You might ask, “Who is Lyle Schaller?” Quite simply, he may be America’s best church strategist in the last 30 (or so) years. He has a demonstrated genius for practical solutions to a myriad of organizational issues and problems. Schaller, a Methodist, has over 140 titles listed on Amazon.com. My assumption is that he is mostly retired now. What follows are the final of 44 lessons for church leaders…
35. The least happy staff arrangements “tend to be those that include two or more first-born staff members or an only-born senior ministry and an only-born associate….The happiest staff combinations tend to be those that include a middle-born senior minister and a middle-born associate minister….The most relaxed and the least competitive staff teams include a last-born senior pastors and a last-born associate minister….The most effective ministerial teams tend to be composed of a middle-born senior minister and a first-born associate.” The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church, p. 102.
36. “The larger the congregation, the more important it is to build a staff that complements and reinforces the priorities of the senior minister.” The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church, p. 81.
37. “In the smaller congregations the role of the patriarch, or tribal chief, usually is filled by an older lay person. The minister is the visit medicine man. Tribal identity is in the laity, not in the pastor. By contrast, in congregations with a multiple staff, and especially the huge and mini-denomination size churches, the role of the tribal chief is filled by the senior ministry. Frequently the corporate identity of the very large church is in the personality of the senior ministry who has served that congregation for a decade or longer.” The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church, p. 41.
38. “The larger the congregation, the more vulnerable that church is to an inappropriate match of pastor and people.” The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church, p. 25.
39. “The larger the congregation, the greater the expectations that institution placed on the senior minister to be the initiating leader.” The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church, p. 19.
40. “The ability to understand, accept and enjoy the ambiguity may be one of the most important characteristics of the happy and effective pastor of the middle-sized congregation.” The Middle-Sized Church, p. 17.
41. “In the best of…churches…leaders have created, sometimes over a period of several generations, a rich tapestry of symbols, parables, folk sayings, favorite expressions, beliefs, legends, stories, rituals, customs, and festivals which reinforce the feeling that indeed this is a unique congregation. By contrast, the weak churches are swathed in layers of gray cloth—ready for their funeral. The congregational culture gives meaning to life for many of the members.” The Middle-Sized Church, p. 30
42. The greatest measurable difference that distinguishes congregations is whether they are accumulating capital or living off the accumulated capital. The Middle-Sized Church, p. 33.
43. “Don’t Be The First Associate! Be The Third!” Survival Tactics in the Church, Chapter 6, pp. 166ff.
44. “Very few chapters in an effective pastorate extend beyond three or four years.” Survival Tactics in the Church, p. 29.