Church History Drill Down

I’m about to engage with a new church in a transitional coaching role. One of the things out of the gate we’ll be doing is assessment and the history of the church is a big part of that. I’ve started making requests for the documentation I need and I thought I’d just pass on the process I follow to get to the bottom of a church history. 

I know I’ve talked about this before, but I want to share more of a process with you here. In a transitional role it’s not just about the celebratory church history, but about the real history of the church. Here’s a process to work through to get a grip on the history of your church, whether you’re in a new situation or have been in one for a while. 

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Preaching and Leading in Times of Crisis

Hi, welcome to Priority Pastor, this is Daren Wride. I’m recording this on March 12th, 2020, as the Corona virus is starting to look very serious indeed. There are not a lot of voices anymore saying it’s not a big deal. People are recognizing it is indeed a big deal. Just how big a deal it’s going to be, we don’t know yet.

I’ve been looking back to some of my notes from post 9/11, how we dealt with that in our little church in northern Canada, because even though we are a long way from the epicenter of it all, people were shaken up. It did affect us. It affected our culture. It affected a lot of things. So I’ve been looking at how we handled that, what we did right, what we didn’t do so well and thought I would pass some of that on. This is about preaching and leading in times of crisis and some ideas and principles about that.

To start out with let me just tell a story that you might want to use as a part of your communication in this season, whether it’s for the Corona virus or other crises down the road:

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What is Your Mars Colony?

A friend on a mastermind call last week asked me an interesting question. He asked, “What is your Mars colony?” 

He asked that question after I had shared some of my projects, plans and multiple ministry roles I’m involved in. He shared an anecdote from the life of Elon Musk and how he makes decisions. When Elon Musk is faced with an opportunity or a fork in the road, his locus for decision making really is asking himself if this will help advance the ultimate goal of creating a self-sustaining city on Mars. 

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When the Lead Pastor is Broken

In my previous post I talked to you about a crazy dysfunctional staffing situation from the perspective of being a lead pastor. Well, here’s the flip side. What if you’re that staff person? What if you’re a staff person and your lead pastor is the crazy, messed up, dysfunctional one? What if the lead pastor is broken? What if the lead pastor is unethical or abusive in some way? 

This is actually unfortunately rather common. In fact, in transitional ministry that I’m engaged in and familiar with and hearing from other transitional pastors, in many cases, the situations we step into and the reason the church is in transition is because the lead pastor was out of line. 

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Dysfunctional Church Staff Situation

I just got off the phone with a young pastor friend, a mentee, who finds himself in a rather crazy situation. He’s dealing with a staff person who was present in the church before he became the lead pastor there. This administrative staff person has no real job description. They kind of wrote it themselves and it is ever evolving as desired. They are taking free rein and a lot of latitude with the finances, the facilities of the church, their job and even the job of a friend who does some work at the church. 

It’s just a crazy situation. In the end, because of either their administrative role or because they were there first, they believe they have authority over the new lead pastor, at least in some areas. This person thinks the new pastor actually has to ask them for permission to do things. 

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