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Activity 3: Leadership And Management (40 minutes), Workshop 4: Turning Points And Moments Of Grace

In "Harvest the Power," a Tapestry of Faith program

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Prepare Leader Resource 2 according to directions.
  • Review material in Leader Resource 1 from Workshop 3.
  • Arrange seating in a "fishbowl," a tight circle of six chairs (or six chairs around a small table), with seating around the outside of the circle for remaining participants.
  • Write three questions on newsprint, and post:
    • When is the group asking management questions?
    • When are they asking leadership questions?
    • How might this scenario become a turning point or moment of grace for the congregation?

Description of Activity

Briefly review Leader Resource 1 of Workshop 3. Make sure participants are clear about the difference between management issues, which require a technical solution, and leadership issues, which require one to see a bigger picture of what is going on in the congregation. Remind them that a management question is, "Are we doing things right?" and a leadership question is, "Are we doing right things?" Convey the idea that congregations, like individuals, are sometimes faced with the unexpected when events or issues seem to call for moving in a new direction. Often issues that face a congregation present both management and leadership challenges. When leaders have the courage to ask not only "Are we doing things right?" but also "Are we doing right things?" the results can mean a turning point or moment of grace for the congregation and its work in the world.

Tell participants they will do a fishbowl role play. Some volunteers will role play members of a congregation's governing board, faced with a significant issue. You will give each of them a slip of paper with some details they will bring to a discussion of the issue. Those not in the role play are to pay attention to the governing board's discussion: When is the group asking management questions? When are they asking leadership questions? How might this scenario become a turning point or moment of grace for the congregation?

Ask for six volunteers to be the congregation's governing board. Give them individual information as instructed in Leader Resource 2.

Introduce the scenario:

Your congregation is planning to do some major work to repair the foundation of the building and to upgrade space. You have had a successful capital campaign and have raised nearly enough money — but not quite enough. Now you have heard from local government officials that you will not be granted a building permit until you have addressed some major accessibility issues in your building.

Allow discussion for ten minutes or until it seems to reach a natural stopping point. Then, invite those on the outside of the fishbowl to respond to the questions you have posted on newsprint. Record their responses on another sheet of newsprint. After those on the outside of the fishbowl have spoken, ask the role players to reflect on their experience. Add their observations to the newsprint list of responses.

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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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