Thursday, 20 November 2008

Common Advice

I took part in a workshop as part of a Common Purpose Matrix day. The aim of the workshop was to give participants an opportunity to learn as they explored a particular challenge related to change.

I presented them with the situation in the deanery and explained to them in detail our issues with money. The great thing about this challenge was that it resembled the kind of costs vs. income debates that many organisations have - but placed it in an unfamiliar context.

The discussion was really interesting and they came to some familiar conclusions:

The group decided that the mission of the Church should take priority as the overarching principle. Costs were recognised as a hard thing to change, but they recommended that we focus on:
  1. increasing congregation size
  2. increasing individual contributions
  3. looking for ways to tap external funds
In order to achieve these objectives, they recommended that we look at leadership:

Education and communications are crucial, they argued, because congregations will give more if they realise that there is a need. They also suggested that there needs to be greater levels of accountability for local ministers...

One of their strongest recommendations focussed on the need to spread good practice between the churches of the deanery so that struggling churches would learn from those who are doing better. One interesting idea was to encourage secondments - allowing clergy from different churches to spend time in different parishes - picking up good ideas or merely getting a bit of refreshment...

It was a great day and well worth taking part in. So thank you to the group members - if they're reading this...

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