TURNAROUND & They Are About Direction And Consistency, Not Speed Or Size

It’s called a turnaround for a reason. It’s more about the direction you’re heading than the speed you’re going.

By Karl Vaters, Christianity Today, 8/25/17.

…Almost 25 years ago, I was called to help a church turn around from a decade of numerical, emotional, spiritual and missional decline.

There were about 30 very discouraged people when I arrived and, while I wasn’t expecting to go “from 30 to 3,000 in three years!” I did expect a lot more than we got. The church is situated on a busy street in a very populated area, after all. Onward and upward, right?

If you had told me that the church would still be under 100 and worshiping in the same small building after ten years of pastoring, I probably would not have taken the assignment.

And if you’d told me that we’d be under 200 and in the same building 25 years later (as in, today) I’d have been out the door so fast there’d be a Roadrunner cartoon trail of smoke behind me.

But here I am. In exactly that spot. And I’m so profoundly grateful to be here…

Read more at … http://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2017/august/church-turnarounds-direction-consistency-not-speed-size.html

grit consistency tenure

PASTORAL TRANSITIONS & Dewey Smith’s personal story of his challenging pastoral transition

This popular session from the Church Central Turnaround 20/20 conference details Pastor Smith’s difficult journey of becoming the new pastor of a 137 year-old church, and the lessons he learned in the process. “I really had to humble myself like never before,” he says. “We can create climates that make church growth more conducive, but ultimately it’s God who adds the increase.”

Watch the video at … http://www.churchcentral.com/videos/dewey-smiths-personal-story-of-his-challenging-pastoral-transition/


PASTORAL TENURE & Infographic: Every Pastor Is an Interim Pastor (Even if You’re There 30 Years)

by Leadership Network, 6/14.

Newspapers rarely run articles titled, “Pastoral succession was so seamless and smooth that church momentum didn’t skip a beat.” They should. Those successions do happen. It’s largely the bad news that makes headlines. The reality is no matter how long you’re at your church, at some point you need to prepare to pass the baton – and there’s help for doing it well.

If your church is anticipating succession in the next few years, let us help you walk through the stages of preparation and transition — on May 3-4, 2016, in Houston. CLICK HERE to tell us about your situation, and then we’ll contact you.

This infographic tells you a little of what we’ve learned so far:

Read more at … http://leadnet.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Succession-Facts-FINAL.png

HUMOR & 3 Envelopes for the displaced pastor

by David Briggs, Huffington Post, 6/1/16.

There is a popular joke about displaced pastors preparing three envelopes for their successor to be opened each time the new person runs into trouble.

The first time it happens, the new pastor opens the envelope marked No. 1 and it reads, “Blame your predecessor.”

The second time, the pastor finds a note instructing him to, “Blame denominational policy.”

It is not long before the pastor once again finds himself on the wrong side of the congregation. This time, the note inside reads, “Draw up three envelopes. …”

Read more at … http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-briggs/saving-grace-the-leadersh_b_10209548.html?utm_hp_ref=religion&ir=Religion

JOB TRANSITIONS & Research Sets the Record Straight on Switching Jobs

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’m speaking this week at the National Summit on Church Staffing. Research I am citing busts many of the popular myths about changing jobs, such as: you should wait until you have a new job lined up or don’t tell your boss you’re looking for a new job. Such workplace myths have been disproven by research. Check out the research links in this article from the Harvard Business Review.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/07/setting-the-record-straight-on-switching-jobs?sf13579037=1

#SocietyForChurchConsulting #StaffingSummit

TENURE & The Dangerous Third Year of Pastoral Tenure #ThomRainer

The-Dangerous-Third-Year-of-Pastoral-Tenureby Thom Rainer

“At least part of the answer to the question above can be found by analyzing the third year of a pastor’s tenure. When I wrote Breakout Churches several years ago, I did just that. My book was primarily about long-tenured pastors who see sustained church health after a period of decline.

But in that study to find longer-tenured pastors, I discovered that the largest numbers of pastors were leaving their churches in the third year of their ministry at that specific church. The finding both intrigued me and concerned me. I began to interview those pastors to ask them why they left.

The Reasons for the Third Year Departure

Though I found no singular reason for the third year departure, I heard a number of common themes:

  • The honeymoon was over from the church’s perspective…
  • The honeymoon was over from the pastor’s perspective..,
  • When a new pastor arrives, most church members have their own expectations of the pastor…
  • Typically by the third year, the church has a number of new members who arrived under the present pastor’s tenure…
  • In any longer term relationship, that which seems quaint and charming can become irritating and frustrating. ..
  • All relationships have seasons. …

Possible Ways to Address the Third Year

Here are a few ways to address that dangerous third year of a pastor’s ministry. None are a panacea; but some may be helpful.

  • Have an awareness of the possibility of a third year letdown. It is not unusual, and you are not alone.
  • Be prepared for the down season to last a while. The dropout rates for pastors in years four and five were pretty high as well.
  • Surround the pastor with prayer. Be intentional about praying for the pastor’s emotional, physical, and spiritual strength during this season.
  • Keep the church outwardly focused as much as possible. Church members who are focused inwardly tend to be more critical and dissatisfied.
  • Be aware that pastors who make it through these seasons are usually stronger on the other side. Their churches are as well.
  • Church members need to be highly intentional about encouraging the pastor and the pastor’s family. While they always need encouragement, they really need it during this season.

Read more at … http://thomrainer.com/2014/06/18/dangerous-third-year-pastoral-tenure/