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Governance and Ministry: Rethinking Board Leadership Paperback – April 15, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Have you felt overwhelmed by the countless possible ways that exist to organize, govern, and manage a church? Dan Hotchkiss sorts out the issues and possibilities for us in this book and offers a practical, flexible, and timely way to explore governance change. --Chuck Olsen, author of Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders

If our faith is held as a 'treasure in earthen vessels,' then it matters deeply how we use those vessels called congregations. Board, staff, and members need to fulfill their critical roles and align appropriately for mission. Dan Hotchkiss helps. He provides a rich mix of ideas, language, models, and steps to help congregations use leadership well. And Dan writes like he talks--engagingly, with wisdom, and skirted with humor. --Gil Rendle, Senior Consultant, The Texas Methodist Foundation Institute for Clergy and Congregational Excellence

Dan Hotchkiss is a premiere church planning facilitator. In Governance and Ministry he articulates a methodology by which local churches can be energized and visionary--not in spite of old ways of doing business but because of new ones. --Michael Brown, Senior Minister, Marble Collegiate Church, New York City

About the Author

Dan Hotchkiss is a senior consultant with the Alban Institute and author of Ministry and Money: A Guide for Clergy and Their Friends (Alban, 2002). Prior to consulting for the Alban Institute, Dan served in congregations for twelve years and the Unitarian Universalist Association for seven. He has been a full-time Alban consultant since 2001.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: The Alban Institute; 1st edition (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566993709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566993708
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Cooper on June 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As one who works with pastors from across all denominations be assured that few are prepared to run a congregation. This text is a must read for those aspiring to become pastors as well as all those pastors who don't feel comfortable with the administrative responsibilities they have. Hotchkiss gives three simple qualities an organization must have and it's easy to apply those qualities to existing ministries. He provides lots of support and information for changing a weak organizational structure and for improving communication on others. "Governance and Ministry" stands alone among all other books I've reviewed on church organization and administration. Buy a copy for all members of your governing board.
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I am a trainer and consultant who frequently works with nonprofit boards on streamlining and clarifying their governance process, but I couldn't quite transfer the principles to church boards, which are definitely different. This book bridges the gap quite well. The information is clear and the logic impeccable. There are a few too many charts and graphs, and the policy recommendations seem to be for larger congregations, but for the most part this book is a breath of fresh air blowing through the often stodgy and unwieldy world of church boards.
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If you're seeking a means of finding the path for how your church evolves as an organization, this will help. Not a rigid prescription, but a helpful framework. Dan honors the inherent tensions between some aspects of how your church functions -- you don't have to fix everything. Acknowledge, be mindful, try things, adjust! If you have a chance to see him in person, do so!
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I knew what I was getting before I ordered it. This book is a must read for churches and other non-profits who want to fine tune or completely reorganize their governance processes. The author Dan Hotchkiss, is associated with the Alban Institute which is highly regarded resource in the field of church transformation.
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Hotchkiss presents unique perspectives on different leadership styles for the modern minister. His illustrations and examples make this a worthwhile book for any minister. The book is definitely slanted toward larger congregations, but even ministers of smaller congregations will find some useful material.
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If you're a part of a church council, or, like me, part of a committee to restructure a church's organization, this book is a must read. Hotchkiss has an incredible grasp of the church and how it really should be structured. The book was an incredible resource to us as we restructured the entire organization.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. The author clearly has substantial experience that he is sharing, in a clear and thoughtful way. It contains many useful suggestions, and recognizes that the readership is diverse and different solutions are required for different situations. The length is reasonable -- I would have liked it tighter, but only a bit. There is a newer edition that came out slightly after I purchased: I knew the new edition was coming, but I decided not to wait.

This is not a "cookbook" for governance. It doesn't lay out recipes to be followed. Rather, it offers a variety of suggestions, some very specific but mostly somewhat general. That makes it more difficult to implement the suggestions than a cookbook, but also makes it more applicable to a wide variety of situations.
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This is a great way to get your church talking about structures that hold us back and permission-giving structures that let ministries be creative, adaptive and agile. It is a conversation starter with suggestions and flexibility knowing that one model won't work for every church.
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