In my experience of governance within churches today, developing leadership structures which are both effective and efficient is a common challenge. One of the main problems is around finding an appropriate system which can respond well to the increasing demands and needs of the world around ( and ‘within’), and be successful in ‘getting on the front end’ in being pro-active, as opposed to reactive.
Recently in Bill Hybels’ visit to the UK & Ireland he mentioned that Willow Creek Community Church had gone through a re-structuring process at an Executive level. I found what he had to say intriguing and made a few enquiries. The model that Willow now use is John & Miriam Carver’s Policy Governance model. I have researched this further and have consulted with a denomination in N. Ireland regarding using this model in the establishment of a new church planting project in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
Here is one particular quote from the material produced by the Carvers which is very thought provoking:
Try describing your organisation without mentioning its activities, methods, staff, or organisational design. If you cannot, then notice that your understanding of the organisation is not about its effects in the world but its types of busyness. John & Miriam Carver
This material is very good and I would highly recommend any church or Christian agency take a look at the Carver’s model, particularly if you would like to review your current approach to governance. Perhaps I will share further articles about this in due course, but in the meantime I would be happy to chat to any church or organisation that would like to know more.
To read more about the model see www.carvergovernance.com
Chris Hollies is a Church Development Consultant and Trainer based in Belfast who works across the denominational spectrum. He is one of the recognised consultants appointed by the WCA UK & Ireland to assist churches who wish to make the most of the REVEAL survey. See www.leadershipfirst.co.uk for more details.
- Governance – A Good Model – Chris Hollies
- Policy Governance – Sorting Out the Ends from the Means – Chris Hollies
- Policy Governance and an evening of firsts in Belfast, the UK & Ireland! – Chris Hollies