-reasons-for-leaving/

CHANGE & The 4 Forces That Control Church Change #BobWhitesel #ChurchExecutiveMagazine

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., Church Executive Magazine, March 2010, pp. 21-22.

(Download the original article here:  ARTICLE_Four Forces-Whitesel (Church Executive Article)

CE Four Force Model p. 1Changing a Church is Challenging!

As a writer and professor of church management and growth, I have found that managing change is a daunting task for church leaders. Regrettably, in most seminaries, managing change is not taught. I thus began to plumb the depths of the mysterious workings of change in churches, and surprisingly I discovered that the process is not so mysterious nor unexamined.

A primary culprit for the failure of church change is because there are more forces pushing for change than church leaders usually recognize.   As a result most church change strategies are to narrow, because leaders usually address only one or two of the up to four forces that may be present.

Where did the Four Force Model come from?

Andrew Van de Ven and Marshall Poole are management researchers that have compiled an exhaustive study of organizational change (Poole and Van de Ven 2004). Based upon an analysis of hundreds of articles in prestigious management magazines and journals, they discovered that change theories revolve four forces that push or generate change (Poole and Van de Ven 1995).

These change forces are sometimes called “four basic motors of change” because they push an organization into change (Poole and Van de Ven 2004:6). Sometimes only one force is pushing for change, but often two, three or four forces combine to simultaneously push an organization through change. While Van de Ven and Poole noted the effect of the four forces upon theories of change, I have observed in my practice that these forces also give us clues to the tools that are necessary to help a church change.

Why are the four forces of change important?

If an organization, such as a church, is only addressing one or two forces pushing for change (the usual church strategy) and more forces are pushing for change (up to four), I believe that the change will be unsatisfying and incomplete. If not all of the forces pushing for change are addressed congregants can feel the change did not go far enough or address their concerns. Thus, church change is often inadvertently too narrow and rejected by congregants who feel there are other forces pushing for change. In my consulting practice, I have found that successful change strategies first discover how many forces are pushing your church toward change, and then use the appropriate tools to control each force that is present.

What are the four forces of change?

If we are to bring about healthy and unifying church change then all the forces pushing for change must be addressed. – Bob Whitesel

Van de Ven and Poole assigned technical names to these forces, which I have simplified for retention. I will first briefly describe each change force and then follow with examples of tools to control each.

Life Cycle Forces defined.

Life cycle forces are motors pushing for change because an organization is at a crisis point in its life cycle. This could be a church that has an aging congregation or a facility with a different ethnicity moving into the neighborhood. Churches that feel this force are often older congregants who are concerned that the church is not adequately reaching out to other cultures or generations. If a change strategy does not address their concerns about the longevity of the organization, they will not support the change for it does not address the force they feel pushing most robustly upon them.

Life Cycle Forces tools.

Tools to address life cycle forces usually involve crafting long-term plans for growth. This often begins with the “visioning” process. Subsequent tools include starting new services or ministries to reach new generations or cultures. This may require hiring staff from this new culture to help the church make the transformation into a new cultural life-cycle. Many church growth strategies address such life cycle forces.

Goal-oriented Forces defined.

Goal-orientated forces are powers that push for change because a goal has been created for the organization. This may be an attendance goal imposed upon the congregation by a denomination and/or the church leadership. BHAGS are management gurus Jim Collins and Jerry Porras’ way of fostering change with “Big Harry Audacious Goals” (Collins and Porras 2004).   Such goals often motivate leaders who see the bigger picture better than they see the mechanics of getting there. And, these forces may be generated by a personal vision or a biblical mandate (such as the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19). Goal-orientated forces are often associated with churches that are struggling to survive, mega churches or newly planted churches. While this force is often felt most acutely by top-level leadership, attendees often have trouble appreciating this force. This is because for many attendees there are other forces (such as life-cycle forces described above or dialectic forces below) that are more powerful.

Goal-oriented Forces tools.

Tools to address goal-orientated forces usually revolve around measurement and research. Donald McGavran, the father of the Church Growth Movement, said there is a “universal fog” in our churches that masks our appreciation for measurement (McGavran 1970). He also pointed out that there is no such reticence in the Bible. Thus, evaluation becomes an important tool for measuring goal-orientated progress and/or when a goal needs to be revamped. Though reaching goals is an important force pushing for change in churches, it is not the only force present. If leadership tries to motivate an entire congregation by goals alone, many congregants who are feeling the push of other change forces will deem the change insufficient and/or inauthentic.

Conflict-oriented Forces defined.

Conflict-orientated forces push a church toward change because there are opposing viewpoints in the congregation. Often this occurs when new concepts are introduced and they appear to conflict with previously held ideas. Needless to say many churches suffer from this. While churches comprehend that this is a widespread problem, my experience is that conflict resolution is poorly addressed in many congregations. My Ph.D. research revealed that conflict-resolution is even a weak area in church leadership writings. This omission may be because congregants feel that the church should be a peaceful place, and thus they often avoid conflict. But conflict is a powerful motor for those that feel conflicted or at odds with other attendees, and thus it too must be addressed.

Conflict-oriented Forces tools.

Tools to address conflict will be found in books and programs that foster conflict resolution. Compromise is the goal of these resources, but first each side must understand the other before they can find middle ground. Research has also shown that it is critical that church leaders go slow when introducing change until widespread clarity and some compromise has been accomplished (Starke and Dyck 1996; Dyck and Starke 1999). I have written an entire book on the six-steps of church compromise and how going too fast with new ideas usually dooms creative ideas (Whitesel 2003).

Trend-orientated Forces defined.

The reader must remember that most change is being pushed along by multiple motors at the same time, and thus an effective change strategy must be a collage of the tools listed. – Bob Whitesel

A final force often concurrently pushing for change is the trend-orientated force. This is a motor that drives change because some congregants want change because a new “trend” has evolved and appears to be working in other churches. Change proponents often push enthusiastically and unrelentingly for popular new ideas to be implemented. Often they do so without addressing the change forces pushing upon others (such as life-cycle or conflict-orientated forces). Thus, trend-orientated leaders are seen as dividing the congregation and/or not sensitive to the church’s unity and health.

Trend-orientated Forces tools.

The primary tools used to handle trend-orientated forces is to help all factions see that a popular program or strategy will only fix part of the problem, and that a successful approach must address all forces pushing for change.

Fashionable programs are usually beneficial, but are perceived by life-cycle and conflict-oriented leaders as incomplete or inauthentic. Another tool is to examine the trend carefully and adapt it to the local situation. Thus, leaders must slowly foster compromise, show how their strategy addresses the church life-cycle as well as demonstrates how a strategy can be measurable.

A collage of tools to address your four forces

There are three steps in holistic change. Step one is to determine which forces are pushing for change in your church. This inaugural steps means studying the above definitions with your leaders, reading appropriate books (see the endnotes) and using round-table discussions to create a list of the change forces evident in your church.

The second step is to list the change

Controlling Change

Step 1

Determine which of the four forces are pushing for change in your church.

Step 2

List the change forces by their relative strength.

Step 3

Create a collage of tools (from the lists in this article) to control all of the four forces pushing for change.

forces by their relative strength. Some forces will be pushing more forcefully, while others may be present but diminutive. The ranking is subjective, and thus it is important to get as many segments of the church involved as possible. Remember, some congregants may be ostracized or excluded from the leadership process, and yet they may be feeling the push of other forces. Thus, bring as many segments of the church as possible into this listing to ensure all forces pushing for change are identified and ranked.

Finally in step 3 create a collage of tools from the above lists to control change. Organization theorist Mary Jo Hatch believes most effective theories are “collages” or a patchwork of tactics (Hatch 1997). This is required because each local church is unique and the most effective strategies will be those adapted to all the forces present on the local level.

The future of changing churches: four force models.

Many books today are focused on encouraging church change. But few actually address how to do it. Yet, in my consulting practice I have noticed that it is not a desire to change that is missing, buy that most church leaders just don’t know “how” to create positive change. Understanding that there are often four forces pushing for change simultaneously, discovering the relative strength of each, and then combining tools to create a collage tactic are the first steps toward long-term and effective church change.

(The above was reprinted with permission from Church Executive Magazine.  Download the original article here:  ARTICLE_Four Forces-Whitesel (Church Executive Article)

Works Cited

Collins, Jim, and Jerry I. Porras. 2004. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. New York, NY: Collins Business.

Dyck, Bruno, and Frederick A. Starke. 1999. The Formation of Breakaway Organizations: Observations and a Process Model. Administrative Science Quarterly 44:792-822.

Hatch, Mary Jo. 1997. Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic and Postmodern Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McGavran, Donald A. 1970. Understanding Church Growth. rev. ed., 1980 ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Poole, Marshall Scott, and Andrew H. Van de Ven. 1995. Explaining Development and Change in Organizations. Academy of Management Review (20):510-540.

———, eds. 2004. Handbook of Organizational Change and Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Starke, Frederick A., and Bruno Dyck. 1996. Upheavals in Congregations: The Causes and Outcomes of Splits. Review of Religious Research 38:159-174.

Whitesel, Bob. 2003. Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change (And What You Can Do About It). Nashville: Abingdon Press.

MULTICULTURAL & 5 Models of Multicultural/Multiethnic Churches: A New Paradigm Evaluated & Differentiated

by Bob Whitesel, D.Min. Ph.D.

Published by The Great Commission Research Journal (La Mirada, Calif: Talbot School of Theology, Biola University), vol. 6, issue 1, 2014, pp. 22-35.

Abstract

This article puts forth a comprehensive and reconciliation-based paradigm through which to view multicultural congregations as one of five models or types. It updates the historical categories of Sanchez, adds contemporary models and then evaluates each through a 10-point grid of: nomenclature, mode of growth, relationships, pluses, minuses, degree of difficulty, creator complex, redistribution, relocation and reconciliation. The five models are: 1) the asset sharing Multicultural Alliance, 2) the collaborative Multicultural Partnership, 3) the asymmetrical Mother-Daughter model, 4) the popular Blended approach and 5) the Cultural Assimilation model. The result is a comprehensive five-model paradigm that includes an assessment of each model’s potential for spiritual and intercultural reconciliation.

Article

This article assesses the strengths and weaknesses of different multicultural[1] church models. Daniel Sanchez offered some of the earliest depictions of such models,[2] but 35 years later they beg to be updated. And despite the proliferation of books on the topic, no significant updating or additions to Sanchez’s categories have been offered other than the Sider et. al. partnership model.[3]

In addition, there is a vibrant discussion today regarding how John Perkins’ intercultural goals of redistribution, relocation and reconciliation are being addressed by churches.[4] Therefore, it can be helpful to assess how well different models of multicultural congregations are addressing each of Perkins’ intercultural reconciliation goals.

The following five models of multicultural congregations suggest a new and contemporized paradigm. I will analyze each through a 10-point grid of: nomenclature, mode of growth, relationships, pluses, minuses, degree of difficulty, creator complex, redistribution, relocation and reconciliation…

Download the full article here: ARTICLE ©Whitesel – GCRJ-Published Multicultural MODELS

[1] Though the term multiethnic church is often used today, I will use the broader term multicultural, since culture is a more accurate way to describe people who share similar behaviors, ideas, fashion, literature, music, etc. [c.f. Paul Hiebert, Cultural Anthropology, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1976), p. 25]. Ethnicity is a type of culture often based on biological connections to a geographic area of origin, such as Sri Lankans (from the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), Yemenis (from the Republic of Yemen) or Chinese (from the People’s Republic of China). But the term ethnicity is very imprecise, because there may be dozens of different ethnic groups that hail from the same area of origin. Since ethnicity is so imprecise, culture will be utilized in this article.

[2] Daniel Sanchez, “Viable Models for Churches in Communities Experiencing Ethnic Transition.” (paper, Pasadena, CA: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1976).

[3] Ronald J. Sider, John M. Perkins, Wayne L. Gordon, and F. Albert Tizon, Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2008).

[4] John M. Perkins, A Quiet Revolution: The Christian Response to Human Need, a Strategy for Today (Pasadena, CA: Urban Family Publications, 1976), p. 220.

This article is excerpted and reedited from The Healthy Church: Practical Ways to Strengthen a Church’s Heart (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2013).

VENUES & Nursing Homes Should Be The Next Church Venue According to #WesleySem Student & Nursing Home Director

by Wesley Seminary student Christopher Herman, MMLO41 Building a Multi-Generational Ministry Course, 2/3/2015.

Dr. Whitesel, I have seen that a sub-congregation in seed form already resides in nearly every U.S. nursing home – all 16,100 of them (CDC, 2013).  Yes! Yes! Yes!  Most churches should use nursing homes as a venue.

Nursing homes are prime locations for planting sub-congregations, especially low-income skilled nursing facilities financed primarily through Medicaid.  These are going to be the most common type, to be certain, because of the anticipated tripling of the U.S. elderly population, and quadrupling of the population over age 90 we can expect over the next 25 years (He & Muenchrath, 2011).  They are good places for “good deeds” but “good deeds” through occasional, intermittent entry into the facility are simply not enough to build relationships.  One of the charges the Bishop made when I was ordained was to the priesthood was to gather the scattered sheep of Christ Jesus in the midst of this sinful world.  I have been compelled by the Holy Spirit to search for them at a nursing home.  We found out over the years that the deliberate presence of people in the lives of people living in nursing homes is of paramount importance (after prayer).

I can say with confidence that I am an expert in this particular type of ministry – and I have seen many churches come and go, flashes in the pan, providing worship services for a time, but eventually leaving.  I think the reason could be that the leaders do not fully understand that the most important aspect of nursing home ministry is faithful presence through the whole process of arrival, orientation to the new culture, learning there is hope for the future and that life has not ended, and being invited to be part of the lives of fellow residents and the local expression of the Body of Christ in the place.  A sacramental approach to life, including Holy Communion, is helpful.  Clergy who rely upon oration alone are often frustrated because about half of the residents have dementia and are therefore unable to comprehend phrases longer than five words, let alone a whole sermon.  I have seen pastors try to minister but leave because nobody complimented their sermons.  Nursing homes need a different ministry emphasis, but any church can do this (Shamy, 2003).

A culture has to be established – the local Christians must unite, cross denominational lines, and impact the lives of others through loving God, one another, and their neighbors in the small world in which they live.  This sort of ministry cannot be done well with merely having an occasional worship service.  Those are not bad, but they are not what is really needed.  It takes years to gain the trust of the management, the staff, and the residents.  Most American churches are not willing to sacrifice for several years because it is not in our instant access cultural mindset to be faithful for long periods of time to build relationships in the community.  The payoff is huge, though, if we are faithful for longer periods of time.  I can go into the facility and go anywhere I desire, any time I want without any sort of escort, and anybody I endorse in that place is immediately given the same privileges because the management knows I have gone through the effort of checking peoples’ backgrounds, and I have vetted them carefully before endorsing their presence.  This is because there is trust.  Trust is like the oxygen in a relationship.  Once a church has trust in a venue, that church is very effective.  I know that more than half of the people who come into the facility we serve will either rededicate his or her life to Christ after as many as 70 years of estrangement, or seek to be baptized.  I have seen it happen hundreds of times, even in a facility with an average total population of only 81.

The answer to your question is YES!!  (I apologize for yelling, but I cannot stress this enough).  Yes sub-congregations can be developed.  I have seen it.  We have done it…Well, God did it and let us help.  Every church should adopt at least one nursing home, making it a venue.  I would give anything, anything to help large churches adopt several!  A nursing home is a prime venue for the Church of the 21st century if we can but see reality.  I am not exaggerating – before the end of this Century there will be more than 400 Million people who live in nursing homes (Vincent & Velkoff, 2010).  The Church is largely absent today.  Nursing homes want the support of churches and they will welcome us if we will but be faithful.

Yes, Dr. Whitesel, nursing homes should be a venue for most churches.

If anyone wants help doing this, we will give it.  We will support such endeavors with everything we have!  In all truth, my ministry exists to help the Church do this!

Thank you for your question, Dr. Whitesel.

Chris

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  (2013).  State of aging and health in America.  Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/features/agingandhealth/state_of_aging_and_health_in_america_2013.pdf

He, W., & Muenchrath, M. N. (November 2011).  90+ in the United States:  2006-2008 American community survey reports.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Shamy, E. (2003).  A guide to the spiritual dimension of care for people with Alzheimer ’s disease and related dementia: More than body, brain and breath.  Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Vincent, G., & Velkoff, V.  (May, 2010).  The next four decades: The older population in the United States: 2010 to 2050.  U.S. Census Bureau, Administration on Aging.  Retrieved from http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/(S(2ch3qw55k1qylo45dbihar2u))/Aging_Statistics/future_growth/DOCS/p25-1138.pdf