Meetings: Meetings are purposeful, planned, structured and facilitated to add value to participants and provide maximum impact to the organization.

Steve Jobs 3-Point Formula For Leading Effective Meetings

Various management studies concur that most organizations and businesses chronically suffer from too many meetings and not enough time to get work done. There is just not enough time in the day to fit it all in. Harvard Review and Inc., among other publications, reported that management is increasingly buried in meetings. The reasons are numerous and complex, but the... Continue Reading

Four Pathways to Yes Conflict Resolution Procedure

Navigating conflict is one of those “comes with the territory” responsibilities of church leadership. Yet, most ministers I know, myself included, avoid conflict at all costs and only address conflict as a last resort and with great reluctance. Inevitably, failing to address the conflict early leads to even greater and unnecessary issues that eventually requires the leader’s diplomacy. As with... Continue Reading

The Clearness Committee – One Committee Every Church Should Consider

I know, all the church needs is another committee and another meeting to attend. That is my general sentiment as well, but there is one committee lacking in most congregations that is worth considering…..a Clearness Committee. A Clearness Committee is designed to provide a spiritual community approach to personal discernment, and comes from the Quaker tradition. The Clearness Committee approach... Continue Reading

The Most Effective Way To Give Constructive Feedback

Today’s churches are so metric, goal, and results focused in the evaluation of staff and volunteer performance that giving, receiving, and soliciting valuable feedback has become a lost art. Yet, study after study shows that learning is highly dependent upon proper feedback. So, what is the most effective method of providing feedback that is both constructive and actionable? I have... Continue Reading

Flip Your Church Staff Meetings

Over the course of a minister’s career he or she will attend thousands of church staff meetings. Do the math, it adds up to years of meetings. Some meetings are good, even great, but most not so much. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can re-engineer your staff meetings to make them engaging, relevant, and impactful by adopting... Continue Reading

Six Streams That Create Rivers of Conflict

A rushing river is fed by many smaller streams of various sizes. And, so it is with personal and church conflict. Rarely is there a singular event or issue that can be pointed to as the source of a conflict. In most church conflicts there are many contributing factors, some more impactful and challenging than others. The RIVERS acronym is a... Continue Reading

The P.A.U.S.E Approach to Cooperative Negotiation

Pastors have learned that where two or more are gathered, there will be conflict. This means if you avoid addressing conflict, you avoid a major responsibility of ministry. Ken Sande, in his classic book, The Peacemaker, recommends pastors consider an approach he calls cooperative negotiation when managing personal or corporate conflict. He notes that cooperative negotiation is highly recommended in... Continue Reading

How To Discover The Appropriate Conflict Management Style

As we noted in the post The Five Choices We Make In Conflict Resolution, conflict management is essential to effective ministry and being able to employ various conflict management styles improves the likelihood of a healthy outcome. We introduced the Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Instrument and its five modes of conflict management as an approach to consider. In his book, Discover... Continue Reading

Four Principles and Questions for Conflict Resolution Conversations

Ken Sande is an attorney and the president and founder of Peacemaker Ministries. He has helped hundreds of churches and ministers overcome disputes and resolve conflict by using biblical peacemaking principles and questions. Summarized in his classic book, The Peacemaker, Sande’s Four G’s provide a simple yet comprehensive approach to resolving any type of conflict.  The Peacemaker’s Four G’s For... Continue Reading

The Five Choices We Make in Conflict Resolution

Conflict abounds in the church. Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations, needs, perspectives and desires, conflict is a natural part of our daily interactions. Research shows that most ministers spend several hours a week addressing some form of conflict. In the majority of cases, the outcomes are unsatisfactory and lead to personal fall-outs, pain, disharmony, and distractions... Continue Reading

12 Agenda Buckets for Church Staff Meetings

I have always found it helpful to think in terms of “buckets” to unlock and stimulate my thinking. Considering potential buckets before engaging in brainstorming also ensures that I am thinking comprehensively and big picture about a subject, opportunity, decision, challenge or agenda. Nowhere has “brain freeze” been more prevalent for me over the years than in developing an agenda... Continue Reading

When NOT to Attend a Meeting

A lot has been written about when not to schedule a meeting and what to include in an effective meeting, but little about how to discern if you should even attend a meeting in the first place . Usually there is a good reason you were invited, at least in the mind of those calling the meeting. But, especially with... Continue Reading