Written materials to support conversations of learning among congregational and conference leaders.
God's Mixed Ecology: The Changing Spiritual Landscape by Lisa Greenwood (Fall 2019)
The church must diversify in order to be relevant in the current landscape. Here Rev. Greenwood introduces us to the ways God is already at work creating a mixed ecology, with diverse expressions of Christian witness and faithful communities connecting and forming disciples who are impacting the world.
Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land: A Call for Resilience in Uncertain Times by Bishop Janice Riggle Huie (2018)
This paper invites you into a conversation around resilience. Along with purpose and courage, it is one of the leverage issues on which institutions and congregations will live or die into the future.
Organizing the "Messy Middle" in Large Churches by Mike Bonem (September 2018)
Organizing the "Messy Middle" in Large Churches discusses the challenges of organizational complexity - and how to address it - especially in churches with multiple campuses or worship communities.
Soulful Superintending from a Coaching Perspective by Chris Holmes (2018)
"Our models for superintending in ministry must evolve to meet the needs of the current contexts and purposes of ministry," says Chris Holmes who explores what adaptive superintending might look like through the lens of coaching.
Preparing for Pastoral Transitions by Mike Bonem (2018)
In this monograph, Mike Bonem examines ways that churches, pastors, and denominational leaders can better prepare for transitions. Bonem's recommendations grew out of his experience facilitating a TMF-sponsored clergy group of pastors nearing retirement.
"Be Strong and of Good Courage": A Call to Quiet Courage in an Anxious Time by Gil Rendle (2016)
This monograph, originally written for TMF's Bishops Conclave, an ongoing gathering of the active bishops of the South Central Jurisdiction, is relevant to all leaders of the church seeking to practice active courage in the current unsettledness in which we live.
Waiting for God’s New Thing: Spiritual and Organizational Leadership in the In-Between Time by Gil Rendle (2015)
In this monograph, Gil Rendle, TMF senior vice president, continues the outcome conversation begun in his book, Doing the Math of Mission.
A New Paradigm for Clergy Leadership: Cultivating an Ecosystem of Excellence by Bishop Janice Riggle Huie (2013)
We are a narrative people, and the metaphors we use in our thinking and our work influence and determine our actions. What if we changed our metaphor for entry into ministry from a “pipeline” to an “ecology?”
Next Steps in the Wilderness by Gil Rendle (2012)
We have already come far in our journey toward changing and renewing our institutionalized United Methodist denomination. While there is still much to do, we have learned much and developed new shapes of leadership. Based on ongoing conversations with active bishops, “Next Steps” outlines both the constraints on leadership in our Church and also, more importantly, new paths and new principles our bolder leaders are following. There are “new basics” for leaders to know and to use.
Questions About the Development of Clergy Leaders: Is There Only One Path to Get Us There? by Gil Rendle (October 2011)
Faithful, effective, entrepreneurial leaders are key to a future of the Church that will be vital and relevant. There is wide agreement on the importance of such leadership. There is, however, no agreement on how to develop such leaders. Avoiding the trap of searching for the “right way” for forming such leaders, this monograph explores issues, questions and trends we will need to engage in order to develop the leaders needed for the future of the Church.
Edge Organizations by Gil Rendle (June 2009)
“Change happens at the edge, not in the center.” “Change happens at the bottom, not at the top.” Such aphorisms ring true as they apply to old established institutions where leaders and organizations need to position themselves closer to the edges than to the center in order to affect change needed to revitalize the Church. These resources come from a presentation by Dr. John Wimmer at a 2009 gathering of leaders exploring what it means to be “of the Church” while not trapped “in the Church.”
Tower of Babel by Gil Rendle (March 2008)
The United Methodist Church is in the midst of redefining connectionalism — what is it that connects us in purpose and in practice. This 2008 monograph argues that (1) we need to be both realistic and missional in our expectations of the connectional relationship; (2) we need to understand ways of connecting that honor individuality over compliance; and (3) it is our purpose and our story as a United Methodist people that will connect us much more than our rules and our institutionalism could ever hope to.