Governance & Ministry

Readers of Governance and Ministry frequently write for information. To help those too shy to write, I’ve started this quick FAQ page to answer some of the most frequent questions:

Can I just call to talk? Yes! You can see my free office hours and propose an appointment time at my appointment page. I am happy to discuss a possible consultation with any prospective client at no charge. Or if you’d just like to talk, I can make time for that as well.

Do you offer coaching for clergy and lay leaders? Yes! For clergy and other individual leaders ad hoc coaching calls cost $200 an hour. For institutional clients, coaching calls are $250 an hour, with a one-hour minimum per call. I also offer ongoing coaching contracts that include unlimited phone and email “extras.”

Do you still consult directly with congregations? Yes! So far I’ve worked with congregations, regional bodies, and related institutions in 30 denominational families ranging from Conservative Judaism to Presbyterian to Christian Science to Episcopalian to Islamic. I consult on governance in a number of ways, including:

  • A series of coaching conversations with the senior clergy and board chair, perhaps to make suggestions as they plan meeting agendas.
  • A teaching workshop where I cover the material in chapters 3 and 4 of Governance and Ministry (2d ed), often with a larger group of leaders. I do this in a dialog format, so it is a good way of gauging support and identifying concerns that must be addressed. This typically is scheduled for a half-day (3-4 hours) in person or maybe two sessions of 1.5-2.5 hours on video.
  • Supporting a Governance Task Force as it follows the “Annual Cycle of Board-Staff Collaboration” described in chapter 8 of G&M.
  • Providing a board policy template and participating hands-on to help create a customized set of board policies.

Are there congregations that have used your book that have posted their governance policies online? Yes, these religious bodies have made their policies available: Community Church of Chapel Hill, NC, Edmonton Presbytery, United Church of Canada, First Unitarian Church of Omaha, First Unitarian Church of Ottawa, First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin, Metropolitan Community Churches, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix. As you will see, the results vary quite a bit, and some reflect the influence of my writings more than others. Naturally, I cannot guarantee the work of others, so borrow at your own risk! If your congregation has used Governance and Ministry and would like your policies added to this list, let me know.

Is “Governance and Ministry” different from John Carver’s “Policy Governance”? Yes! I addressed this frequent question in a blog post, “How I am Different from John Carver.”