POSTMODERN LEADERSHIP & Pastor Gordon pleads to not be fired

by Bob Whitesel, excerpted with permission by ChurchCentral.com from ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon, 2011).

At the weekend retreat, an elder of Clarkston Church drew me aside.

“We’ve decided to call for Pastor Gordon’s removal.  This weekend has been one long sales job.  He’s trying to get us to buy his vision for a new building.” As I thought back to my two years working as a consultant with this church, I marveled how quickly things had changed.

Two years ago Gordon was fresh out of seminary and tapped to lead this growing congregation.  He was formerly a successful businessman, and I remember the passion he brought to his new pastoral vocation.

Two years later the enthusiasm was gone, replaced by a spirit of pessimism.  “They wanted me to change things,” recalled Gordon. “But, they’ve got their own unrealistic ideas about how things should be done.  They don’t have the training.  I do!”

Later a board member told me, “We feel that Gordon won’t support our ideas to help townspeople.  We’re the poorest area in the county, and Gordon just wants to build a new sanctuary. He’s afraid the new building won’t be built if we spend our money to help the needy here in Clarkston.  He doesn’t listen to our input.  But, we are more familiar with what people need around here, because we live here.  And he still doesn’t.”

The next day Gordon confided to me, “Look Bob, I’ve got three years until I can retire with some denominational benefits.  No one wants to hire a pastor my age.  So help me convince my board to do things my way for just three more years.  Then I can retire.  The church can hire someone else to beat up, and everyone will be happy.”

Gordon didn’t have three years.  He barely had three months.

What Gordon didn’t realize was his leadership style, while valid for his generation, was alienating younger generations.

As I began studying churches that were growing with young people, I noticed how the leaders acted in healthy churches with people under 35 years of age.  I characterize them by seven symbols, where each represents a leadership change needed to lead a healthy church today:

  • O   (the Greek symbol theta) – the first letter of the Greek word theos stresses that God is the source of the burden for others and provides the power to help them.
  • Rx (the medical prescription symbol) – an emphasis on addressing the spiritual and physical health of leaders.
  • (a stylized “G” for “graffiti”)– the edgy, colorful, and artful collages that help define contemporary organizations.
  • (inspired by the recycle symbol) – the idea of recycling places, experiences and people rather than discarding them.
  • – emerging networks that connect people more quickly, efficiently, precisely and continuously.
  • – an emphasis on “incarnation”, a going “in the flesh” to serve others rather than sending surrogates.
  • (the Jerusalem cross with a number in each quadrant) – four types of measurement observed in Jerusalem (Acts 2:42-47), which at their core point to Christ’s work on the cross.

Read the original article at … http://www.churchcentral.com/blogs/staying-power-pastor-gordon-pleads-to-not-be-fired/

ATTRACTION or INCARNATION & An Introduction to Church Refugees #JohnHawthorne

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “In my book ‘ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church’ (Abingdon) one of the 8 signs is that Christians are rejecting the entertainment-emphasis of churches and instead preferring churches that create community through small groups, huddles, clusters and other sub-congregations. Test how you are doing, by asking yourself, ‘How much time this week have I spent preparing for the Sunday service and how much time have I spent creating community through small groups, clusters, huddles, etc?’ If you need ideas read this article and the book ‘Church Refugees.’ And then take a look at one of my three books that address this: ‘ORGANIX,’ ‘Cure for the Common Church,’ and especially the chapter on ‘small groups’ in ‘The Healthy Church’.”

An analysis of the book “Church Refugees” by John Hawthorne, Pathos, 6/15.

Amazon.comI was excited to receive this book by Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope. It is a sociological report on The Dones: people who have been active in church life but have removed themselves from the institutional church.

I first became aware of this phenomenon two years ago thanks to some blog posts by Michelle Van Loon reporting on church decline among those over 40. I returned to the topic the beginning of this year when I became aware of some preliminary data from Josh.

Using a combination of sampling methods, Josh and Ashley were able to collect detailed qualitative data on over 100 individuals. He told me in an e-mail that sometimes all he had to do was say “hello” and the stories would pour out.

The Dones shared a number of characteristics. They had all been heavily involved in church life, some in official staff positions. They loved the church enough to be committed to seeing it become all it had the potential of being. But the costs of keeping up that energy against institutional structures eventually become too high.

There are several shared characteristics that cut across their stories.

High on the list is a desire for community. The Dones (which they also call the Dechurched) wanted their churches to be places where people connected in meaningful ways. This was more than just small group programs with defined curriculum but was the place where people actually connected. That community was important is evidenced by the ways they tried to reconstruct community in non-church settings after they were Done…

Read more at … http://www.patheos.com/blogs/workcited/2015/06/how-to-really-understand-the-pewreport-church-refugees-by-josh-packard-and-ashleigh-hope/

GENERATIONS & An Online Test To Help You Discover With Which Generation You Identify

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  “I am one of those people who feel a sense of call to minister to Gen. X and Millennials (I even wrote a book on Millennial Leadership called ORGANIX.)

In fact I took this online test to see which generation I identified.  And, I identified almost equally with Generation X and the Millennials.

Check out the survey here:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2174636/Which-Gen-Am-I-When-I-Work-copy

MEASUREMENT & A Reliable, Valid Tool to Measure Church Growth/Health #HouseDividedBook

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 6/12/15.

Church leaders usually want to apply quantitative evaluation of growth … that means using verifiable numbers and not anecdotal observations.  But most don’t know where to start.

In four of my books I have updated and modified a church measurement tool.  You will find a chapter on measurement in each of these books:

Cure for the Common Church, (Wesleyan Publishing House), chapter “Chapter 6: How Does a Church Grow Learners,” pp. 101-123.
> ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 8: Measure 4 Types of Church Growth,” pp. 139-159.
> Growth By Accident, Death By Planning (Abingdon Press), “Chapter 7: Missteps with Evaluation,” pp. 97-108/
> A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press), “Chaper 10: Evaluate Your Success,” pp. 202-221.

I explain that church growth involves four types of congregational growth.  It is a seriously incorrect assumption to assume church growth is all about numbers.  It is only 1/4 about numbers and 3/4 about the other types of growth mentioned in Acts 2:42-47.  In the New Testament we find…

> Maturation Growth, i.e. growth in maturity, Acts 2:42-43.
> Growth in Unity: Acts 2:44-46.
> Growth in Favor, i.e. among non-Christians, Acts 2:47a.
> Growth in number of salvations, i.e. which God does according to this verse, Acts 2:47b.

To become more acquainted with these “church metrics” start by focusing on the first “Maturation Growth.”

In my first book, A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gaps In Your Church (Abingdon Press) I created a chart for computing a “Composite Maturation Number (CMN).

CLICK HERE >> BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – HOUSE DIVIDED Chpt.10 Evaluation << to download the chapter from that book (not for public distribution). Then apply Figure 10.1 titled “How to Compute Your Composite Maturation Number (CMN)” to your organization.

You will be surprised how easy and helpful it is to start tracking your church’s progress in Christ-like maturity.  And, this exercise will give you another tool to measure growth and maturation in your congregation.

Remember, if you are only measuring growth in numbers, you may be missing growth (or lack thereof) in the other three (3) critical areas of growth that God desires for His church.

HD_Sm_PixGBA_Med1Organix_final.aiCureForCommonChurch

Speaking Hashtags: #BreakForth16 MDIV500

TEAMWORK & What Makes an Organization “Networked”? #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “People usually misunderstand the meaning of an organizational “network.” I’ve written a chapter about this in my book ORGANIX (Abingdon Press). But General Stanley McChrystal in his new book “Team of Teams” emphasizes that in the new “networked organization” we should create small informal networks that can morph and be ended as needed. These team-nets (my term) can be added to your existing organizational structure. General McChrystal created these teams among his fighting forces without changing the Army’s organizational structure. This means the “new network organization” creates short term task-forces or team-nets that organically get things done without changing the organizational structure. This is the same tactic I advocate we embrace in the church. For more on these new networks see this article in Harvard Business Review.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/06/what-makes-an-organization-networked

CHURCH PLANTING & How Conflict Avoidance Often Leads to Church Planting

by Bob Whitesel, 3/10/15.

The following are notes gleaned from my consultative work, where I have found avoidance of conflict to be one of the main struggles among pastors of churches that are stalled in growth in the medium and large size ranges.  Interviewing staff, key volunteers and board members I have noticed the following five (5) results often emerge when leaders avoid conflict.

Outcomes when senior leadership avoids conflict:

1.)  Conflict avoidance often leads to burnout in the leader. This is because the repression of stress creates internal turmoil in the leader which does not get resolved. It usually simmers under the surface until an alarm event (Whitesel, 2002, p. 94ff) pushes it to the front. The leader has repressed it so long the leader will often overact and congregants/staff will wonder why the leader is so upset. The level of irritation is often so great that sides will be formed (Whitesel, 2002, p. 109ff).

2.)  Conflict avoidance often leads to a great deal of external church planting (you will see shortly that because conflict avoidance is the rationale, these plants aren’t often given a healthy start). The senior leader avoids conflict for so long, that staff who are in conflict with him/her wind up leaving the church to plant another church. The planting of the church is actually a conflict avoidance behavior by the senior leader and planter, for in the name of multiplication this tactic distances discordant and innovative ideas from the mother church. The result is that churches become mono-cultural congregations, while at the same time feeling self-satisfied that they are planting churches (Whitesel, 2011, p. 61ff).  But, often the plant becomes mono-cultural too because the avoidance of conflict is a behavior the planted pastor has seen modeled for her/him and often adopts as a coping mechanism as well (Whitesel, 2007).

3)  Conflict avoidance often creates an uncomfortable staff relationship with the senior shepherd, because they don’t know how or when to address conflict. Often the senior leader will cancel or postpone meetings with staff, if the leader perceives it might involve conflict. Inside the leader may be thinking, “If I cancel this meeting the conflict will get resolved after the person has had time to think about it.” As a result, the staff will feel at the best disregarded and as the worst detached. The result is turnover among staff who are innovators and entrepreneurs.

4)  Conflict avoidance results in the staff who remain in the conflict avoidance environment are often those who are accommodators, usually with a high degree of tactical or operational leadership style. The strategic leaders, who are usually those that help churches grow and help the church diversify by reaching out to varying cultures, will go elsewhere. The result is that churches have only a few strategic thinkers, are more mono-cultural and are not able to diversify by reaching multiple cultures at the same time.

5)  Finally conflict avoidance often leads to a less innovative and cohesive personality for the organization.  Outsiders get the impression that change proponents leave that church and entrepreneurs are stifled there.

But, in most of the circumstances above the senior leader is well liked. In my case study research, the more a leader is liked, the more apt that leader is to be a conflict-avoider.  Subsequently, they may be popular among other leaders and asked to share their insights into church growth.  Most of that insight will have to do with planting churches.  But, if you talk to the pastors of many of those plants, as I have, you will find that they feel leaving the mother church was the best way to avoid an awkward situation where conflict was avoided.

Thus,

>  His/her avoidance of conflict creates an “uncomfortable” and “awkward” feeling among the staff when they are in conflict with the leader’s ideas.

> So, because the senior shepherd is well liked, the creative person will usually try to graciously distance themselves by going elsewhere.

> And, a new plant is launched – but with a wrong motivation and the wrong coping-mechanisms for handing conflict.

Thus, we can see from such case studies, that conflict avoidance can lead to a proliferation of small/weak daughter churches, less diverse mother churches and less satisfied work environments.

FOR FURTHER READING:

Whitesel, B. (2002). Staying power: Why people leave the church over change and what you can do about it. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

__________ (2007). Preparing for change reaction: How to introduce change in your church. Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House.

__________ (2011). ORGANIX: Signs of leadership in a changing church. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

MILLENNIALS & Detached from Institutions, Networked with Friends

by Pew Research, 3/15/14.

Graphic shows that among Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers, and Silents, Millennials are more politically independent and more religiously unaffiliated.The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood. Now ranging in age from 18 to 331, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future.

They are also America’s most racially diverse generation. In all of these dimensions, they are different from today’s older generations. And in many, they are also different from older adults back when they were the age Millennials are now…

Read more at … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/03/07/millennials-in-adulthood/

MULTIPLICATION & Why Unity Celebrations Are a Critical in a Good Multiplication Strategy

The more we talk about multiple worship options (multi-site, -venue and -campus) the more important unity services become. In fact, I have found that unity services can be an important tool in every size of church, but in the largeer church hosting them becomes exponentially challenging.

Finding a facility for a unity celebration is the first big hurdle. For a large church one idea is that perhaps a city auditorium or even a tent is the answer.  I know Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa CA grew to over 10,000 in a tent (in sunny So. Cal. 🙂  For medium to smaller churches, it might be a local theatre, community room, or school auditorium.

The second issue might be timing.  St. Thomas’ Church in Sheffield England had nine different Sunday worship encounters, each focused on reaching a different culture (Connect = a sub-congregation for young adults, Encompass = several sub-congregations for specific neighborhoods,  Expression = a sub-congregation for college students, Radiate = a sub-congregation for young professional adults, Forge = a sub-congregation for inner city poor, etc. – see Whitesel, Inside the Organic Church, 2006, p.6).  But, to unite these nine different worship celebrations, St. Tom’s has a united worship expression each Sunday evening at 7 PM.  And, each week a different sub-congregation leads the unity service.

The third issue is what is the “goal” or “purpose” of a unity service.  Too often unity celebrations seem self-serving, i.e. “Hey, look at our size!”  Rather, they should be opportunities for you to accomplish a goal (one church held a unity service to “pray” for 9/11, when it would have been easier to just meet at their various venues).  If you can establish a goal that a combined group can address better than smaller individual ones (such as taking a stand on a social issue, etc) then a unity service will make more sense and be better attended.

Next, publicity has to be handled right.  The attendees should understand upfront that great hassles will be encountered in a unity gathering due to the combined size factor, the convenience factor (non-convenient times), and the locale factor (not the usual venue).

And finally, a unity service must have success in developing unity among the attendees. Thus this is the time to:

  • give your strategic long-term plans,
  • to celebrate the mosaic of cultures you have in your church
  • and to give people a glimpse of the future.

Usually in such scenarios unity results (after all that’s why we call it a unity service).  Remember, as we prepare to measure four types of church growth, one of those types has to do with “growing in unity” (Acts 2:45). The unity service may not be feasible nor desirable everywhere, and it is certainly a challenge to bring off; but if you are measuring your Unity Growth and it is not increasing, then a unity service may be a missing part of your church health puzzle.

IHealthy Church Cover smn fact, in my book The Healthy Church (2013) I dedicated a whole chapter on ways to turn yearly events into “unity building” events. In fact some of the examples were given by my colleagues and students from around the nation.

In fact, here is that chapter (not for public distribution, so if it helps then consider buying the book).  Take a look at some ideas in the attachment.
BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – HEALTHY CHURCH Unity Events

SOCIAL MEDIA & 10 Surprising Social Media Strategies

By Belle Beth Cooper, BufferSocial, 7/16/14

1. The fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket.

… Rethink it: Keep older users in mind when using social media, particularly on these three platforms. Our age makes a difference to our taste and interests, so if you’re focusing on younger users with the content you post, you could be missing an important demographic.

2. 189 million of Facebook’s users are ‘mobile only’

Rethink it: There are probably more users accessing Facebook from mobile devices than you thought. It’s worth considering how your content displays on mobile devices and smaller screens before posting it, particularly if your target market is full of mobile users.

3. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18–34 than any cable network

Rethink it: If you’ve been putting off adding video to your strategy, now’s the time to give it a go. You could start small with simple five minutes videos explaining what your company does or introducing your team. Source: jeffbullas.com

4. Every second 2 new members join LinkedIn

Rethink it: LinkedIn is definitely worth paying attention to. In particular, this is a place where you may want to focus more on new users. Making your group or community a great source of information and a newbie-friendly space can help you to make the most out of the growing user base.

5. Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the web

Rethink it: Putting time and effort into your social media strategy clearly makes sense in light of these stats. If you weren’t already serious about social media, you might want to give it a bit more of your time now.

6. LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+, Twitter and Facebook

Rethink it: If you’re hoping to get people involved, think about which platforms are best for that. Looking at the latest Twitter statistics and Facebook statistics, these platforms might be a better place for your contest or survey, while passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience. Source: jeffbullas.com

7. 93% of marketers use social media for business

… Rethink it: If you’re struggling to make your strategy work, or you just want some advice, you don’t have to go it alone. If 93% of marketers are using social media for business, you can probably find someone to give you a hand. Source: Social Media Video 2013

8. 25% of smartphone owners ages 18–44 say they can’t recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them

… Rethink it: While you can reach people almost anytime, since they have their smartphones with them almost always, this also means you can interrupt pretty much any part of their lives. Don’t forget that having a phone in your pocket all the time isn’t the same as being available all the time. Source: marketingprofs.com

9. Even though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger

Rethink it: If you don’t have (or can’t afford) a full-time blogger for your business, be aware that having a content strategy that requires consistently posting on your blog will mean a lot of work for your marketing team and/or other team members in your company to keep up that volume. Source: factbrowser.com 1 and 2

10. 25% of Facebook users don’t bother with privacy settings

Rethink it: Assuming that all of your customers are thinking along the same lines could be a big mistake. Especially if you’re basing that on what you’ve heard or read in the tech news. Remember that your customers might have very different priorities than what you expect. Source: velocitydigital.co.uk

Read more here … https://blog.bufferapp.com/10-surprising-social-media-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-strategy

INCARNATIONAL vs. ATTRACTIONAL & What Is the Difference? #ORGANIXbook

by Bob Whitesel (excerpted from ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, Abingdon Press, 2011, pp. 121-137)

I is for “Incarnation”

Latin: in (into)- + carn- (flesh) + -ation (to become, to transform)[i]

Incarnation describes how God sent his Son Jesus to earth “in the flesh” or “in person” (John 1:14, Col. 2:9) in lieu of sending a surrogate (such as an angel) or just speaking through a prophet as he had done in Old Testament times. Scholar N. T. Wright says that this incarnation “…implies that God wants to make his presence felt around the place, and he may well want to do so especially where people are trying to run things their own way and making a mess of it.”[ii]

The incarnation is an important subject for it reminds us that God is a “missionary God,”[iii] coming to humanity to restore fellowship between himself and his offspring. Though there are many attributes to God’s incarnation there are four aspects on which we shall focus:

  1. God went himself to earth. He did not send a surrogate. (John 1:14, Msg.).

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son .

  1. God in the form of Jesus came to explain himself to us in a personal manner, with face-to-face dialogue (John 14:6-7, Msg.)

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”

  1. God wishes the result of this encounter to be a reconnection of people to God (2 Cor. 5:18-19, Msg.)

All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.

  1. God wishes his followers to participate in his mission and tell others about his offer of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20, Msg.)

God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

The following sections compare how modern and millennial leaders differ in their approaches to telling others about God’s mission.

3 Perils of Modern Leadership Regarding: “Incarnation”

Modern Leadership Millennial Leadership
Send others. Go in person.
Teaching is one-sided and directive. Teach and be taught.
Gathering is an “attractional” event. Gathering is a supernatural encounter.

DOWNLOAD the chapter here >>> ORGANIX Chpt. 7 INCARNATION Pg121-138

[i] Carlton T. Lewis, Latin Dictionary (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 112.

[ii] N. T. Wright, Incarnation and Establishment, sermon, (Durham, UK: Cathedral Church of Christ, Dec. 25, 2008).

[iii] David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in the Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 19910, p. 390.

FAILURE & What Often Causes Great Leaders to Fall #David #ORGANIXbook

by Bob Whitesel, 10/20/14

Let’s look at a great man of God at one of his lowest points. David was king of all Israel. A major player in Near Eastern politics, David commanded the greatest kingdom Israel was ever to know in ancient times. And David was a man especially sensitive to God, who the Bible calls “a man after God’s own heart.”

But this doesn’t mean David wasn’t immune to stumbling and making a colossal error. Let’s read the story and see if we can see where David started his subtle slide into sin.

“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” 2 Samuel 11:1-5

Did you notice the story started out by saying that this happened “in the spring, at the time when kings go off to war…?” Knowledge of ancient warfare throws light on the story. Spring was the usual time for campaigning, and the king always led his men. But we find David idling away in the palace, dodging his duties. And then when he sees Bathsheba, he seems to think as the king he ought to have anything he desires. And later when she conceives, he will resort to murder and eventually a cover-up to hide his sin.

How did such a spiritually dynamic man (he wrote many of the Psalms) fall so far … so fast? There are many factors, but perhaps one is that he started with little sins and then graduated slowly to bigger and bigger sins. First it was just the small sin of not doing his duty (to lead his men), then it was the sin of covetousness (thinking he could have whatever he wanted), then it was adultery (probably thinking “hey, we’re in love… it must be okay”), and so on and so on.

Let this story be a reminder to all of us that the slope into sin is slippery. And once we start sinning (or sliding) it is hard to stop. Decide to stop sin in its tracks when it first appears. Be at the right place, at the right time and avoid even little sins that can lead us down a slippery slope toward sins we never imagined.

GENERATIONS & How Millennial Are You? Take the Quiz!

by Pew Research Center

millennials-quiz-logo-medium.gif

Take our 14 item quiz and we’ll tell you how “Millennial” you are, on a scale from 0 to 100, by comparing your answers with those of respondents to a scientific nationwide survey. You can also find out how you stack up against others your age.

Begin Quiz →http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/how-millennial-are-you/

Read the report: The Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change.

Visit the project: Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next.

Read more at … http://www.pewresearch.org/quiz/how-millennial-are-you/

VISION & Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine in 4 Steps

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Traditional, and increasingly less effective change theory, says you “invoke authority” to bring about change (see Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: the psychology of persuasion (2006). However recent research has shown that this does not work today (ORGANIX: Signs of leadership in the changing church, 2010). Harvard Business Review research suggests four elements for bringing about change without having to ‘invoke authority’.”

1) Incremental improvement which can be easily grasped, it is not is threatening. So start with small changes.

2) Give a demonstration on a small scale, so people can see firsthand the benefits.

3) Do a pilot project. Even though the change may need to be permanent, doing a small pilot project with an end date can help people understand it’s value.

4) Inevitability. If the change is inevitable then consistently yet slowly make this argument. See my book Staying power: Why people leave the church over change and what you can do about it (2002) and Preparing for change reaction: How to introduce change in a church (2009) for research that shows you must still go slow and gain consensus.

But if you go slow and gain consensus – the above four ideas can help you bring about change in an organization where your social capital is still emerging.”

Read more at … http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/getting-people-to-believe-in-something-they-cant-yet-imagine/

LEADERSHIP & The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This research indicates that leaders that demonstrate “altruistic leadership” are more successful at reaching objectives. This requires putting the team first and empowering them, ahead of the leader’s interests (hence, the term altruistic or other-centered leadership). See how this applies to the church in ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church (Abingdon Press, 2012) the chapter on ‘O = Others’.”

by Jeanine Prime, Harvard Business Review

VISION & A Better Way to Define Your Organization (Used By McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Apple)

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: A lesson from the Inc. Magazine article (linked below) is that you should define your organization by “capabilities,” not by your “products.” Products (e.g. services that you produce) will change. This is also true with churches.

For churches our unique “capability” is to help people connect with God. We do this by producing many types of “services.” But churches often become overly focused on these “services” rather than the unique supernatural “capability” they possess.

Therefore though they are important, churches should be overly focused around
– the latest children’s programs,
– trends in music,
– preaching styles,
– or even beautiful facilities.

But rather by the “capability” of helping people connect to their loving heavenly Father.

You can tell if you’re succeeding at this by asking people in your community.

Do they primarily know you as the church with the good children’s program, good preaching, a nice facility or something else? If so, then you’re known by your “services” and not your “capabilities.”

But if the people the community know you primarily as a place that “connects people to God,” then you are known by your capabilities.

To reconnect people with their loving heavenly Father is the essence of the missio Dei (see ORGANIX the first chapter for a holistuc explanation of the missio Dei).

Again the lesson here is to not allow our churches to be defined by the “contemporary things” we produce but rather by the “supernatural capability” churches have to connect people with God.

Read this interesting article to give you examples of the above for sermons and leadership development

Read more at ,,, http://www.inc.com/ilan-mochari/mcdonalds-distribution-strategy.html