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Leading Congregations and Nonprofits in a Connected World: Platforms, People, and Purpose Hardcover – November 2, 2016
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Drawing on their wide reading on and qualitative analysis of interview and social media data gathered from fifteen carefully chosen Jewish and Lutheran organizations, the authors identify wise practices and provide accessible tools for communities seeking to flourish during this time of change…. This book will be most valuable to pastors, priests, rabbis, religious non-profit executives, and the leadership teams with which they work. It provides theologically sensitive and socially savvy insight into the ancient and modern roles of religious leaders and communities… For this reader, it was worth the price of the book hearing interviewee David Ingber fearlessly advocate for balancing the wisdom of our traditions with the wisdom of crowds. (Anglican Theological Review)
One of the most pressing issues facing our society is the disruption of traditional organizations dedicated to our communal well-being: congregations and nonprofits. Herring and Elton have written a very important and practical book on a critical topic: how to restructure our most important institutions to match the urgency of working in a networked world. Buy this book and read it, then buy more copies and distribute them to your board, staff, and volunteers, and get your whole organization moving towards the 3.0 paradigm in this book! (Allison Fine, co-author of The Networked Nonprofit)
This book artfully breaks down the barriers that often exist between new and old non-profits. By taking a critical eye to both, the authors present findings untold in other books on congregational change. Herring and Elton weave storytelling with deep context, facilitating a powerful experience for the reader looking to reflect on organizational success. A must-have for anyone interested in leading in the non-profit world. (Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, Mechon Hadar, author of Empowered Judaism: What Independent Minyanim Can Teach Us about Building Vibrant Jewish Communities)
Herring and Elton have written a hopeful, practical roadmap for leaders that fosters a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. This book dares to link congregations and non-profit organizations in strategic conversations essential for thriving in a fast-changing world. This is a way forward. (Peggy Hahn, executive director, LEAD)
With deep insight into the cultures and structures of religious institutions and non-profits, and with an appreciation for the challenges and risk-taking involved in leading them, Herring and Elton have given us a glimpse of the future, equipped us with new tools, and emboldened us to return to mission and move forward. (Rabbi Aaron Brusso, Bet Torah)
This book tells the unlikely and awesome story of the standard-bearers and pace-setters for all of us doing the work of transformational change in the spirituality and religion space. Drawing on decades of experience studying congregational dynamics, digital and virtual technologies, organizational theory, and leadership paradigms, Herring and Elton offer frameworks and language to help map a path forward for legacy institutions and innovators to keep ourselves fresh, relevant, and real. (Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Mishkan Chicago)
Herring and Elton provide an extraordinary resource for congregational and non-profit leaders seeking to strike a balance between traditional hierarchical systems and modern social networking. They provide a methodology for synagogues and other organizations to explore their futures in a structured and intentional way. They make a strong case that the organizational structure of a synagogue impacts in deep ways the impact that a synagogue can make on its members, its community, and the world at large. I can put their theories and rubrics to immediate use in the congregation I serve. (Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, Shaaray Tefila)
A massive shift is underway in how people imagine and participate in organizations. Congregations and non-profits designed for a world of hierarchies find themselves at a loss in an emerging world of networks and platforms. This book explores the nature of this change and offers hopeful paths forward, grounded in the real-life experience of a variety of innovative congregations and organizations. (Dwight Zscheile, Luther Seminary)
I found this book fascinating and illuminating. It gave me a language and a lens to reflect on the challenges and changes that emerged over the years I was senior rabbi at a congregation that was both “established and adapting.” And it will better prepare me to recognize opportunities as I move forward with a new “emerging” community. (Rabbi Laura Geller, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills)
While people’s essence has changed very little throughout the ages, the ways in which we connect have continued to evolve across time. Hayim Herring and Terri Elton have mined both ancient sacred texts as well as contemporary social media theories for organizational best practices in an ever-changing world. Whether new to social media or an established expert, Leading Congregations and Nonprofits in a Connected World is the ultimate roadmap to creating a vibrant and connected faith community in today’s fast-paced atmosphere. My only regret is that this resource wasn’t available sooner! (Rabbi Rebecca Einstein Schorr, blogger, This Messy Life)
About the Author
Hayim Herring is CEO of HayimHerring.com, whose mission is "preparing today's leaders for tomorrow's organizations. " He has served as executive director of a national congregational leadership foundation, senior rabbi of a prominent congregation, and assistant director of a Jewish federation. He is the author of Tomorrow’s Synagogue Today: Creating Vibrant Centers of Jewish Life and Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation on Rabbinical Education.
Terri Martinson Elton is associate professor of leadership at Luther Seminary. She has served as an associate to the bishop in the Saint Paul Area Synod and in various positions within a large Lutheran congregation. She is co-author of What Really Matters: 30 Devotions for Church Leadership Teams.
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Top customer reviews
As such, I was planning just to read the parts I needed and ignore the rest...after all, my sphere of influence is neither religious congregations nor nonprofits-- so what could a book like this offer me, overall? As luck would have it, not only did I decide to begin by perusing the Introduction, I was immediately drawn in by the timely story of a clergy person who found themselves in the middle of a media storm when expressing their opinion at the pulpit about something they considered a social injustice. Immediately I could see the broader relevance of this book to what's going on around us today. Not least finding ourselves in a polarized society that could hugely benefit from creating communities "in which diverse points of view can be expressed without fear of reprisal."
This is a wonderful, easy-to-read, absorbing book that addresses some fundamental issues we all need to confront for ourselves -- whether an individual citizen wishing to contribute to a less polarized society, for business leaders searching for ways to best respond to the disruptive pace of innovation, as well as those of us whose organizations are experiencing the challenges caused by the limitations of approaches such as strategic planning. If you are not yet familiar with the concept of organizational foresight (which means more than expecting a sole "visionary" to guide the way into an uncertain, unpredictable tomorrow) definitely check out Chapter 6 entitled Exploring the Future.
I highly recommend this book for its wisdom, insights, and for keeping me engaged as a reader in a world in which so few books are as well-written and smartly structured.
Rabbi David Katz, Engagement Specialist, author of "Transforming Liberal Judaism - From Consumerism to Commitment"
— Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, Mishkan Chicago