Organizational Leadership

The College for Bishops Leadership Institute was established to provide educational resources for new bishops as well as trending information resources for all bishops.  Organizational Leadership focuses on specific resources related to essential leadership skills: 

New items of interest are added on a monthly basis. To comment or offer suggestions for additional content, please use the feedback form at the bottom of this page.

Developing Leadership Skills


Ian T. Douglas: Our job is not to keep the church in business

As bishop of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas takes seriously his administrative duties. But, he says, he also enjoys “throwing all things up in the air, causing chaos, inviting imagination and encouraging folk, particularly by virtue of their baptism.” Specifically, he points to efforts, at both the diocesan and the parish level, to send Christians out into the world, open to the work of the Spirit. This interview comes from Faith & Leadership.

Confessions of a Recovering Micro-manager

Think about the most tired you've ever been at work. It probably wasn't when you stayed late or came home from a road trip -- chances are it was when you had someone looking over your shoulder, watching your each and every move. "If we know that micromanagement isn't really effective, why do we do it?" asks entrepreneur Chieh Huang. In a funny talk packed with wisdom and humility, Huang shares the cure for micromanagement madness -- and how to foster innovation and happiness at work.


passing wisdom to the next generation of leaders

As our clergy population ages, younger ministers are stepping into senior roles at big-steeple churches. How must we mentor and form them so they will thrive? Perhaps we should wonder more about wisdom--specifically, the transfer of wisdom from one generation to the next, and what may get lost along the way.


recovering an institutional imagination

The institutions that we inhabit all of the time—family, school, neighborhood, church, and so on—comprise a social architecture that is the context in which we pursue our own good and the good of our neighbors. We tend to take them for granted. But we shouldn't. By taking them for granted we can forget that their current form—the good and the bad—was imagined and instituted at a particular moment, by people like you and me. We are the ones who are responsible for imagining how these institutions will serve our neighbors and children into the future

6 trends revealed in 2018 clergy age report

Lovett H. Weems, Jr., highlights some of the significant findings in the Lewis Center’s annual Methodist Clergy Age Trends Report. Of note is the modest downturn in recent years in the number of clergy under 35 as well as the number and percentage of young women clergy, following a decade of improvement.


Five Ways Female Leaders undermine themselves

Church consultant Susan Beaumont says that power accrues more easily to men than women in our culture, so women need to be especially savvy about how they use their power. In this article from Lewis Center for Church Leadership, she outlines five common ways that women can undermine themselves when it comes to using power.

Would you hire a job candidate with an unconventional background?

A challenge for most religious institutions is that our processes for filling leadership roles privilege those who were formed in our institutions -- not those outside, unlikely candidates more likely to lead transformative change -- writes a managing director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.


See All The People: Developing an Intentional Discipleship Program

The United Methodist Church recently offered this comprehensive guide online in the spirit of offering a call to intentional discipleship, with the desire to help bring clarity to the mission of the church, to offer healthy principles for intentional discipleship, and to inspire a passion for making disciples across the denomination.  As the introduction says: “Our focus must move away from “fixing” churches, toward making and growing disciples!”

5 Books for Finding Inspiration

Idealist Careers, a publication of, offers passionate and driven social-impact professionals and job seekers the largest online collection of high-quality, inspiring, and useful social-impact content. From the Idealist Careers blog, here is a list of five books to inspire you as you’re looking to dive deeper into your social-impact work in the new year.  Each book offers suggestions—useful for nonprofit veterans and newbies alike—on how to be more engaged and creative we push ourselves to grow and evolve in our work.

Bishop Mariann Budde: The Early Seasons of Ministry

The beginning of a new season in ministry is a unique moment in the life of a congregation. There is so much to learn and to do, so many tasks and responsibilities that are part of the congregation’s life.  Honestly, it’s hard to know where to begin. Not everything that needs to be addressed can be addressed at once. What is most important in this initial season life together?  What comes first?

What's Your Institutional IQ?

The greatest challenge our institutions face is not at the top but in the middle: the alarmingly thin pipeline of younger leaders who are motivated to pursue the breadth and depth necessary to move into senior roles in established organizations. How do you maintain creativity and energy when your job comes with inescapable constraints and sometimes deals with relatively mundane functions—along with a nagging sense, at least some days, that you're ultimately rewarded more for preserving an institution than for serving its underlying mission?

Missionaries and Visionaries

God bless the missionaries in our congregations. They are the do-ers. At most churches, almost everyone jumps in for some mission service, but sometimes our missionaries get spread very thin. This can lead to burn-out in the core group, who may become resentful that others don’t share in the work. That’s when visionaries can inspire renewal. This article is from ECFVP’s November issue on Vision and Planning.  It examines what vision really is, and its power.

Name Your Mission, Develop Strategies, and then Measure Impact

The question, “What is your mission?” sends waves of panic through many Christian congregations and other institutions. Why? Do we not know what to do? Are we so confused by the rapid pace of change that even our basic purpose feels unsettled? Ultimately, however, clarifying mission is just the first step. Leaders must then align strategies with the desired impact, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

What Difference Do You Want to Make?

Imagine the conversation about priorities beginning with a discussion about the difference you feel called to make in your community and in the world. What you and your colleagues in ministry envision then becomes the guidepost against which you weigh all possible priorities: Would adopting this priority move us closer to the vision we have discerned?

Leadership for Giving

The single common theme in all studies of leadership is the presence of a powerful common shared vision.  A vision is a picture of a preferred future to which we believe God is calling us.  How does vision relate to giving?  Simply put, it is everything.  A vision is all we have to offer people when we seek giving in the church.The single common theme in all studies of leadership is the presence of a powerful common shared vision.  A vision is a picture of a preferred future to which we believe God is calling us.  How does vision relate to giving?  Simply put, it is everything.  A vision is all we have to offer people when we seek giving in the church.

Low Budget Leadership Development

How do you develop leaders in your organization with no funding?  Taken from a series on leadership development, this Faith & Leadership article offers ten suggestions for building leaders on a shoestring budget.

6 Ways to Jumpstart Leadership Formation

Pastor Mike Slaughter says one of the key factors determining the effectiveness of a congregation is the presence of principled leaders who demonstrate a vital personal faith. And, he says, “If you look across your congregation and can’t identify a core group of principled Christian leaders, then you better start growing them!” Slaughter provides six practical ideas for jumpstarting leadership formation in your church.

Staying Put: A Look at the First Ten Years of Ministry

Important dynamics are at work in a pastor’s tenure at one church. A particular pattern marks the pastor’s first 10 years in one parish. The pattern is shaped by several elements. First, the dynamics of the corporate relationship inform how a pastor is called or appointed to a church, begins his or her ministry there, and moves into the role of pastoral leadership. Second, the pastor’s unique relationship with a congregation manifests itself in a predictable ministerial life cycle. The existence of such a cycle suggests that a pastor’s experience in the parish can be anticipated and managed.


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