Lead like a servant, as Christ did, so that your parish will flourish in the community it serves
The half-day modules listed below offer key principles and tools to clergy and laity, so that, in working together, the local church body may be more equipped to thrive in the community it serves. You should attend if you are interested in serving the ministry of your parish. Each module described offers engaging material to prepare for the intensive workshop. Small groups formed at the session are invited to engage the post-module exercises, supported by program facilitators, to implement the concepts, behaviors, and practices for a healthier local church body. Whether you actively serve in a leadership role, or you are an emerging leader, please register for one of the four regional conferences offered this winter and spring of 2020.
Or contact us if you are interested in hosting or supporting a regional conference near you!
Foundations of Servant Leadership
Scripture provides the foundation for understanding the function of servant leadership, an essential blueprint for all those practicing leadership in the church. Scripture shows that all members of the church - clergy and laity - are under the authority of the written commandment, bound by duty and personally accountable to its directive for the community.
Drawing upon biblical parables and terminology, this session will challenge clergy and laity to re-root secular understandings of leadership in the teachings of Samuel, Ezekiel, and St. Paul through the paradigms of the shepherd and his flock as well as the oikonomos, or head slave of the Roman household. The lives of the saints and other contemporary figures will serve as examples of those who submitted as servants to God's instruction.
During the session, participants will:
Explore, practice and apply the principles of servant leadership to address a variety of situations, including manipulation, mistreatment, inaction, and unhealthy conflicts in parish life.
Examine how contemporary concepts of Servant as Leader (Robert Greenleaf) and Situational Leadership (Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard) are reflected in Scripture, and how Scripture challenges and surpasses those interpretations in some cases
Gain a working understanding of false humility, false authority, and true leadership exercised as a servant to the Gospel.
Recommended Preparation Prior to attending the session, participants are strongly encouraged to read Ezekiel 34 and write a short summary
Creating Effective Ministry Teams With an emphasis on parish councils
Healthy and vibrant ministry in a parish requires strong collaboration between members who participate in parish service through liturgical ministries, study groups, ministries of service and outreach, and parish administration. The Parish Council is arguably the most important, and often under-performing team in many Orthodox parishes. Often best known for boring meetings limited to bills, budgets and buildings –including debating thermostat settings - too many parish councils operate more like brakes than engines. They hold the parish back as opposed to moving it forward.
Could there be more? Can we transform the parish council from being the place where ideas go to die to driving the parish to a brighter future? Can parish councils become a shared leadership body that cooperates with the priest to discover possibilities, discern priorities, drive change and prepare the parish for vital ministry? Can we inspire the parish’s best people to want to contribute on the Parish Council?
This session is designed to help participants improve the effectiveness of the Parish Council and in so doing illuminate principles, practices, and attitudes applicable to team behavior in other ministries.
Specifically you will learn:
The principles of good governance in an Orthodox parish
The proper role of the parish council and the expectations of parish council members
How the parish council interacts with parish ministries
For Orthodox Christians, Christ is the ultimate leader of the Church and our parishes. The ministry is His ministry. He is the source, shepherd, and goal of ministry – the “Offerer and the Offered.” To create a virtuous vision and to cultivate constructive change, parish leaders are called to metanoia, "committing both ourselves and to one another to Christ our God."
In addition to being the ultimate leader, God is also the ultimate “change-agent.” He is the creator of all Who is still creating. Jesus taught that we must change our nous (the center of one’s being, one’s mind, heart, and soul) to experience salvation and His Kingdom – now and in the life to come. This change involves, among other things, mitigating and reversing unhealthy ways of thinking and acting in parish life which lead to dysfunction and disease in the body of Christ. In addition to the basic theological foundations for vision and change that have been effectively utilized in the Church for 2,000 years, participants will be introduced to a number of proven leadership tools to help cultivate constructive change in parishes.
View the parish more as a living organism than as an organization which Christ Himself - the head of its body - wants to lead toward healthy spiritual growth and salvation.
Ask questions designed to help one another discover what in the current parish narrative or culture may be leading to dysfunction, disease, inertia, or fruitlessness.
Cultivate effective vision and change by "committing ourselves and one another" to metanoia and askesis.
Formulate a clear and compelling parish mission statement for their parish and teach it to fellow parishioners.
Facilitate healthy change by changing the conversation (and eventually the narrative) of the parish to one that is inviting, forward-looking, focusing on possibilities, ownership, commitment, and gifts.
Learn and apply core concepts from Jim Collin's monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors as well as John Kotter's Eight Steps Leading Change model.
Understand how “zero-based budgeting” may be used as an effective tool to help align (or re-align) parish mission, goals, strategic plan, programs, and assessment with the allocation of parish resources.
A true stewardship mindset requires not just financial considerations, but also spiritual discovery, preparation and renewal that ascends in a spirit of heartfelt generosity.
In this session, participants will explore the distinctive ways that Orthodoxy informs the practices of stewardship - both for the individual and for the church body.
During the session, participants will:
Review the formation of their stewardship beliefs
Examine the spiritually rich and uniquely Orthodox ways of stewardship manifest in the Church’s sublime vision of our human vocation as the priestly people of God
Utilize a simple outline called the ‘Stewardship Cycle’, designed to help participants progress and grow in maturity as stewards and identify obstacles to that growth
Move beyond personal understanding and practice of stewardship to express generosity through a sacrificial way of life as part of a local, committed Christian community, carrying out the Lord’s saving work through ministry in the world
Explore new ways to form a dynamic stewardship ethos and practice in the local parish
Submit your Personal Stewardship Questionnaire: ‘Stewardship’ will mean many things for many people. Take a minute to identify your own personal journey in learning about and practicing Orthodox Christian Stewardship.
List some of the gifts you’ve been blessed with in your life
Write a few sentences about what you would like to learn in this session and what specific questions you may have about personal or parish stewardship