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The Conversation Before the Conversation The Practice of Behavioral Covenants.

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Presentation on theme: "The Conversation Before the Conversation The Practice of Behavioral Covenants."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Conversation Before the Conversation The Practice of Behavioral Covenants

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7 Connecting… Name Name Name and location of church Name and location of church Role at church Role at church How many years have you served there? How many years have you served there? What is one expectation you have for this workshop? What is one expectation you have for this workshop? Do you have any pets? Do you have any pets?

8 The challenge before us The journey of vitality is both adventurous and treacherous.

9 The Physics of Vitality vitality = change change = movement movement = friction friction = heat

10 Don’t get suckered into the myth We can grow without change. We can change without pain.

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12 Conflict is normal and natural In leading your church to becoming healthy and missional, you are going to have some challenging conversations.

13 Values of Vitality Vitality may often come with conflict and opposition. Preparing for this challenge requires courage, hope, perseverance, wisdom, graciousness and training. Vitality may often come with conflict and opposition. Preparing for this challenge requires courage, hope, perseverance, wisdom, graciousness and training.

14 Values of Vitality Vitality is not just about rebirth; it's about reality - a current reality that requires an accurate and honest assessment. There is no vitality without reality. Vitality is not just about rebirth; it's about reality - a current reality that requires an accurate and honest assessment. There is no vitality without reality.

15 Values of Vitality Vitality takes longer than planned, is messier than expected, costs more than originally figured and requires greater determination than once thought. Vitality takes longer than planned, is messier than expected, costs more than originally figured and requires greater determination than once thought.

16 What happens when the church begins to grow?

17 Entropy Organizations tend to lose vitality rather than gain it as time passes. They also tend to give greater attention to what they “were” rather than what they are “becoming”. It is easier to look back into the past and smile on yesterday’s accomplishments than it is to look ahead into the future and think about tomorrow’s possibilities. Chuck Swindoll

18 2 Kinds of Spaces Reactive Space Balcony Space Source: Ron Heifetz

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20 What is a Behavioral Covenant? The conversation before the conversation. The conversation before the conversation. The conversation about how you are going to have the conversation on vitality. The conversation about how you are going to have the conversation on vitality. These conversations need to be civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring. These conversations need to be civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring.

21 Midwest Conference video toolbox: Midwest Conference video toolbox:

22 What is a Behavioral Covenant? The conversation before the conversation. The conversation before the conversation. The conversation about how you are going to have the conversation on vitality. The conversation about how you are going to have the conversation on vitality. These conversations need to be civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring. These conversations need to be civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring.

23 Conversation Conversation implies back-and-forthness, several voices engaged in considering, exploring, discussing, and enjoying not only the subject matter but also one another’s company. Conversation implies back-and-forthness, several voices engaged in considering, exploring, discussing, and enjoying not only the subject matter but also one another’s company. Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places

24 Name that picture

25 The components of a simple conversation

26 Behavioral Covenants Holy Manners for a Faith Community A behavioral covenant is a written document developed by leaders, agreed to and owned by its creators and practiced on a daily basis as a spiritual discipline. The Covenant answers the question, “How will we behave (how will we live together?) when we don’t understand each other and when we don’t agree?” Gil Rendle Behavioral Covenants in Congregations

27 Good Behavioral Covenants are Based in Scripture Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 Colossians 3:12-14

28 Guidelines for Loving Relationships and Values to Guide Our Interaction Colossians 3:12-14 At the Evangelical Covenant Church… We seek to build each other up and not tear down. We seek to build each other up and not tear down. We respect and honor the office of pastor and other lay leaders. We respect and honor the office of pastor and other lay leaders. We seek to communicate clearly, completely, and directly. We seek to communicate clearly, completely, and directly. We offer our opinions with charity and humility. We offer our opinions with charity and humility.

29 Guidelines for Loving Relationships and Values to Guide Our Interaction We make positive investments in each others lives. We make positive investments in each others lives. We believe the best in each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt. We believe the best in each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt. We seek to discover what is best for our church as a whole, not what may be best for us or for some small group in the church. We seek to discover what is best for our church as a whole, not what may be best for us or for some small group in the church. We accept disagreement, conflict and evaluation as normal and natural. We accept disagreement, conflict and evaluation as normal and natural. We are committed to being inconvenienced for the sake of the gospel. We are committed to being inconvenienced for the sake of the gospel. Question: What do you like about this Behavioral Covenant?

30 “As we communicate, so shall we be.” Lee O. Thayer Communication Theorist

31 In the various arenas of our life, we strive to be productive, to be responsible, to do the right thing, but in the midst of the demands of daily living, have we lost sight of how we treat each other, how we interact with those who disagree with us, how we understand our place in community? The hard work of learning to practice civility with each other is where others will most likely see our Christian witness, and through that witness, for better or for worse, they will decide the worth of what we profess. Daniel de Roulet, Covenant Companion, May 2010

32 Staff Behavioral Covenant First Covenant Church of River Falls, WI Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. --Hebrews 10:23-25 In seeking to follow and serve Christ together we will… 1. Make our weekly staff meeting a priority. 2. Not attack or embarrass one another. In public, we will support each other (criticism is private and praise is public). 3. Practice, as well as encourage & respect each other’s Rest & Rejuvenation times (i.e. phone calls, s, scheduling, etc.). 4. Pray for each other whether in times of sorrow or joy, want or plenty, challenge or celebration.

33 Staff Behavioral Covenant First Covenant Church of River Falls, WI 5. Encourage one another to cultivate Christian courtesy in all our relationships, supporting and encouraging redemptive and Christ-honoring actions when wrongs occur with those we serve and serve with. 6. Keep short accounts with one another. We will take the initiative to talk to one another when there are misunderstandings or conflicts. 7. Seek to make communication a priority with one another by responding in a timely manner to each other’s requests and being informed with each other’s ministries. 8. Celebrate the work God is doing in and through us by mutual encouragement. 9. Proactively seek training and equipping individually and as a team. 10. Close staff meetings with agreement on next actions, persons accountable for those actions and the time frame in which they are to be completed. ____________________________________________ Staff Signature On the Journey: Sharing Christ, Growing Together

34 Benefits Creates a foundation for civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring conversations. Creates a foundation for civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring conversations. Generates momentum. Generates momentum. Creates an early win on the pathway of vitality. Creates an early win on the pathway of vitality. Establishes a common language. Establishes a common language. Creates some measure of unity. Creates some measure of unity. Promotes a culture of candor and a climate of trust. Promotes a culture of candor and a climate of trust.

35 Benefits Provides a teachable moment. Provides a teachable moment. Helps people reflect on their own family of origin. Helps people reflect on their own family of origin. Creates a mentality before the reality. Creates a mentality before the reality. Improves the tenor of meetings. Improves the tenor of meetings. How do you measure what prevention prevents? How do you measure what prevention prevents? Helps deal with seen but unnamed issues. Helps deal with seen but unnamed issues.

36 Benefits Provides an opportunity for people to stop and think about how they are treating others. Provides an opportunity for people to stop and think about how they are treating others. Gives people an opportunity to repent. Gives people an opportunity to repent. Synthesizes grace and truth. Synthesizes grace and truth. Promotes healing of old wounds. Promotes healing of old wounds. Invites others into compelling Christian community. Invites others into compelling Christian community. Witnesses to the love of Jesus. Witnesses to the love of Jesus.

37 How to… How do you create a Behavioral Covenant and keep it before the people? How do you create a Behavioral Covenant and keep it before the people?

38 Anticipating resistance What are some reasons people will give not to have a Behavioral Covenant? What are some reasons people will give not to have a Behavioral Covenant? We are all Christians here; we don’t need a Behavioral Covenant. We are all Christians here; we don’t need a Behavioral Covenant.

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40 Anticipating resistance What are some reasons people will give not to have a Behavioral Covenant? What are some reasons people will give not to have a Behavioral Covenant? We are all Christians here; we don’t need a Behavioral Covenant. We are all Christians here; we don’t need a Behavioral Covenant. All of this is in the Bible. All of this is in the Bible. We already wrote this into the Constitution and By- laws back in We already wrote this into the Constitution and By- laws back in We don’t have time to do this. We don’t have time to do this.

41 Anticipating resistance Why would people not want a Behavioral Covenant? Why would people not want a Behavioral Covenant? The gig is up! The gig is up! Passive aggressive behaviors. Passive aggressive behaviors. Attacks from naysayers. Attacks from naysayers.

42 Passive aggressive behavior is the MO in many churches Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of expressing your negative feelings in an indirect way — instead of openly addressing them. Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of expressing your negative feelings in an indirect way — instead of openly addressing them. Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D. Mayo Clinic psychiatrist Mayo Clinic psychiatrist

43 Signs and Symptoms of Passive Aggressive Behavior A constant display of… Resentment and opposition to the demands of others Resentment and opposition to the demands of others Complaining about feeling underappreciated or cheated Complaining about feeling underappreciated or cheated Procrastination Procrastination Stubbornness Stubbornness Inefficiency Inefficiency Memory lapses Memory lapses Sullenness Sullenness Irritability Irritability Cynical attitude Cynical attitude Obstructionism Obstructionism Victimization Victimization Blaming Blaming Ambiguity Ambiguity

44 Passive Aggressive Behavior Passive Aggressive behavior is a form of covert abuse. When someone hits you or yells at you, you know that you've been abused. It is obvious and easily identified. Covert abuse is subtle and veiled or disguised by actions that appear to be normal, at times loving and caring. The passive aggressive person is a master at covert abuse. Passive Aggressive behavior is a form of covert abuse. When someone hits you or yells at you, you know that you've been abused. It is obvious and easily identified. Covert abuse is subtle and veiled or disguised by actions that appear to be normal, at times loving and caring. The passive aggressive person is a master at covert abuse. Cathy Meyer

45 Passive aggressive behavior stems from an inability to express anger in a healthy way. A person's feelings may be so repressed that they don't even realize they are angry or feeling resentment. A passive aggressive can drive people around him/her crazy and seem sincerely dismayed when confronted with their behavior. Due to their own lack of insight into their feelings the passive aggressive often feels that others misunderstand them or, are holding them to unreasonable standards if they are confronted about their behavior. Passive aggressive behavior stems from an inability to express anger in a healthy way. A person's feelings may be so repressed that they don't even realize they are angry or feeling resentment. A passive aggressive can drive people around him/her crazy and seem sincerely dismayed when confronted with their behavior. Due to their own lack of insight into their feelings the passive aggressive often feels that others misunderstand them or, are holding them to unreasonable standards if they are confronted about their behavior.

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47 Attack Strategies used by Naysayers Fear mongering Fear mongering Fear mongering involves creating infectious anxiety, scaring others into believing that a good idea is far too risky to pursue. John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead, 4 Ways to Kill a Good Idea

48 Attack Strategies used by Naysayers Death by delay Death by delay Death by delay entails stalling an idea with never-ending questions, straw polls, and meetings—until the idea eventually loses momentum and peters out. John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead, 4 Ways to Kill a Good Idea

49 Attack Strategies used by Naysayers Confusion Confusion Confusion consists of peppering a conversation with a stream of irrelevant facts and convoluted questions, making it nearly impossible for the innovator to keep the discussion on track. John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead, 4 Ways to Kill a Good Idea

50 Attack Strategies used by Naysayers Ridicule Ridicule Ridicule is a direct attack on the character of the person who proposed the idea, creating indirect doubts about the idea itself. John Kotter and Lorne Whitehead, 4 Ways to Kill a Good Idea.

51 Realistic expectations A Behavioral Covenant is not the cure-all for passive aggressive behaviors or attacks from naysayers. A Behavioral Covenant is not the cure-all for passive aggressive behaviors or attacks from naysayers. However, the process of creating a Behavioral Covenant provides an opportunity for new patterns to be formed that are civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring. However, the process of creating a Behavioral Covenant provides an opportunity for new patterns to be formed that are civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring.

52 Guidelines For Creating a Behavioral Covenant The best time to create a Behavioral Covenant is when the sun is shining, not when the rain is pouring. The best time to create a Behavioral Covenant is when the sun is shining, not when the rain is pouring. Go slow to go fast. Go slow to go fast. Keep it short, simple and to one page (no more than 7 – 10 statements). Keep it short, simple and to one page (no more than 7 – 10 statements). Present an over-arching Scripture verse or ground each statement with scripture. Present an over-arching Scripture verse or ground each statement with scripture. Use samples, but create your own version to make it relevant to your context. Use samples, but create your own version to make it relevant to your context.

53 Guidelines For Creating a Behavioral Covenant Anticipate resistance/indentify traps…respond with a non-anxious presence. Anticipate resistance/indentify traps…respond with a non-anxious presence. Be intentional and creative to inculcate the Behavioral Covenant into the normal and natural life of the congregation. But don’t over do it! Be intentional and creative to inculcate the Behavioral Covenant into the normal and natural life of the congregation. But don’t over do it! Preach a sermon series using one statement per Sunday. Culminate the series with a communion service. Preach a sermon series using one statement per Sunday. Culminate the series with a communion service. Plan the work and work the plan. Plan the work and work the plan. Bathe the process in prayer. Bathe the process in prayer.

54 Guidelines For Creating a Behavioral Covenant Remember that the Behavioral Covenant is a living document, not a legalistic code of moralism. It is not something “to live up to” but “to live in to.” Remember that the Behavioral Covenant is a living document, not a legalistic code of moralism. It is not something “to live up to” but “to live in to.” The process is more important than the product. The process is more important than the product. There is always a mentality before a reality. There is always a mentality before a reality. The Behavioral Covenant deals with behavior not motives. The Behavioral Covenant deals with behavior not motives. Rename it a “Relational Covenant” if that works for you. Rename it a “Relational Covenant” if that works for you.

55 Guidelines for Creating a Behavioral Covenant Ask the Vitality Team to map out the process and recommend it to the Leadership Team or Council. Ask the Vitality Team to map out the process and recommend it to the Leadership Team or Council. See how the Behavioral Covenant fits into the overall Congregational Vitality Pathway See how the Behavioral Covenant fits into the overall Congregational Vitality Pathway Think civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring conversation. Think civil, compassionate and Christ-honoring conversation. Use the promo DVD from the Midwest Conference. Use the promo DVD from the Midwest Conference.

56 Afternoon Panel Session Q and A Wrap up

57 The Conversation Before the Conversation The Practice of Behavioral Covenants

58 What is your one take away? Take a minute to reflect on all that we experienced here today. Take a minute to reflect on all that we experienced here today. Write down your one take away. Write down your one take away. We want to hear from everyone. We want to hear from everyone.


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