Welcome!ContactResources e-letters − Resources e-letter 23:1 - February 2023

Resources e-letter 23:1 - February 2023

In this issue there is news of two new sets of Training Notes just uploaded to the Resources section of the website. One covers IT and other scams that can afflict churches among others. The other investigates 360-degree reviews to see if these are suitable for church use. There is also a listing of the different sets of index on the site.
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NEW: Protect your church from scams

Scammers target churches with criminal intent. Even if your key communications people can spot most scams, what about volunteers in the church office or church office-holders who may not be quite so savvy but anxious to please anyone who contacts them?

These notes act as a refresher course for us all at a time when some scams are getting pretty sophisticated, and as training material for your church volunteers and staff.

There are sections on common terms in use, scam topics, and action to take when necessary. A section on clues for scams or fake messages gives nine points to look out for.

  1. An attachment from an unfamiliar source
  2. A sense of forced urgency with penalties
  3. A generic greeting
  4. A strange URL
  5. Poor quality text/layout
  6. A recorded message
  7. Any unexpected gain
  8. Any request to transfer funds
  9. Any offer of tech support.

One in eight charities experienced cybercrime in 2021. Make sure your church workers are fully aware of the danger signals.

Training Notes TN143, Protect your church from scams, are now available without charge on the Training Notes index page of this website.


NEW: 360-degree reviews for churches?

The default system for employee reviews is an annual appraisal with a line manager. But this is not the only method available. What are known as ‘360-degree reviews’ are now popular in the secular world. These notes explain how these work and explore their possible value in church work.

The notes describe the features of such reviews along with their advantages and potential problems. But are they appropriate for churches? They are already used in some Minister review schemes but the Notes list some possible dangers before explaining how to run them well.

All this is then applied first to Ministers and then to church staff and voluntary leaders. There are ideas for who might populate the different review groups in a church setting, how to explain the scheme to reviewers who have not met it before or have an unhelpful overview from their work environment, and lists of possible question types.

The basic advice is to keep it all very simple.

Training Notes TN144, 360-degree reviews for churches?, are now available without charge on the Training Notes index page of my website.


Use the different index pages

The Resources section of the website includes a range of index pages to help you find what you are looking for. These are:

Articles index page – A1 to A54 in numeric order

Training Notes index page – TN1 to TN144 in numeric order

Health-checks index page – HC1-HC9 in numeric order

Topics index – to see what there is on any given theme or to use keywords

Alphabetical index – if you know the title of what you are looking for

Theme index pages – for leadership, management and structures

Theme index pages – for planning, communication and administration

Thank you for your interest in the resources on my website and for your support and encouragement.