I was recently going through my book reviews and found this gem from Lyle Schaller…
1. “If the discussion about the budget can be shifted from money to ministry, from economy to effectiveness, and from means to purpose, there may be no ceiling on what Christians will do to fulfill their calling.” Parish Planning, p. 46
2. Members of self-renewing congregations who operate from a balanced sense of purpose 1) know who they are and where they are going; 2) are able to assimilate members by a deliberate, conscious and intentional effort; 3) are more sensitive and responsive to the contemporary needs of people 4) are less interest in continuing traditions, customs and old organizational structures; 5) they know and believe in what their church is doing; 6) expect to overcome crises, no matter how large; 7) have redundant communication–no secrets, and few disruptive surprises; 8) encourage discussion of differences; 9) are not overly dependent on any one leader; and 10) recognize that their church is merely one of many expressions of Christ’s church. Parish Planning, pp. 73-75.
3. “The probability of failure in an organization (system) decreases exponentially as redundancy factors [in communication] are increased.” Parish Planning, p. 225.
4. “Innovation is basically the adding of something new, rather than the reform or replacement of an existing element…. The effective innovator, therefore, emphasizes that what he is proposing is change by addition, not change by alteration, or change by subtraction.” Parish Planning, p. 86
5. “The effective innovator is the person who is willing to share the credit generously for successes, and to carry gracefully by himself the blame for the failures.” Parish Planning, p. 87.
6. “[Do not] mistake politeness for agreement. People have a natural tendency to avoid disagreement or unpleasantness and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the local church.” Parish Planning, p. 121.
7. “The greater the sense of mutual trust, the fewer the limitations on what a congregation can do. The greater the toleration of diversity, the larger the opportunities for ministry and for personal growth through study and response in service.” Parish Planning, p. 156.
8. “Everyone naturally turns to look to the past for guidance. This is normal and natural, since a person knows the past with greater certainty than he knows the future.” Parish Planning, p. 170.
9. “You really can’t begin to understand the gospel until you are called on to tell others about Jesus Christ.” Parish Planning, p. 188
10. The higher the level of conflict, the greater the likelihood that one or both parties will resort to legalism and/or litigation. The Change Agent.
11. “In most congregations the internal reward system recognizes and expresses appreciation for the work of lay volunteers with adults, with youth, and with the administrative apparatus of the church. Persons who work with children, however, usually have very low visibility, tend to be overlooked, and are more likely to be awarded dead rats…rather than silver beavers.” Effective Church Planning, p. 130.