Books

insidelargechurchInside the Large Congregation

By Susan Beaumont

For five years, Alban Institute senior consultant Susan Beaumont has been giving voice to the organizational and leadership demands of large congregations. Through her work, she has identified five basic leadership systems that need to stay in alignment for the large church to function well for its size: clergy leadership roles, staff team design and function, governance and board function, acculturation and the role of laity, and forming and executing strategy.

She has also learned that these five systems operate with some important but subtle distinctions in what Beaumont calls the professional church (400-800 in worship attendance), the strategic church (800-1,200), and the matrix church (1,200-2,000). Often, she has discovered, problems in a large congregation are related to the fact that one or more of the five systems is inappropriately structured for the size of the congregation. In other words, the church isn’t acting its size.

Beaumont is invested in helping large congregations “rightsize” their leadership systems to better serve their ministry context. This book articulates why size matters and how it matters in the world of large congregations. It is written for anyone who wants to better understand the leadership and organizational dynamics of the large church—anyone seeking to understand the challenges of leading from inside the large congregation.

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AL341When Moses Meets Aaron: Staffing and Supervision in Large Congregations

By Gilbert R. Rendle & Susan Beaumont

With the number of large congregations rising in the U.S., these congregations are increasingly dependent upon a greater number of staff to meet the needs of their diverse collection of members. As leaders of multi-staff teams, senior clergy must play the dual role of both Moses and Aaron—both visionary and detail-oriented leader—in order for their large congregations to thrive. They need to be skilled with the tools of human resource management, while at the same time setting a vision and inspiring both staff and congregation.

Unfortunately, until now there have been few resources for senior clergy who lead multi-staff teams. Working without adequate models and tools, senior clergy of large congregations often find themselves with passionate, dedicated staff members who are moving in different directions, competing over limited resources and attention. They end up with questions of how to evaluate the performance of staff and direct their efforts. They find themselves using time, attention, and resources to care for staff rather than using staff as a resource to care for the mission of the congregation.

Alban senior consultant Susan Beaumont and Gil Rendle have developed When Moses Meets Aaron to help clergy responsible for several-member staff teams navigate these unknown waters. They have taken the best of corporate human resource tools and immersed them in a congregational context, providing a comprehensive manual for supervising, motivating, and coordinating staff teams. Rendle and Beaumont give both detailed and big picture guidance on hiring, job descriptions, supervision, performance evaluation, staff-team design, difficult staff behavior, and more. Their combined experience in consulting and training with staff and leaders of large congregations proves invaluable in this manual for today’s leadership demands.

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