So, how did you answer the question about church leadership development?

2007 - Day 150 - The Short Straw

Image Credit: Jonathan_W (@whatie) via Compfight

A earlier post suggested that interim pastors leverage the power of AND to train church leadership how to make better decisions. All you need to do is teach them to cut “whether or not” from their vocabulary. Show them how to use the simple conjunction AND instead. The idea comes from Dan and Chip Heath’s latest book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, which I highly recommend.

Church leadership development includes training them how to be more effective, wiser decision makers. When church leaders use “whether or not” to frame their decisions they trap themselves i what the authors call “narrow framing.” “Whether or not” subtly confines their thinking to two options. They focus on the facts presented in the question and ignore other pertinent facts and questions.It’s our job (as intentional interim pastors) to teach them a better way. That’s what church leadership development is all about!

But interim pastors are bottom line types. Leadership development is a mission-critical part of the job. Client churches become client churches because something’s awry at the top. We’ve got a job to do, limited time to do it in.

Judicious use of AND will accelerate the church leadership development cycle.

That’s why, at the end of the article, I asked how you – the interim pastor or consultant – would use the power of AND to help a church board decide wisely. You may want to go back and skim that post to get the context of the question.

How I would reframe the church board’s decision

Here’s the question one of my client churches had to answer:

“Should we hire Brother Gumball to serve as an Executive Pastor to help Pastor Grumdrop manage the church OR not?”

Had I been consulted, I would have used the power of AND to liberate their thinking. I’d have used open-ended questions coupled to the power of AND.

  • What happens if you do nothing?
  • How can you help the Pastor be a better leader AND avoid the added burden on an already tight budget?
  • What will you do if you want to keep the Pastor AND can’t hire an Executive Pastor? (The Heaths call this the “vanishing options test”)
  • How can you help your Pastor acquire leadership skills AND keep his duties in tact?
  • Who do you know that can help you find other churches that have solved this problem?
  • How can you revise the Pastor’s job description AND see that all the work still gets done?
  • When was the last time you asked your Pastor to audit his regular schedule to see if he’s a good steward of his time?
  • What is the easiest way to drop some of the Pastor’s tasks AND delegate them to capable volunteers?
  • Why do you feel the need to help the Pastor instead of wondering if the church has grown beyond him?

You will be a better trainer and you will accelerate the church leadership development process if you master the skill of teaching them to use AND.

Try it.

Will you be a more effective interim pastor by teaching your client churches the power of AND?