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Resources e-letter 17:6 - December 2017

The latest issue of Resources e-letter gives details of two new sets of Training Notes covering creativity in planning, and understanding churches through a grid structure. There is also an explanation of John's compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation.
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NEW: ‘How to encourage creative thinking’

Christians serve a Creator God but we can often be surprisingly predictable. These notes provide and explain a wide range of 21 ideas to encourage creativity for when you plan ahead or prepare any task. There are 18 key ideas in two lists which include:

  • Work in a mixed personality group
  • Seek beauty
  • Study Bezalel and Oholiab (Exodus chs 31, 35, 36)
  • Recognise the spiritual gift
  • Tell stories
  • Bring quieter members in

There are also three examples: brainstorming, church staff working out of one base, and exercises to engage the ‘right brain’. Read these notes and then get your creative juices flowing!

How to encourage creative thinking is now available at TN103 on the Training Notes page of my website.

NEW: ‘A grid structure for churches’

This is for those who enjoy structure diagrams!

How do you balance the focus on the centre with the focus on the local in examples such as the following?

  • Different congregations in one church
  • Different churches sharing resources
  • Different departments in one church
  • A small group structure

These notes explain how the idea of a grid can help in these cases.  The columns represent the congregations, departments or groups.  The rows are means of binding those varied units together in some way.

This might be by sharing a Minister, having one uniting vision, an overall leadership or using the same means of communication such as website.  You can strengthen the number of rows or you can add features to the columns to strengthen them instead.  The key is to get the balance right.

A grid structure for churches is now available at TN104 on the Training Notes page of my website.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The GDPR comes into force in May. I am seeking to be properly compliant with the regulation and to follow best practice in how I deal with your personal data that I hold. In particular:

  1. I am holding freely-given consent forms from you to send you my ‘Resources e-letters’ by email. You have ticked the relevant box on the response form on my website, completed a form for such mailings at a training event I have run, or emailed me asking to receive my e-letters. I hold this documentation in hard-copy form (for all asking to come on to my lists since January 2009). If you have any reason to believe I may not have such consent from you, please contact me.
  2. Anyone on my mailing list may unsubscribe at any time and I inform people of this on the forms when they consent to my mailing them. It is straightforward to unsubscribe: you simply email me requesting this and I remove you from my list. I state this on every e-letter.
  3. I hold this mailing list on a computer system at a private address. I take great care to protect both this and my hard-copy files. Digital data are backed-up both in the cloud and on back-up disks stored securely. My computer systems are protected by proper security and identity software.
  4. I do not make your personal details available to any third party.
  5. My Data privacy notice is available to all on my website (‘Contact John’ page).  If you have any questions or comment about any of these points, please get in touch.

For Church Administrators

As explained in the last e-letter, I am no longer leading the UK Church Administrator Network (UCAN). If you are a Church Administrator I strongly recommend you join UCAN – you do this online at their new website at http://www.churchadministrators.net

Members of UCAN will still receive the information in my e-letters through their membership. If you are receiving this information because of a membership AND through my mailing list, please inform me and I will delete you from my own list.

Thank you for your interest in the Resources section of my website and with my warmest good wishes for this Advent season