Challenging Tasks in Times of Stress 1. Remember the calling 2. Help people reflect personally 3. Weave a helpful narrative
1. Remember the Calling Revisit congregational stories and statements that express: Who are we? What are we here for? Who is our neighbor?
leadership message… Our fundamental calling hasnt changed Weve adjusted how we do it many times before If we stay flexible, we can move ahead in ministry together
2. Help People Reflect Personally Start with peoples lives, not with church Create safe space to share Invite faith reflection
dialogue questions A.Which economic headline jumps out at you right now? A.How is this news affecting you personally? B.Where is God for you in this situation? Or how might faith help you respond?
sample dialogue format Allow 60 minutes Keep groups small (3 or 4) Clear ground-rules Twice around the group with no interruption Time keeper raises hand when one minute left Share only what you wish to Whats shared here stays here Hand out questions on worksheet
format Quiet Time: Jot down own answers (5 minutes) Round One: Each person answers questions A & B (up to 5 minutes total) Round Two: Each person answers question 3 (up to 5 minutes) General Discussion: As time allows
3. Hear / Shape the Story Notice how the story is being told among ourselves, in the media Consider how else this story might be told Search for resonance in biblical story Choose how you will frame this situation as leader Keep weaving that narrative over time
3. Hear / Shape the Story Stirring a 'Gumbo' Theology, Reverend Otis Moss III speaks on Church Vitality and Discipleship in a Hip Hop World http://www.ucc.org/vitality/ready-set- grow/video/otis-moss.html http://www.ucc.org/vitality/ready-set- grow/video/otis-moss.html
Making Sound Strategic Choices in Anxious Times
Maintain Thoughtfulness Anxiety provokes reactivity -- thoughtlessness, defensiveness, automatic behavior. Anxiety triggers the desire to do something -- a false sense of urgency.
Maintain Thoughtfulness Acting too quickly can result in bad strategy choices Across the board budgetary cuts are rarely the best course of action.
Maintaining Thoughtfulness Step 1: Be honest about your reality Step 2: Keep mission focus at the center of decision-making
Maintaining Thoughtfulness Step 3: Set priorities on the basis of mission contribution and resource requirements Step 4: Develop strategies for doing more with less
Step 1: Be Honest about the Reality Reflect on facts, not fear Compile and analyze the recent trends, not just whats happening in this moment
Step 1: Be Honest about the Reality Consider a variety of what-if scenarios Assess the potential impact of a short term and long term deficit period
Step 2: Keep Focused on Mission Ask yourself, What has really changed? Evaluate the impact and quality of your programs and ministries (What do we do best? What is uniquely ours to do?) This may be a rare opportunity to convince people to eliminate programs that are no longer fruitful
Step 3: Set Priorities Low contribution to our mission High contribution to our mission Low use of our resources Ask ourselves: Is this really a good fit for us? Keep or expand these ministries High use of our resources Reconfigure or eliminate these ministries This is our core- Can we do it differently with fewer or different resources? Source: Kate Barr, Executive Director of the Nonprofits Assistance Fund
Step 4: Develop Alternatives What are the essential functions? What can we delay, postpone, minimize or eliminate? Where can an increase in volunteerism help? What new partnerships can we form? Who might help drive our resource engine?
Final Thoughts Dont unilaterally ask your staff to do more with less. Make good strategic choices that will position you well for your next chapter of ministry.
Becoming Vital Congregations and Generous Disciples in tough times Plan for the future! Seize this as the opportune time to reposition your congregation for a healthy and robust future. This recession will pass. What steps can you take now to become the vital generous church that Gods calls us to be in the future?
Questions What are you doing to prepare for the future during these difficult times? What will you take from this presentation back to your church?