What Does Real Leadership Look Like?

I recently had the privilege of teaching a week-long Doctor of Ministry seminar in a seminary to a group of very bright and thoughtful students. Our topic was leadership that is adaptive, visionary, innovative and entrepreneurial. We read some fine books on the...
Necessary Leaders

Necessary Leaders

I have known dozens of churches well.  Some I served; some were served by colleagues.  Others were neighboring congregations.  A few of these churches handled difficulties well.  They took the initiative to deal with problems in the earliest stages.  They set...
Life in Pieces: Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle

Life in Pieces: Lessons from a Jigsaw Puzzle

Here’s my confession: I enjoy piecing together jigsaw puzzles. I’m still not sure whether my affinity for puzzles parallels my work as a pastor, but I have discovered that bringing order to the chaos of this fragmentation is both relaxing and reflective. As an...
Worth Fighting Over

Worth Fighting Over

As part of our work with congregations who are engaging in the process of imagining their future, we invite them to first look back and connect with their past. One effective tool for doing that is to create a timeline that includes significant events from the life of...
Conflict: It’s Complicated

Conflict: It’s Complicated

Conflict.  Just the word gives many of us a sinking feeling.  And it seems to be everywhere these days: in our homes, our churches and other ministry settings, and in our national and global interactions. Two weeks ago I had the privilege of spending a week in Israel...
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Part 2

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Part 2

In part one of this two-part column, I wrote that healthy churches give considerable attention to a full process of communication that includes: quality of decisions, quantity of messages, accuracy of information, and consistency of practice.  In part two, I will...
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Pastors and other ministers want to know the best practices of a healthy church.  Here’s one: healthy churches communicate well.  They recognize it is almost impossible to communicate too much. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If it’s so simple, why don’t more congregations...
Carol Tate and Mike Clingenpeel join CHC

Carol Tate and Mike Clingenpeel join CHC

The Center for Healthy Churches (CHC) is delighted to announce two important additions to the consulting arm of the ministry. Each of these new consultants brings vast ministry experience and exceptional expertise to their work. The Rev. Dr. Carol Tate is the Interim...
The Gift of Momentum

The Gift of Momentum

As my interview with the Personnel Team of a church looking for an interim pastor came to an end, the chair turned to me and said, “We don’t want to waste the momentum we have right now.” When I asked for a broader explanation of what he meant by that, he said, “We...