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Resources e-letter 20:5 - October 2020

Here are details of two more sets of Training Notes just uploaded: TN126, The small-church administrator, and TN127, Identify your church's groups. There is also a listing of new items coming over the next few months.
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NEW: The small-church administrator

These new notes call for fresh thinking on how the model of a paid Church Administrator needs to be adapted for small churches. The ‘small’ in the title refers to the church, not to the administrator, hence the hyphen!

We are used to the idea of a paid member of staff working from a church office which becomes the hub of church activity.  But that does not work for most small churches.  So, instead, the notes give seven different ways of thinking.

  1. Assistant rather than Administrator
  2. Gofer rather than Secretary
  3. Responsibilities rather than tasks
  4. Home rather than office
  5. Flexible rather than fixed
  6. Voluntary rather than paid
  7. Limited rather than open-ended

There is then a final note on how to go about finding such a person with three possible areas to search: the congregation, the local community and other local churches.

Training Notes TN126, The small-church administrator, are now available without charge from the Training Notes index page of this website.

NEW: Identify your church’s groups

It can be helpful for leaders to be aware of all the sub-groups that exist in their church. This can then explain why people behave in certain ways at different times. It may also be important for communication as often one group will be aware of information not known by another group.

The notes suggest 25 different groups that will exist, divided into four categories.

Natural groups
These exist beyond the church itself. Examples include extended families, where people live, age, employment and ownership groups. Some churches have powerful family groups within the congregation. In a Covid world the ‘ownership’ group of those without internet access needs to be considered carefully.

Influencer groups
These may not be so obvious.  Examples include those held in high respect whose opinions others take note of, those hurt by a church incident years ago, those who moan about life and oppose any change. Such groups may explain why some leadership decisions sail through while others get blocked.

Short-term groups
These can be important for noting who has received an item of communication and who has missed out. Examples include those at a one-off activity, those at last Sunday’s evening service, those who did not go to the weekend away.

Official church groups
These are the groups everyone is aware of. Examples range from the entire membership, through management groups, to the church’s small group structure.

The notes then give a range of applications where knowing these four sets of groups can be important.

Training Notes TN127, Identify your church’s groups, are now available without charge from the Training Notes index page of this website.

New resources in the pipeline

Every other month I normally add a new article or two new sets of training notes to the Resources section of my website, and there are now 184 items. I check and update each one at least once every two years to ensure they remain useful with correct links and references.

Coming over the next few months:

  • A major article of DIY training for those who read Scripture passages out loud in church
  • Training notes on running church staff meetings
  • Notes on collecting data for mission
  • How to write a handover manual for a church responsibility

You can use these resources in a number of different ways. Examples include:

  • Personal use for leaders of all kinds, administrators, communicators and others
  • Group use for a committee or action group
  • Staff discussion starters
  • Sharing with all involved in a particular ministry to inform and inspire
  • Promoted to anyone setting up a new organisational system

Please ensure these materials are widely promoted in your church. Thanks for your interest in my website. May God guide you and others in all the decisions to be made in the present situation.