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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Evaluating an Employment Offer from a Church

Today I want to talk to you about evaluating a pastoral job offer or a letter of offer to be a pastor of some kind in a church. I’ve been asked about this a lot lately. Many of my ministry friends are in transition and have asked me about evaluating their offers, and in some cases sent me the offer for advice on addressing the things in the offer. Let me just share a few thoughts along those lines. 

First, the time to evaluate the offer, crunch the numbers and figure out is before you accept the offer. Before. Do not ever, ever, ever engage in a situation where some details of the offer are to be determined once you’re in place. In fact, one of my friends had an offer and some of the benefits were described that they were to be decided or to be negotiated once the person is in their position. Not a chance. You negotiate that before you accept. You need to know exactly what the numbers are so there’s no surprises because generally the surprises end up being a minus sign in your wallet, not a plus sign. So everything absolutely needs to be clear. 

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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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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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