Organizational change

The importance of reading congregational culture for effective church leadership

Author
Edwin Eng Wei Wong
Abstract
This project paper seeks to provide practical tools to help pastors and leaders understand congregational culture to effectively lead their ministries. Drawing pointers from the servant-leadership practices of Nehemiah as well as other resources, the author formulates approaches to managing transition and leading change. Recommendations, based on broad observations from a survey on a small group of itinerant pastors in Singapore, are subsequently drawn.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Stepping into the unknown : how imaging tools can help rebuild the church for a changed reality

Author
Rudolph Hendrik Van Graan
Abstract
After a discussion on the meta-shift in mainline churches in the United States, the trauma associated with decline, and suggesting building blocks for the future, the author offered three imaging tools, the Vision Board, SoulCollage® and the Visual Faith Project, that might help search committees and leadership teams in small and vulnerable congregations in the United Church of Christ discerning a vision and tangible goals for the future. Although these tools are focused on the individual, the author showed how each one of these tools could be used in the context of a group or a congregation as a whole.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Spirit-led design : creating a congregational model for innovation

Author
Beth Ludlum
Abstract
The author led a research team that created a pilot program to test how human-centered design thinking can be adapted and applied in congregational settings. The team repurposed and supplemented existing resources to create a year-long curriculum for five congregations to experiment with new approaches to engage young adults. The team monitored effectiveness by soliciting reports at three junctures during the year; conducting individual interviews with participants; and collecting data through surveys. The program analysis suggests that a defined process, effective tools, and regular accountability are essential for congregations to be truly innovative rather than slipping into “quick fixes” or familiar programming.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Interim religious education in the Unitarian Universalist tradition

Author
Michele Townsend Grove
Abstract
Does the interim religious education program developed by Unitarian Universalist religious educators work as a valid process for religious education and religious education professional transitions in the local church? The author used interviews and surveys of Unitarian Universalist religious educators, ministers, regional staff and lay persons to identify notable patterns of success and challenges in this specialized field. The final project outlines successes and challenges of interim religious education and includes suggestions for improvement.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Graceful adjustments : financial decline and staff downsizing in congregations

Author
Michelle Collins
Abstract
It’s no secret that religious institutions in the United States are facing unprecedented challenges. Membership levels, participation, and financial giving and support are shifting. Congregations often struggle to keep up with the rate of the change. Nowhere is this truer than in the financial realm, especially when they must consider downsizing their staff. This project examines classic staffing models, situations where downsizing has taken place, and a process for addressing staff transition times strategically. These help to address the challenge of how congregations can adjust with grace and thrive in the face of declining resources and changing realities.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

The Impact of a Staff Performance Management System on Performance Outcomes and Employee Commitment in a Private, Christian, Higher Education Institution

Author
Janis Lynn Ryder D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis explored performance management in a private, Christian, Canadian, higher education institution. A Model for Effective Performance Management was developed which served as a framework for a participatory action research project that piloted a staff performance review process and tool aimed at improving employee performance and organizational commitment of university staff employees. Seven university departments were part of the pilot project which included participating in supervisor training, testing a new performance review process and tool, and providing post-pilot feedback.
Post-pilot online survey results and interviews with leaders demonstrated a higher rate of completed performance reviews, increased competency and comfort level of supervisors/appraisers to lead performance review conversations, and increased employee commitment and performance resulting from the performance review experience.
There are opportunities for HR professionals, churches, and para-church organizations to use and benefit from this research and the Model for Effective Performance Management.

Navigating organizational and leadership challenges as an assistant pastor, serving in an interim pastoral role

Author
Joel David Hathaway
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how assistant pastors navigate challenges of adaptive leadership when the church loses its senior pastor, and the assistant pastor is expected to lead through the transition. A qualitative research methodology was employed to explore the scope of this topic. This study found that the exiting senior pastor, existing assistant/interim pastor, incoming senior pastor, and congregation all play active roles in guaranteeing success during pastoral transitions. This sh1dy also identified steps churches and pastors can take to retire outdated leadership models while integrating collaborative leadership methods that prepare congregations for periods of transition.

A Model for Transitioning Leadership in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God In Christ

Author
Nathaniel Alfonso Hall Jr.
Abstract
Oftentimes the mission, vision, purpose, and plan of God lives longer than an individual. To see it achieved, it must be effectively passed to the next generation. No generation stands independent of its predecessors or those that follow. In fact, generations overlay and overlap one another. Each is uniquely equipped with men and women created by God for that generation. Every single generation stands on the shoulders of those who went before them. People build on and must not destroy the foundation that is laid before them. Therefore, the church's success is determined by and dependent upon the successful transition of its leadership. This research will explore the good, the bad, and the indifferent regarding this subject matter and document best practices for a successful leadership transition.

Changing Church Culture among Church Leaders by Moving from Meetings to Mission

Author
Andrew J Kumpel D.Min.
Abstract
This study researched the effect of replacing church committee meetings with missional teaching and experiences of evangelism for church leaders on perceived current and preferred organizational culture. A three-moth moratorium of all official church meetings allowed the researcher to conduct five training sessions on evangelism. The researcher collected quantitative data from both control group participants and experimental group participants using a pretest and posttest model using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. Findings revealed some changes in perception of both current and preferred organizational culture among research participants. Change in organizations is pervasive because of the degree and rapidity of change in the external environment.

Building Community for the Renewal of Mission in Chicago's Catholic Parishes: The Wisdom of the Black Catholic Experience for Renew My Church

Author
Matthew Sean O'Donnell D.Min.
Abstract
Renew My Church is described as an innovative pastoral initiative in the Archdiocese of Chicago that identifies the three guiding imperatives of making disciples, building communities, and inspiring witness as essential to the renewal of pastoral life and ministry in the Archdiocese. Every parish in the Archdiocese will participate in this initiative. This thesis-project will critically engage the imperative to build community by looking at St. Katharine Drexel parish in Chicago, Illinois. This thesis-project will demonstrate how learning from the Black Catholic experience of building, strengthening, and sustaining community can contribute a spirituality and theological foundation for Renew My Church that is rooted in a communal worldview.
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