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Understanding Size-related Dynamics

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Size-related Dynamics"— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Size-related Dynamics
In-Between Church Understanding Size-related Dynamics Created by Dr. Mark Adams Superintendent, NCC



4 Resources for Size Dynamics
Alice Mann. The In- between church. Alban Beth Ann Gaede. Size transitions in congre- gations. Alban Kevin Martin. Myth of the 200 barrier. Abingdon, 2005. Alice Mann. Raising the roof: Pastor to program transition. Alban Peter Steinke. Congre- gational leadership in anxious times. Alban Gary McIntosh. One size doesn’t fit all. Revel

5 Four Basic Dynamics PASTOR SIZE 51-150 CORPORATE SIZE 350+ FAMILY SIZE

6 Family Size Churches Relational Style Leadership Structures
One group consists of tightly knit extended families or “clans” that center on matriarchs and patriarchs Leadership Structures Family matriarchs and patriarchs make decisions. Pastor (part-time/retired?) Functions as chaplain. Board conducts business and ministries in support of matriarchs and patriarchs. Other staff – usually a musician – is part-time and performs a limited but essential function.

7 Pastor Size Churches Relational Style
One large group centers on the pastor, with some members in loosely knit functional or friendship circles. Leadership Structures Pastor is the wheel hub, master coordinator, chief minister. Board members are short-term task-doers, micro-decision makers. Ministry coordinators are permanent task-doers who value close working relationships with the pastor. Other staff – usually musician, secretary or children/youth minister – part- time, perform limited but essential functions.

8 Program Size Churches Relational Style Leadership Structures
Often 2 or more distinct worshiping congregations, 1/3 of all members involved in small groups of 5-15 people centered around skilled and empowered staff or lay leaders. Leadership Structures Program groups/teams/committees have their own empowered lay leaders and plan and implement programs and activities. Board members are managers, policy-makers who oversee but do not lead program groups/teams/committees. Pastor functions as the executive. Other staff (one or more ordained) include full and part time assistants to pastor, program resources.

9 Corporate Size Church Relational Style Leadership Structures
More than two worshiping congregations include half of all members coalescing by affinity into small “congregations” of 30+ people, and small groups. Leadership Structures Pastor is a chief executive officer with mythic qualities. Staff (several ordained) include full time executives in charge of program areas. Program groups/teams/committees with virtual autonomy operate programs as almost independent organizations. Board functions as board of directors.


11 Organism to Organization

12 Organism vs Organization
Pastor – Family Size Organism Homogenous Revolve around central relationship Identity inherent with the relationships Vision feels like a given Membership is a given Program – Corporate Size Organization Intentionally developed vision / identity Intentionally developed strategy to fulfill long-range goals Membership is a choice, chosen over identity

13 Group Centered to Pastor Centered

14 Group Centered vs Pastor-Centered
Family size to Pastor Size Sense of tribe or whole. If group moves from 30 to 50, unbroken circle is threatened. Transition to a few overlapping groups. Central figure that unites the groups (usually pastor) Pastor’s role is central switchboard, communicator, initiator, healer.

15 Pastor Centered to Group Centered
As group grows past 150, attention turns back to group A single pastor cannot carry system in her head Relationships too complex for pastoral diplomacy or board discussions Programs developed under committed leaders (paid or volunteer) Networks of collaboration organized around connective leadership of small group key program leaders often led by pastor. Pastor shifts attention from pastoral care and toward assembling, leading and equipping team leaders. Spiritual care is centered around the key leaders.

16 Group Centered to Pastor Centered
Transitioning to corporate size (350+) returns to a greater need for pastor-centered leadership. Committees and program chairs can no longer provide unified vision or cohesive strategic planning. Group organized around a vision that is articulated by a high- profile leader. Preaching, presiding and heading staff are core functions.

17 Group Centered to Pastor Centered
organism organization PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE Pastor Centered Group Centered


19 Family to Pastor Loss of esteem by matriarchs/patriarchs.
PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE Loss of esteem by matriarchs/patriarchs. How can they pass the mantle while keep pride in past accomplishments? Clergy take resistance personally. How can maturity/understanding be developed? Reluctant to divide single-cell. How can the idea that not everyone will be at everything be embraced? Develop financial realism. Can congregation afford to pay a pastor?

20 Pastor to Family Loss of esteem by congregation.
PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE Loss of esteem by congregation. Will be slow death or something new? Ministry development more homegrown. How can gifts be utilized in new approach? Where is support or accountability? How can conference connections be helpful? Physical plant needs What is now appropriate space need (half-full look critical to invitational growth)

21 Pastor to Program Choosing new clergy role
Can people recognize dual expectations? Developing program heads. How are leaders chosen, equipped? Who facilitates gift identification and a rewarding experience for volunteers? Communications. How do program heads stay connected? How are all groups informed timely, accurately? Congregational participation. How do all members have a say, while remaining accountable to central purpose? PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE

22 Program to Pastor Shape expectations to central strengths.
PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE Shape expectations to central strengths. Assist with grieving, sense of loss. Pastoral role and status relinquished. Establish simpler pattern of pastoral care. Manage simpler worship & education cycle. Can this be done without reinforcing sense of decline? Ministry redeveloped toward more fluid teams rather than committees. How will pastor shift to less formal mentoring and delegation?

23 Program to Corporate Improve depth and quality of programming.
PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE Improve depth and quality of programming. What is plan for new financing and skill development? Senior pastor becomes more solitary role. How can spiritual disciplines and accountability/encouragement continue? Who can mentor the executive? Big-picture leader(s) steers strategic plan. How does this remain realistic and account for systemic input? High-level pastoral care through small groups. How will group leaders be systematically identified, trained and deployed?

24 Corporate to Program Relinquish status gracefully.
PASTOR SIZE CORPORATE SIZE FAMILY SIZE PROGRAM SIZE Relinquish status gracefully. Be honest about decline and avoid ‘keeping up appearances.’ Attend to realistic financials. Are you spending bequests and savings or facing real financial consolidation? The building becomes cavernous. How will the church deal with a building is expensive and reinforces decline? Changing pastoral and board roles. How can more collegial relationships between program leaders be re-established.

25 Reflecting Numbers 10:33-11:6
Can you imagine wanting to return to Egypt? Why/Why not? What transitions were being faced? What transitions are your congregation facing? What about “Egypt” (the previous transition) do you miss? If your congregation moved firmly to the next stage, what do you believe would be your greatest loss?

26 Leadership Relations in Transition
2Co 13:10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority — the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

27 Communication Shifts Communication Levels Content Relational
Relational Levels Symmetry Complementary

28 Conflict reveals relationship
When symmetrical Content defines Persuasion Compromise Arbiter Escalate When complementary One up (dominant) One down (subordinate) Conflict viewed personally Conflict threatens self Often very subtle Who can initiate? Who can end? Who can interrupt? Who can correct?

29 Source of Conflict 100 200 Complimentary Symmetrical Laity Up
Pastor Up

30 For Reflection Luke 20:1-8 Where are the one-up/ one-down assumptions?
Can you recall a time when your leadership was questioned, and it felt very personal? What might the complementary relationship issues have been? What are some of the explicit assumptions about authority in your congregation? What may be more subtle assumptions? How does your understanding of Scripture help you navigate communication complexities in your leadership?

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