Articles for Christian Leaders

Budgets
"Where the Money Goes"

by
Eric Reed (from Leadership, Summer 2000)
How normal are your church's salaries, debt, and budget? A Leadership survey.

"Church Budgets & Income"
by
John C. LaRue (from Christianity Today, Nov. 2000)
Current research data on churches.

"ABC's of Church Budgeting"
by
David R. Pollack (from Webminister.com, 1995)
Many church leaders assume that the board, staff & membership agree on the church's mission, annual goals & objects, however . . ."

Busyness
"How to Minister at a Healthy Pace"

by
John Ortberg (from Leadership, Fall 1998)

"Working 5 to 9"
by Edward K. Rowell (from Leadership, Spring 1998)

"The Rush"
by
Kirk B. Jones (from Leadership Journal, Spring 2001)

"How I Handle Busyness"
by
Susan Maycinik (from Discipleship Journal, Jan/Feb 1997)

Change
"The Enduring Skills of Change Leaders"
by Rossabeth Moss Kanter
(from Leader to Leader, Summer 1999)

"Winning at Change"
by
John Kotter (from Leader to Leader, Fall 1998)

"The Practice of Innovation"
by
Peter Senge (from Leader to Leader, Summer 1998)

"Learning for a Change"
by
Allen M. Webber(from Fast Company, May 1999)

"We Just Don't Like It"
by
Kevin Ruffcorn (from Leadership, Summer 2000)
When good and reasonable changes don't 'feel right' to people, what's a leader to do?

"Counting the Cost of Change"
by David Stevens (from The Lutheran, August, 1996)
Making change in a rural church.

"Tempered Radicalism "
by D. Meyerson (from The Center for Gender in Organization)
Changing the workplace from within.

"Why Can't We Get Anything Done?"
by Alan M. Webber (from FastCompany)

Church Boards
"What Makes Church Boards Work"
by Charles Olsen
(from Congregations: The Alban Journal, 1993)

Community
"Small Groups Forge New Notions of Community and the Sacred"
by Robert Wuthnow
(from The Christian Century, February 1994)

Conflict
"When Christians Fight Christians"

by
Tim Stafford (from Christianity Today, Oct. 6, 1997)

"Shielding Your Heart from Strife: Five Ways to Limit Conflict's Impact on You"
by Jock E. Ficken
(from Leadership, Spring 1998)

"Four Types of Manipulators: And How to Deal with Them"
by Thomas Fischer

"North American Guide to Church Dragons: How to Identify and Approach Two Dangerous Species"
by Louis McBurney
(from Leadership, Spring 1998)

"How to Read Your Critics: What 5 Different Detractors Say and What They Really Need"
by Ken Warren
(from Leadership, Spring 1998)

"When is a Broken Person Ready to Lead?"
by Daniel Brown with Bob Moeller (from Leadership)
Five questions to determine whether the hurting are ready for responsibility.

"Counting the Cost of Change"
by David Stevens (from The Lutheran, August, 1996)
Making change in a rural church.

Congregational Life
"The Marks of a Healthy Curch"
by Terry Foland (from The Alban Institute, Nov/Dec 2002)

"The Mystery of Congregations"
by James P. Wind, Alban President, explores why congregations matter (from The Alban Institute, Jan/Feb 2001)

"Golden Rule Christianity: Lived Religion in the American Mainstream"
by Nancy T. Ammerman (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 1997)

"Telling Congregational Stories"
by Nancy T. Ammerman (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 1993) The H. Paul Douglass lecture.

"Religion and Narrative"
by Wade Clark Roof (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 1992) The 1992 Religious Research Association Presidential Address (in PDF format)

"Listen Up!"
by Rekha Balu (from Fast Company) You can't learn from people if you don't listen.

"Clergy Burnout "
by Michael Jinkins (from The Alban Institute 2002)

"Beyond Style: Asking Deeper Questions about Worship"
by John D. Witvliet (from The Alban Institute July/August 2001)

"Congregational Response to Change in Families & Work"
by Penny Edgell (Becker) (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 1999)

"Finding Links that Matter at Schultz's Deli"
by Andrew B. Warner (from The Alban Institute May/June 2001) GenX pastor explores connection - of the digital and human kind.

Denominational Relations

"New life for denominationalism"
by Nancy T. Ammerman (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 2000)

"The Art and Science of Subtle Proactivity: Regional Leaders and their Congregations "
by Adair Lummis (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 2001)

"The Role of Judicatories in Interpreting Denominational Identity"
by Adair Lummis (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research 1999)

Developing Leaders
"Welcome to the Next Church"
by Charles Trueblood (from The Atlantic Monthly, August 1996) Introductory article about the mega-church movement, which places an emphasis on developing leaders.

"Want-to, Can-do Workers"
by Sue Mallory (from Leadership)
Turning your church into a place where people serve willingly and well.

Leadership, Fall 1996
An entire issue of Leadership devoted to "Developing Leaders: Multiplying Your Ministry Through Others"

"A Leadership Story"
by James P. Wind, Alban President, sees hope in the midst of crisis (from The Alban Institute, Sept/Oct 2001)

Economics (Christian)
"Covenant with the Poor: Toward a New Concept of Economic Justice"
by Yong-Bok Kim (from Christian Century)

"What Religious People Think About the Poor"
by Robert Wuthnow
(from Christian Century)
Summary of research on American attitudes about the poor.

"Pious Materialism: How Americans View Faith and Money"

By Robert Wuthnow (from Christian Century)
Summary of Wuthnow's study published as God and Mammon in America

"A Soul Decision"
By Dan Hotchkiss (from The Alban Institute Nov/Dec 2001)
The competing claims of faith and money.

Economism as Idolatry
by John B. Cobb, Jr.
Economism is leading us into catastrophes even worse that the religious wars of the early seventeenth century and the Second World War in our own. Christians emphasize the positive value of human community, the principle of subsidiarity, preferential option for the poor, and the integrity of creation and the human use of the environment should be sustainable. The policies implementing economism, such as the globalization of the economy through free trade, are diametrically opposed to all of these Christian principles.

What Kind of Growth?
by John B. Cobb, Jr.
The author shows that the GNP is inadequate as an index of real growth. Instead, he proposes an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare, and dvocates a new kind of economy, one based on the needs of the community, and suggests several steps to bring it about.

Growth Without Progress?
by John B. Cobb, Jr.
Cobb examines the dynamics of growth and concludes that growth is quite different from sustaining the welfare of all citizens in a society. Instead of breaking down local communities in the interest of capital and labor mobility, the alternative would be to work for the economic health of local communities. The United States should recognize the importance of developing an economic policy designed to improve the economic well-being of its own people rather than to support its transnational corporations in their global competition with those of other great economic blocks.

"The Way We Work, the Way We Live"
by Marilynne Robinson (from the Christian Century)
We sell ourselves cheap, so that work can demand always more of our time, and families can claim always less. The sin most abhorrent to God is the failure of generosity, the neglect of widow and orphan, the oppression of the poor.

"Shopping for the Real Me"
by Lee Knapp (from Christianity Today 1999)

"The Art & Ethics of Fundraising"
by Ken Waters (from Christianity Today 2001)

Economics (Small Town)
"In Search of a Better Life:
Americans are fleeing suburbia for small towns."

By Eric Pooley (from TIME magazine)
Small towns across the country are filling up with emigres from metro areas, who are using the latest in technologies, like the Internet, to keep themselves close to the action.

"Cumberland, Indiana"
By Tom Scheck (from National Public Radio)
Cumberland, Indiana, near Indianapolis, was one of the first towns to develop in central Indiana. But the state is considering adding lanes to US 40, which runs through the town. The construction project would destroy historic sidewalks, old trees and maybe even some buildings. The entire town has been designated one of the state's ten most endangered landmarks. Tom Scheck has the story. (4:00, audio)

"Counting the Cost of Change"
by David Stevens (from The Lutheran, August, 1996)
Making change in a rural church.

Environmental Concerns and Eco-Justice
"Ecological Degradation as the Judgment of God"
by William C. French (from the Christian Century)
French approaches the ecological issues facing the world from the theological position that the ecological destruction occurring is evidence of God's judgment on our misuse of creation. Citing books by Al Gore and Bill McKibben to support his critique of our consumer-oriented culture, French emphasizes the crucial role churches can and should play in sensitizing us to the need for sacrifice if we are to reverse the destruction.

Eco-minded: Faith and Action
by Charles Pinches (from the Christian Century)
Pinches reviews Larry Rasmussen's Earth Community, Earth Ethics wherein Rasmussen proposes "sustainability" as the correct goal for human interaction with the earth. But he also notes that this description is prone to abuse, for it has been too easily twined with expansionism.

Finances
"What Religious People Think About the Poor"
by Robert Wuthnow
(from Christian Century)
Summary of research on American attitudes about the poor.

"Pious Materialism: How Americans View Faith and Money"

By Robert Wuthnow (from Christian Century)
Summary of Wuthnow's study published as God and Mammon in America

"Financing American Religion"
By Mark Chaves
Summary of Chaves's study published as Financing American Religion (in PDF format)

"Where the Money Goes"
by
Eric Reed (from Leadership, Summer 2000)
How normal are your church's salaries, debt, and budget? A Leadership survey.

"Financing by Faith"
by
Susan Pieters Vogel (from Leadership, Summer 2000)
Who was I to put the brakes on our fundraising committee's plans?

"Financing American Religion"
by
Mark Chaves (from The Hartford Institute for Religion Research)

"Cash and Character: Talking about Money in the Church"
by
Donald Luidens (from The Christian Century 1997)

"A Soul Decision: The Competing Claims of Faith & Money"
by
Dan Hotchkiss (from The Alban Institute Nov/Dec 2001)

Grief
"Roundtable: Grief and Bereavement"

from National Public Radio

"Care, Not Sure: Being with Someone who is Dying is an Honor"
by Daniel Benuska from (The Lutheran, January, 1999)
Thoughts on pastoral care of the dying from a hospice volunteer.

"Don't Blame God: Just be there for People in Pain"
by John Lestock (from The Lutheran, December, 1998)

"Marching to Hope"
by James H. Drury (from Religion Online April 1990)

"Never Say . . . "
by Sheri Burenheide (from The Lutheran, May 2000)
"Here's how to help someone in grief - in one hard lesson."

Leadership
"Staying Sharp in a Small Town"
by Richard Doebler (from Leadership)
Down home values don't have to include lower standards. Advice based on the author's experience in moving from a large city to a small town.

"Night With Pastor"
by Wayne Dobratz (from Ministry Health)
An orientation program for beginning a new pastorate.

"Leading Congregations, Discovering Congregational Cultures"
by James P. Wind (from Christian Century)
A discussion of the function of the congregation as a "local culture" and of the responsibilty of leaders to "learn to work with, rather than against" congregational culture.

"A Leadership Story"
by James P. Wind (from Alban Institute Sept/Oct 2001)

"The Leader of the Future"
by William C. Taylor (from Fast Company)
Harvard's Ronald Heifetz offers a short course on the future of leadership.

"A Conversation with Ronald Heifetz: Leadership without Easy Answers"
By Joe Flower
Interview with the author of the important book Leadership without Easy Answers

"Your Leadership is Unique"
by Peter F. Drucker (from Leadership)
Good news: There is no one "leadership personality".

"Leadership Principles From Peter Drucker"
by Greg Morris (from Ministry Health)
A very short summary of Peter Drucker's principles of leadership.

"Goodbye, Command and Control"
by Margaret Wheatley (from Leader to Leader)
The "self-managed" environment facilitates high levels of productivity.

"Aligning Actions & Values"
by James Collins(from Leader to Leader Institute 1996)

"Women as Leaders"
by Deborah Merrill-Sands & Deborah Kolb (from Leader to Leader Institute)

"Clergy Burnout "
by Michael Jinkins (from Alban Institute 2002)

Learning
"Evaluation as Collaborative Inquiry"
by Craig Dykstra (from Initiatives in Religion, Fall 1993)

"The Enduring Skills of Change Leaders"
by Rossabeth Moss Kanter (from Leader to Leader, Summer 1999)

"Theology on our Feet: A Revisionist Pedagogy for Healing the Gap between Academia and Ecclesia"
by Thomas Groome (from Mudge & Poling, Formation & Reflection, Fortress, 1997)

"Interpreting Situations: An Inquiry into the Nature of Practical Theology"
by Edward Farley (from Mudge & Poling, Formation & Reflection, Fortress, 1997)

Meetings
"The Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings"
by Eric Matson (from Fast Company)
And seven steps to salvation. Tools, techniques, and technologies to make your meetings less painful, more productive -- even heavenly.

"What Makes Church Boards Work"
by Charles Olsen
(from Congregations: The Alban Journal, 1993)

"Small Groups Forge New Notions of Community and the Sacred"
by Robert Wuthnow
(from The Christian Century, February 1994)

Moral Leadership
"The Judas Touch: Struck by Embezzlement, One Church's Story of Blending Forgiveness and Restitution"
by Name Withheld (from Leadership, Winter 1999)

Public Ministry
"Getting the Relationships Right"
by Gil Rendle
(from The Alban Institute, July/Aug 2002) Comments from The Institute's Vice President on helping congregations and foundations understand each other.

"Embracing the Public Arena"
by Dennis A. Jacobsen (from The Alban Institute, July/August 2002)

"Doing Good in American Communities"
by Nancy T. Ammerman (from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research) A report on congregations and service organizations working together.

"Why do we need a Public Affairs Mission? The Moral Crisis in American Public Life"
by Robert Bellah (from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research) A lecture given at Southwest Missouri State University, October 1995.

"Congregations and Social Services: What They Do, How They Do It, and With Whom"
by Mark Chaves and William Tsitsos (from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research) A report from the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund Working Paper Series (2001).

"Charitable Choice "
by Carl Dudley (from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research 2001).

"From Typical Church to Social Ministry"
by Carl Dudley (from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research) A study of the elements which mobilize a congregation.

"Theology and the Position of Pastors on Social Issues: Continuity and Change since the 1960's"
by Benton Johnson (from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research 1996) The 1996 Religious Research Association Presidential Address.

Spiritual Life
"Small Groups Forge New Notions of Community and the Sacred"

by Robert Wuthnow
(from The Christian Century, February 1994)

"How to Minister at a Healthy Pace"
by
John Ortberg (from Leadership, Fall 1998)

Theological Reflection
"Theology on our Feet: A Revisionist Pedagogy for Healing the Gap between Academia and Ecclesia"
by Thomas Groome (from Mudge & Poling, Formation & Reflection, Fortress, 1997)

"Interpreting Situations: An Inquiry into the Nature of Practical Theology"
by Edward Farley (from Mudge & Poling, Formation & Reflection, Fortress, 1997)

Vision
"Building a Visionary Organization is a Do-It-Yourself Project: A Conversation with James C. Collins"
by Joe Flower
Interview with the author of the well-received book Built to Last.

"A Conversation with Ronald Heifetz: Leadership without Easy Answers"
By Joe Flower
Interview with the author of the important book Leadership without Easy Answers

"The Key to Cultural Transformation"
By Frances Hesselbein (from Leader to Leader)
Organizational culture changes through mission-focused efforts which involve the people affected by the changes.

"Aligning Action and Values"
By Jim Collins (from Leader to Leader, Summer 1996)

"From My Vision to Our Vision: Finding Your Church's Calling in the People You Already Have"
By Paul R. Ford (from Leadership, Summer 2000)

Volunteers
"Is Your Job Your Calling"
by Alan M. Webber
Describes why people feel particular satisfaction with their jobs. An extended interview with the directors of MBA the career development programs at the Harvard Business School, business psychologists Timothy Butler and James Waldroop.

"Small Groups Forge New Notions of Community and the Sacred"
by Robert Wuthnow (from the Christian Century)
Summary of his book Sharing the Journey: Support Groups and America’s New Quest for Community

"Welcome to the Next Church"
by Charles Trueheart (from The Atlantic Monthly)
Introductory article about the mega-church movement, which makes extensive use of volunteers.

"Want-to, Can-do Workers"
by Sue Mallory (from Leadership)
Turning your church into a place where people serve willingly and well.

Leadership, Fall 1996
An entire issue of Leadership devoted to "Developing Leaders: Multiplying Your Ministry Through Others"

"A Training Plan for Volunteers"
by Shirley J. Good (from Christianity Today 1998) Developing a team of willing helpers.

"Safeguarding Your Church"
by William L. Smith (from Christianity Today 1998) Practical guidelines for screening volunteers.

Women
"Women's Ministries in the 1990's"
from Leadership Network (in PDF format)

"Which Elements of Parish Life are Important to Women and Minorities?"
by Michael Cieslak (2000 - in PDF format)

"Clergy Women: An Uphill Calling"
by Adair Lummis (from the Hartford Institute) A summary of the Clergy Women study by Barbara Brown Zikmund, Adair T. Lummis and Patricia M. Y. Chang

"Women as Leaders"
by Deborah Merrill-Sands & Deborah Kolb (from Leader to Leader Institute)

"Tempered Radicalism "
by D. Meyerson (from The Center for Gender in Organization)
Linking gender and organizational effectiveness.

 

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