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Creating a Container for Conversation

If a strong enough container has been built, then when the heat gets intense, the container can hold, which helps transform the content in the container and the container itself as well as the participants and the DNA or soul of that collective community

2016 Iowa United Methodist School for Ministry

The 2016 Iowa United Methodist School for Ministry vision is a school that helps pastors & laity utilize Family Systems Theory and the UM Connection to strengthen their ministry. Congregations can adopt new ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as learn how spiritually and emotionally healthy leaders influence the emotional needs of the people.

Becoming Shapers of Context

I have come to believe that the outer space/context in which we work is only as open as is our inner space out of which we live. They are parallel processes. For me, this is part of the underbelly of leadership—the interior conversation that enables us to offer our best, deepest gifts, and to be shapers of context, rather than being shaped by the context.

Poetry makes nothing happen

In this Lenten Resource is the poem, “Poetry makes nothing happen,” by Craig Gilliam with a comment by a friend about the poem’s meaning for leaders; in addition, a Lent Prayer by Howard Thurman.

Robustness and Vulnerability in Leadership and Ministry

In other words, when I enter a courageous conversation and find my anxiety rising, I remind myself that I have or will be given what I need to meet whatever or whoever emerges in the encounter. My primary task is to show up, to be present, and to pay attention; then, to offer what I can honestly and respectfully

Indicators of high anxiety in congregations

When the anxiety is lower, the congregation has a higher capacity to perceive what is trying to emerge and invite a new narrative. Granted, as anxiety rises, the functioning of people potentially becomes more reactive and conflict can easily follow, for conflict is a way of dealing with anxiety. The anxiety and conflict, when responded to appropriately by leaders, can be the catalyst for creative, adaptive growth and positive change.

Four Ingredients of Successful Congregational Change

If we want to be successful in our efforts to transform our congregations we will never attempt to do it alone, we will set an invitational tone, we will take the time to learn the system, and we will nest our community’s need for change in the sacred stories of our own religious tradition.

Why Lone Rangers Always Fail – By Dave Brubaker

Leading a successful change process in a congregation, even a very traditional one, is possible. But to do so a leader must earn the right to make that change and partner with others to make it happen. Lone ranger leaders who ride into Dodge and transform an entire community exist only in the movies. In the reality of congregational life, we need a patient posse.