• Love One Another

    There are days within our lives that we wake up with the expectation that the day ahead will be challenging. Perhaps we have a meeting about a particular challenge our organization faces or with a particular person whom we find challenging. Many possibilities exist and when the day ahead is expected to be a challenge, we often do not sleep well the night before. I wonder how Jesus slept on the last night He would sleep. While the events leading up to Jesus crucifixion account for about 25% of each gospel, we do not have any real description of His sleep. We can tell by His actions that He was…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Policies and Procedures

    The last set of church documents to be reviewed are the policies and procedures of the church. Technically, these are two different types of documents with policies providing principles for WHAT the church (or any organization) desires and the procedure is the HOW to fulfill the outcome. Therefore, these two types of documents are very closely related and are often combined together in thought and in function. In last week’s post, I mentioned that in many cases, churches will create bylaws based upon a reaction to something. The example I used was not allowing red kool-aid in a place of worship. The challenge with this idea is that bylaws are…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Clarifying Bylaws

    Throughout the last couple of months, I have been blogging about the different types of documentation that a church needs. More types can be used than what I will include in this part of this series, but the items I have shared (Job Descriptions, Constitution, Bylaws, and to a lesser degree Team Descriptions) are important to help the church be properly identified, and know how to generally conduct the business of the church. However, two more important types of documents remain. One is a document defining policies and the other is the set of procedures. These two document types are commonly included together as Policies and Procedures. Many churches have…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – The Constitution and Bylaws

    Over the past several weeks, I have been discussing the need for church documentation. As I have tried to clearly convey, THE document of (and for) the church is the Bible. If a church places emphasis on any document (or book) above the Bible, then that church is in dire straits. However, having other documents to guide and govern the church is important. And these other documents should find their basis in the Bible. When most people think of a document that is used by the church, they might think of a bulletin, or perhaps, a newsletter. These documents are not the types of documents I am highlighting, but a…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – The Three-Legged Stool

    In this week’s post, I want to highlight the three-legged stool. First, let me give you a little background. One of the reasons that I chose to focus on Christian Education (and, as a byproduct, Church Administration) is the pragmatic nature of administration. Of course, in any discipline or field of study, unknown variables exist, but in the realm of the church, the spiritual element is impossible to measure. That is not bad – in fact it is GREAT. If we could accurately, and fully, measure the work of the Holy Spirit, then we would no longer need God, because we would be God. But, for some of us who…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Job Evaluations

    In the previous two posts, I have written about descriptions at the team and individual job level. Again, it is important to note that a job description does not need to imply the position is paid. Each position in any organization, including churches, can (and probably should) have a description of duties. Why? Well, the first is so the person(s) can know what the position entails. But the second is so that the person(s) can be evaluated. I realize that evaluation is not necessarily considered positive. Many people become tense when they hear the word “review” when related to a job. But we review any number of items every day.…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Job Descriptions

    In last week’s post, I provided some insights on why having a team description is helpful. Although many churches and organizations do not use this idea, knowing how a person (and position) fits into the overall dynamic of a team can be helpful. Many mid-sized and larger churches are using more of these ideas as more and more are becoming concerned with the overall interpersonal dynamics that are involved. However, the primary reason Team Descriptions are not prevalent is that many churches do not have job descriptions.* And people are more concerned about what they are doing (or are to do) than they are about fitting in with others, at…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Team Descriptions

    “I didn’t know that was something I was supposed to do!” “If I had known that, I would have never signed up for this!” Have you ever heard (or thought) these phrases? They are quite common. Why? Because of a lack of clear communication (see last week’s post here). Many leaders (and far more managers) are capable of communicating a general idea of what must be done, but do not focus on how the task fits the greater cause – and that is a problem. In fact, even that last sentence is a part of the problem because too many people focus on tasks instead of responsibilities! Generally, managers are…

  • Towards a Healthy Church – Communication

    Last week, I shared a particular challenge within many churches is the lack of participation by the congregation and the lack of allowing for participation by the leadership. These two issues represent two sides of the same coin and often boil to a lack of expectations – either that someone wants help or that someone can get the job done. But one reason that jobs do not get done is a lack of communication. This issue can impact many areas of a church – large or small. Insufficient, or ineffective, communication can prevent people from knowing what opportunities are available for service, what the responsibilities are in service, why the…

  • Towards A Healthy Church, A Major Reason Involvement Is a Challenge

    Over the past four weeks, I have shared my testimony of moving from being apart from the church to being a part of a church to now being a leader in multiple aspects of The Church. These testimonial posts allowed me to personally review how God has worked over time in my life, and to share with others the need to both be invested in by others and to invest in others. However, before we leave this part of the series, I want to move from the personal to the practical. That is, I want to provide a few specific helps to help you, or help you help others, to…