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Governance and Ministry


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Anthony B. Robinson Preface to the Second Edition Preface to the First Edition 1. Organized Religion 2. Governance and Ministry in Interesting Times 3. How Congregations Organize 4. Map for Thinking about Congregations 5. The Job of the Board 6. Productive Board Meetings 7. Size Makes a Difference 8. Life after Governance Change 9. Exploring Governance Change 10. Policy Choices 11. Lay and Clergy Partnership Appendix A. Writing Tips for Policy Wonks Appendix B. Board Policies for Bourne Street Church Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Dan Hotchkiss writes, consults, and speaks widely for congregations and other nonprofits. His specialties include board governance, strategic and financial planning, clergy transition, and fundraising. As a senior consultant for the Alban Institute for fourteen years, and now as an independent consultant, Dan has directly helped hundreds of congregations and related organizations in more than thirty denominational groups. Through his coaching, teaching, and writing, Dan touches the lives of an even wider range of leaders. He is also the author of Ministry and Money: A Guide for Clergy and Their Friends. His website is


For years, I have been recommending to congregational leaders that they read Dan Hotchkiss' outstanding book Governance and Ministry.... Thus, I was delighted to hear that Hotchkiss recently updated, expanded and refined his thinking on governance in a second edition of Governance and Ministry. It may be a second edition, but it reads like a totally new book. The first six chapters will be familiar to readers of the first book. However, even in these chapters, Hotchkiss has refined them based on his work with congregations implementing the strategies for governance he made in the first edition. It felt like new reading to me. In the next five chapters, Hotchkiss adds totally new material along with several very practical, helpful appendices.... Having read the second edition of this classic book, I am convinced that it will have a similar level of success in helping pastors and church members alike understand their roles as well as the difference between governing and doing ministry. * The Presbyterian Outlook *
I used the first edition with the governing board of The Episcopal Church several years ago, and it helped to clarify the difference between policy-making and management functions. This second edition adds a good deal, and will be helpful for boards and members in religious bodies, nonprofits, and community organizations. I commend this as a learning and leading tool for committed members, all of whom are called to some form of leadership and transformation, including governance. -- The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate, the Episcopal Church
The first edition of Dan's book has proven invaluable to numerous congregations of all sizes, in all denominations. But this second edition is more than an upgrade. It offers new coaching that is crucial for successful organizational change. Here is detailed information about how churches change their governance model; how to deal with the stress of change; and how congregational life is positively different afterwards. Much of the decline of churches has nothing to do with theology, ideology, or tradition. It has everything to do with tedious, tentative, exhausting, and ineffective decision-making in a world of fast-paced change and exploding diversity. Organizational change is more urgent than ever. This book will not only help you do it-it will make you glad you did. -- Thomas G. Bandy, author; director of Thriving Church Consulting
Dan Hotchkiss has taught me most of what I know about effective governance in congregations. Dan's winsome writing style brings the topic of governance to life in this latest edition. This book should be on the short 'go to' resource list of every congregational leader. -- Rev. Susan Beaumont, author of Inside the Large Congregation
Have you felt swamped by the myriad of possible ways to organize, govern, and manage a church? Has the relationship of leadership issues among church boards, committees, clergy and congregation mystified you? Or does the mounting bibliography of potential ways to govern religious organizations overwhelm you? Dan Hotchkiss has seen it all-has been there and done that in his organizing work of holy conversations with many churches. He sorts out the issues and possibilities for us in this book and offers a practical and timely way to explore governance change. His approach is flexible and helpful. -- Charles M. Olsen, author of Discerning God's Will Together and Transforming Church Boards into Communities of Spiritual Leaders
Dan Hotchkiss is a premier church planning facilitator. Thus, his words in this book take on a sense of depth and authority. He knows whereof he speaks. Hotchkiss 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, New York
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. It's good. -- Gil Rendle, senior vice president, Texas Methodist Foundation; author of Doing the Math of Mission: Fruit, Faithfulness, and Metrics

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