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.

MINISTERIAL CAREERS & Archbishop of Canterbury says pastors are ‘hard-working, normal people’ rather than ‘depressing’ depictions seen in TV dramas.

Rogues or idiots’: Justin Welby condemns TV portrayal of clergy.

by Harriet Sherwood, The UK Guardian Newspaper, 11/21.

… fictional depictions of vicars were “depressing”, Justin Welby told the National Farmers’ Union. Departing from the text of his speech, Welby said he had “got into” watching Clarkson’s Farm on television during the pandemic.

He told the audience: “Maybe for you watching Jeremy Clarkson feels a bit like for me watching anything with a vicar in it. Either you can’t stand it or you get completely addicted. I generally find depictions of vicars on TV to be depressing – they are portrayed as rogues or idiots … the reality is very different – it is actually of hard-working normal people, caring deeply about what they do and working all the hours there are to do it.”

Welby has said that being a parish priest, for seven years in rural Warwickshire, was the most stressful job he had done. He was ordained as a priest after 11 years working in the oil industry. “The hardest work I’ve ever done, and the most stressful, was as a parish priest – mainly because it was isolated, insatiably demanding and I was on the whole working without close colleagues – and that wears people down,” he told the Church of England’s General Synod in 2017

Read more at … https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/24/rogues-or-idiots-justin-welby-condemns-tv-portrayal-of-clergy?

MINISTERIAL CAREERS & Archbishop of Canterbury says pastors are ‘hard-working, normal people’ rather than ‘depressing’ depictions seen in TV dramas.

Rogues or idiots’: Justin Welby condemns TV portrayal of clergy.

by Harriet Sherwood, The UK Guardian Newspaper, 11/21.

… fictional depictions of vicars were “depressing”, Justin Welby told the National Farmers’ Union. Departing from the text of his speech, Welby said he had “got into” watching Clarkson’s Farm on television during the pandemic.

He told the audience: “Maybe for you watching Jeremy Clarkson feels a bit like for me watching anything with a vicar in it. Either you can’t stand it or you get completely addicted. I generally find depictions of vicars on TV to be depressing – they are portrayed as rogues or idiots … the reality is very different – it is actually of hard-working normal people, caring deeply about what they do and working all the hours there are to do it.”

Welby has said that being a parish priest, for seven years in rural Warwickshire, was the most stressful job he had done. He was ordained as a priest after 11 years working in the oil industry. “The hardest work I’ve ever done, and the most stressful, was as a parish priest – mainly because it was isolated, insatiably demanding and I was on the whole working without close colleagues – and that wears people down,” he told the Church of England’s General Synod in 2017

Read more at … https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/nov/24/rogues-or-idiots-justin-welby-condemns-tv-portrayal-of-clergy?

HIRING & Researchers find interviews are useless, unless you test candidates on the actual skills and competencies required to do the job. Here is how. #ShowDontTell #IncMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I spent many years on search committees in higher education. I’ve since discovered that one of the most important tools to ask potential candidates is to actually create a syllabus for a course they might teach. Many candidates may not know how to create a syllabus, but they can research it and create one.

By doing this, they show that they would be able to find information for which they did not yet have experience. And, the resultant syllabus will show the quality of their thinking.

This approach, what the author in the article below calls “show, don’t tell,” helps compensate for applicants that are good talkers or any biases of the selection committee. Read the article below about how Thomas Edison utilized a similar aspect when interviewing potential research assistants.

Thomas Edison Made Job Applicants Eat Soup in Front of Him. It Sounds Crazy But Modern Science Suggests He Was on to Something

by Jessica Stillman, Inc. Magazine, 1/12/21.

… First off, it’s important to know that study after study shows that interviews as they’re usually conducted are pretty close to useless. Asking people questions (even expert-recommended behavioral or hypothetical questions) tends to advantage slick talkers over the actually competent (though there are some tricks to minimize this effect). Interviewers are also notoriously swayed by biases and irrelevant details of self presentation.

What does modern science suggest instead? Perhaps not so surprisingly, just testing candidates on the actual skills and competencies required to do the job. A trial assignment, sample work project, or domain specific test far outperform just talking with candidates about their previous work experience, character, and goals.

Show, don’t tell.

… If you want to really understand who candidates are and what they can do, design ways to observe them solving relevant problems. You’ll always get a better sense of a person based on what they do than on what they say.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/hiring-job-interviews-thomas-edison.html

RESIGNATIONS & The top five predictors of attrition and four actions managers can take in the short term to reduce attrition. #MIT #SloanSchoolOfBusiness

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Many of these predictors (discovered in an extensive study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology M.I.T.) are similar to pressures that come to bear when leaders leave the church. Read on to learn more.

By Donald Sull, Charles Sull and Ben Zweig, MIT Sloan Management Review, 1/11/22.

… To better understand the sources of the Great Resignation and help leaders respond effectively, we analyzed 34 million online employee profiles to identify U.S. workers who left their employer for any reason (including quitting, retiring, or being laid off) between April and September 2021.3

…Let’s take a closer look at each of the top five predictors of employee turnover.

Toxic corporate culture. A toxic corporate culture is by far the strongest predictor of industry-adjusted attrition and is 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover. Our analysis found that the leading elements contributing to toxic cultures include failure to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; workers feeling disrespected; and unethical behavior…

Job insecurity and reorganization. In a previous article, we reported that job insecurity and reorganizations are important predictors of how employees rate a company’s overall culture. So it’s not surprising that employment instability and restructurings influence employee turnover.9 ..

High levels of innovation. It’s not surprising that workers leave companies with toxic cultures or frequent layoffs. But it is surprising that employees are more likely to exit from innovative companies. In the Culture 500 sample, we found that the more positively employees talked about innovation at their company, the more likely they were to quit. The attrition rates of the three most innovative Culture 500 companies — Nvidia, Tesla, and SpaceX — are three standard deviations higher than those in their respective industries. 

Staying at the bleeding edge of innovation typically requires employees to put in longer hours, work at a faster pace, and endure more stress than they would in a slower-moving company. The work may be exciting and satisfying but also difficult to sustain in the long term…

Failure to recognize performance. Employees are more likely to leave companies that fail to distinguish between high performers and laggards when it comes to recognition and rewards. Companies that fail to recognize and reward strong performers have higher rates of attrition, and the same is true for employers that tolerate underperformance. The issue is not compensation below market rates, but rather recognition — both informal and financial — that is not linked to effort and results. High-performing employees are the most likely to resent a lack of recognition for their results, which means that companies may be losing some of their most productive workers during the Great Resignation.

Poor response to COVID-19. Employees who mentioned COVID-19 more frequently in their reviews or talked about their company’s response to the pandemic in negative terms were more likely to quit. The same pattern holds true when employees talk more generally about their company’s policies for protecting their health and well-being.

What can managers do to offset these forces? Read prescriptive solutions here … https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/toxic-culture-is-driving-the-great-resignation/

HIRING & Elon Musk’s Brilliant Hiring Strategy Uses The ‘2 Hands Test’–Instead of Degrees. #IncMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: The first consultation I ever conducted (over 30 years ago) was to help an embattled pastor transition out of a church that wanted to fire him. I was successfully able to do this and not surprisingly afterwards most of my clients were pastors or churches who needed or wanted to transfer.

As a result, I’ve been interested in pastoral transitions since a majority of my consultations over three decades may have been involved coaching ministerial transitions.

Two things I have found and utilized while serving as a senior member of a seminary faculty was 1. An applicant should have hands on experience. 2. Hands-on testing, whereby the applicant should be able to create something (e.g. a syllabus or preaching series).

To my surprise, Elon Musk uses the same formula. Check out this article for more details.

How Tesla and SpaceX discover top talent through this expertly-engineered process

by Kelly Main, Inc. Magazine, 1/11/21.

…Musk holds his conviction that skills matter more than degrees. In doing so, his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, attract and retain some of the brightest minds of our time from across the globe-no degree required. But the hiring process does require two things, which comes down to one thing: the ‘Two Hands Test.’

1. First-hand experience… In other words, education is not limited to what is taught within the walls of a classroom, but what is learned through first-hand experiences. And because of this, first-hand experience is sought as means of discovering talent with deep knowledge.

2. Hands-on testing … Sure, a job interview is a test, but rather than actually examining a candidate’s capabilities, many companies simply work to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge. However, this is a fatal flaw as there is a major difference between memorizing and parroting information and actually understanding how something works. To overcome this challenge, put candidates to the test with highly relevant hands-on testing.

To test candidates effectively, give tests (e.g., a task or assignment) that most closely matches what the role itself may encounter. To yield an accurate measurement of one’s ability to effectively perform the position’s tasks, be sure that the test’s scope is limited to the resources necessary to perform said test or task.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/kelly-main/elon-musks-brilliant-hiring-strategy-uses-2-hands-test-instead-of-degrees.html