What Should Clergy Know?

Last week, the Cafe published Laurie Brock’s piece about what needs to die so that the Church might find reinvigorated life. Among the items she listed was our propensity to ordain people just because they were ‘nice’, and not because they evidenced any of the skills that made people effective priests.

In a stab at what those skills might be, comes this article from Congregational Consulting.

It argues that a priest should now be skilled at articulating the vision of the gathered community (not handing it one, but framing it.) Along with this, the minister needs to help the community plan to follow its vision.

Also, the priest nowadays needs to be somewhat handy at communicating and leading an organization–whether a paid staff, or a legion of volunteers.

For generations, the standard congregational way of developing leaders has been through a slow process of education into membership, time spent on committees, and eventual “elevation” to a governing board. This process no longer works, in part because newer members don’t have the time or the desire to serve on committees and in part because long-time members are becoming increasingly tired and frustrated as no one “steps up” to take their place. A skilled minister is able to assist a congregation in renegotiating its internal decision-making by creating room for members to self-organize using whatever works for them, including:

Email, Facebook, and text

A short flurry of meetings rather than one/month

Meetings over coffee at the bakery or over beer at the brewery rather than in the building

Read the whole list of recommended skills here.

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