Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Harvest the Power, 2nd Edition: A Lay Leadership Development Program for Adults

Alternate Activity 1: Leadership and Management Alternate Scenario

(30 minutes)



  • Prepare Leader Resource 2 according to the instructions (cut the individual role-play directions apart).
  • 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 the remaining participants.
  • Write the following questions on newsprint, and post it where all participants can see it:
    • When is the group asking management questions?
    • When are they asking leadership questions?
    • How might this scenario become a turning point for the congregation?


In this activity, six participants role-play members of a congregational governing board facing a significant issue. Each is assigned a specific perspective or agenda to bring to the discussion.

Tell participants that they will now do a fishbowl role play. Six volunteers will role-play members of a congregation’s governing board, faced with a significant issue. Those not in the role play will pay close attention to the governing board’s discussion.

Ask for six volunteers to be the congregation’s governing board. Give them each a slip of paper from Leader Resource 2 that they will bring to a discussion of the issue. Point out the posted questions, and ask the remaining participants to keep them in mind as they observe the role play.

Introduce the scenario:

Your congregation’s insurance company has informed you that you will no longer be able to purchase liability coverage unless you have a policy in place to address the prevention of sexual abuse and misconduct, including the use of criminal background checks for volunteers and staff.

Allow discussion for 10 minutes or until the role play seems to reach a natural stopping point. Invite those on the outside of the fishbowl to respond to the posted questions. 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.