Resources & Blog

Recent Articles & Resources

A policy not followed is worse than no policy at all. A policy tells the world what you believe is a reasonable standard of care. If you then don't follow it, you're condemned out of your own mouth. 

Theresa, I got stuck in a problematic place in my leadership a number of years ago. I was concerned about staff behavior that was counter to maintaining good and complementary relationships. I wanted a policy that I could use ... 

Brent, you are right perception makes a huge difference. You’ve brought up the idea of ritualizing this “consent” as part of the milestones of moving into missionary service. That is... 

Theresa – Clearly articulating the vision throughout the life of the missionary, and “ritualizing” it into the developmental milestones (such as a local church dedication service) creates an awareness in all the parts (the church, supporters, family, mission) of the multiple possible futures of this mission life... 

Brent, sometimes your area and mine — human resources and crisis management — are seen as necessary but dull policy stuff that must be taken care of, but are boring and irrelevant to the mission. I disagree — I see healthy psychological and legal services as building up the body of Christ. Member care and crisis management should be embraced as a component of Christian community and the love that marks Christians... 

I became a leader last century – actually, in the closing decades of the last century! Back then, and earlier, there were already lots of lawsuits amongst Christians and churches, but I was blissfully ignorant. I operated from the assumptions that I just needed to try my best and nothing bad would happen.

An attorney and a psychologist — those are going to be different points of view. We hope that those different points of view will give you depth perception, the way two eyes, looking from a slightly different angle, help you see the whole picture... 

This post introduces the efforts of two seemingly quite different people to come together and help missions sort out the many issues involved in caring for people and the legal environment.

Here is the church
And here is the steeple.
But does it belong
To the group or the people?

Church property disputes are painful and usually contentious. Usually, though not always, they begin when a congregation wants to leave the denomination, often over doctrinal fidelity. Because it is a dispute over church property, deep constitutional issues apply that may trump regular property law.

Preventing child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, should be a top concern for churches and ministries, given the tragic effects on children and the ethical and moral responsibility of an organization that works with children to care for those children. The most important reason to address these issues is that abuse can wreck children’s lives and cause effects going on into adulthood. Children, spouses, and families of victims also suffer. In addition, the impact of the child sexual abuse scandal on Catholic and other churches shows that an organization’s life can be nasty, brutish and short when it is hit by major litigation.