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:
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Stewardship & Sustainability
how to be the church beyond our buildings
For many congregations, it can feel like the building is either the default center of the mission or has eclipsed any sense of mission. How can faith communities embrace or expand beyond the brick and mortar to find what the Holy Spirit is calling them to do? This webinar from Virginia Theological Seminary focuses on how to discern the next steps for finding your mission-driven ministries and new initiatives.
In this ECFVP webinar, Canon Anne Vickers shares her diocesan perspective on how sound financial management is at the core of strategic visioning. We will discuss how this approach to local financial management is proven to engage vestry leadership, equip ministries, and sustain our evolving congregations to serve our communities well into the future.
With over 15 years engaging in “social justice philanthropy,” Edgar Villanueva, an author and member of the Lumbee Tribe, encourages faith communities to revitalize the ways that they approach money, wealth and philanthropy. “Helping generate wealth in diverse communities is one of the greatest things that churches can do,” Villanueva has said. This interview comes from Faith & Leadership.
Small congregations sometimes assume that any significant community ministry effort is beyond their reach. However, with the right approach, it is possible for a small group of people to make a big impact. It will take focus and clarity about what you are trying to accomplish, but the small church can make a big impact in the world through partnerships, creative use of resources, and a focus on relational ministry. Small congregations have unique strengths that can result in strong and effective community ministry.
For so long, the mainline Christian congregational model has been the only way we could imagine clergy serving our vocation. But today, we have many other ways to consider being the church, and serving the church. What might it look like to serve fully as an ordained clergyperson in unexpected ways and places?
Trust is fragile. And finances, if not handled correctly, can be a source of worry rather than security. This article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership outlines seven policies for institutional trust and financial integrity that reduce confusion and conflict while at the same time encouraging generosity to support your mission.
Current statistics about church decline are grim; however, instead of focusing on solving the intractable problem of why churches are closing, some forward-thinking leaders try to learn from models that are thriving. Models that are thriving today and in the future will have certain things in common, such as a commitment to making disciples of modern secularized Americans, a deep knowledge of the changing cultural landscape that exists outside of Christian enclaves, and a capacity to grow and multiply without traditional funding sources.
A bishop who also serves as parish priest? That’s just how they do it in Western Kansas. Bishop Mark Cowell leads two congregations in Larned and Kinsley, Kansas and his list of additional part-time jobs includes municipal prosecutor in Dodge City and county attorney for Hodgeman County. This article from Episcopal News Service examines changing roles for bishops.
Hidden within your budgeting process is a golden opportunity to reach the members of your faith community in ways not possible by any other means. You have an opportunity to connect them, no matter how God has gifted them and set free all the collaborative, creative power they embody. Most importantly, you have the power to lift up the ultimate “Why” behind your hospitality, your outreach and everything you do and to help even your most pragmatic, business-minded folks connect more deeply with it. This is another excellent resource from Episcopal Church Foundation Vital Practices.
The financial well-being of the parish is one of the most important fiduciary responsibilities of the vestry; however, many vestry members do not have a financial background and may feel intimidated by a discussion of numbers. This ECFVP article is intended to give a basic grasp of the concepts and a format for a financial report that can be easily understood.
Are key leaders in your church covering project costs out of their own pockets? Lewis Center Director Doug Powe says owning up to the true costs of ministry prevents new leaders from being blindsided and helps the congregation embrace a stewardship model that funds all ministries — not just those supported by particular donors.
Smaller congregations can easily squander their last resources for ministry attempting to keep up with the mounting demands of an aging facility. Such churches must decide for the people of God rather than their present building, before it’s too late. This article is excerpted from Small on Purpose: Life in a Significant Church (Abingdon Press, 2017) by Lewis A. Parks and was featured on the Lewis Center for Church Leadership newsletter.
While we talk about listening a lot in the church, we don’t always do it. But that’s exactly what Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) did this summer in an effort to learn more about the challenges facing part-time clergy leaders in small Episcopal congregations. ECF issued an open invitation to part-time leaders from churches that average fewer than 60 worshippers each Sunday, and on two summer afternoons, its program staff listened as 40+ leaders from churches across the country discussed their challenges, and the support and resources they need.