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.

Managing Change & Crisis

HOW PASTORS CAN HELP THEIR CONGREGATIONS FACE THE ISSUE OF IMMIGRATION

A recent poll found that just 12 percent of evangelical Christians identify the Bible as the primary influence on their beliefs about immigration. In another survey, white evangelical and mainline Protestant Christians were the most likely religious subgroups to regard immigrants as a threat to American values. And while most Americans believe that the United States has a responsibility to admit refugees, most white Protestants do not.  How can pastors help their churches address immigration in a way that is consistent with their Christian faith?


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preaching truth in the age of alternative facts

New Testament professor Bill Brosend says that preaching in the age of fake news and alternative facts can be like walking a tightrope. But it’s when the stakes are highest that it’s most important to be disciplined, humble, and aware that actions speak more eloquently than words. This article is adapted from Preaching Truth in the Age of Alternative Facts (Abingdon Press, 2018) by William Brosend.


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leading faithfully in the public square

Amy Butler, pastor of the historic Riverside Church in New York City, reflects on how churches can faithfully address the issues of the day without turning every Sunday into a political rally. She says a church’s prophetic witness must be grounded in the gospel and flow authentically from a healthy lived experience of beloved community.


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Crisis Communication: 6 tips You won't want to read

Humans make up the church—humans who may love Jesus, but who also make mistakes and sometimes even crash and burn. It’s not going to be fun, but this article from Courageous Storytellers suggests that you take a deep breath, exhale, and dig in. You owe it to your church to read this before you need it.


9 Top Trends Impacting Church Leadership

Lewis Center Director F. Douglas Powe and Associate Director Ann A. Michel outline some of the major trends evident in their research and interactions with church leaders. While many of the trends are quite sobering, they also reveal possibilities for innovative and adaptive approaches to ministry.


How to Survive Church Conflict

Jan Edmiston, co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the PCUSA, blogs daily at A Church for Starving Artists.  In this recent post on church conflict, she referenced these excellent handouts from Jill Hudson, “intended to provide members of Committees on Ministry and others with a diagnostic instrument to assist in determining the intensity of a given conflict, to outline an ongoing training process and to provide relevant resources.”


Liturgy in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

How do members of a congregation come together to journey through an inpending loss?  In this article from Faith and Leadership, a minister and her congregation are beset by grief at the imminent death of a beloved former pastor. A focus on liturgy leads and sustains them through truth telling amid death and dying.


Why sexual harassment training doesn't stop sexual harassment

Only a handful of scientific studies have tested the effectiveness of sexual harassment training, which is nearly ubiquitous in American workplaces and intended to help protect workers as well as minimize an employer’s own legal and financial risks.  Why doesn't traditional training succeed and what can be done that would be more effective?


What's at Stake When Schism is an Option

United Methodists are facing major decisions about their legacy and future in the coming months and years. Myriad actions taken over many past years have set up a classic win/lose situation, particularly regarding human sexuality, quite common in today’s politics but strangely out of character with the generous spirit of Wesleyan heritage. Many United Methodists expect schism because that’s the kind of secular world we live in today. This is truly a moment for a Wesleyan third alternative.“


Resources for Leading Amid Tragedy and Crisis

Every tragedy -- large or small, public or private -- is different, but they all pose challenges for leadership. Here is an extensive list of resources from the Faith & Leadership archives on leading in times of tragedy and crisis.  Topics covered include: public tragedy, tragedy & grief within a congregation, leading amid difference, reconciliation & forgiveness, crisis communications, suffering & pastoral ministry, and more.


A move to part-time clergy sparks innovation in congregations

Adjusting to life without a full­time pastor has become a pressing challenge for thousands of congregations in mainline Protestant denominations across the country and more congregations are likely to face this issue in the years ahead.  Yet not all congregations struggle after transitioning to a part-time pastor.  Dozens have found vitality by avoiding pitfalls that have caused other churches to stumble when making the shift.  As more churches go part time, instructive stories are emerging.


Communicating with Employees During a Crisis

While natural disasters are among the more serious catastrophes that could befall a company, they are far from the only crises employers may have to weather.  While many companies naturally direct their energies outward during crises situations, more HR professionals and executives are coming to realize that communicating quickly, often and well with internal stakeholders is equally important, if not more so.


The recent shootings in Charleston remind us that houses of worship are not always safe areas and that churches can and should take steps to plan for potential emergency situations.  This FEMA publication offers a detailed look at the planning process, including a closer look at active shooter scenarios.  For more information, view the accompanying webinar:


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