Author Archives: Carson E. Reed

Dr. Carson Reed is Vice President for Church Relations at Abilene Christian University and Executive Director of the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry. He also serves as the Director for the Doctor of Ministry Program and holds the Frazer Endowed Chair for Church Enrichment in the Graduate School of Theology. Through the Siburt Institute, Carson does consulting work with congregations and church leaders across the country. His teaching and research centers on leadership, preaching, and issues surrounding faith and culture. Carson and his wife Vickie have been married for over 30 years and have four grown children.

An Update and Reflections on the Church Health Assessment

When church leaders seek a meaningful place to assess the health of their congregation, where do they turn? Late last summer, the Siburt Institute launched the Church Health Assessment (CHA) to provide just the resource. The CHA is an online research tool designed to measure a congregation’s health in nine critical areas. Those…

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Who Decides Who Decides? Developing an Action Plan

Elders and ministry staff can easily get sideways with each other when it comes to who decides who decides. Clear decision-making processes are vital for healthy leadership, and having written guidelines can help. However, the conversations that help to set guidelines can often become complex! Adapting the research of Richard Chait, I offer…

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Interpretive Leadership: Seeking God’s Preferred Future

Last month we explored leadership as relational work—shepherding to nurture emotional and spiritual well-being. This month we turn to another dimension of leadership: paying attention to God. In any group or organization, one of the critical aspects of leadership is asking the important questions, “Where are we headed?” and “What is our goal?”…

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Nuremberg Funnel: Reenvisioning the Work of Leadership

In a newly published book titled Teaching and Christian Imagination, the authors present a common image that satirically exposes the limitations of mechanical knowledge acquisition. [1] In Europe—particularly in Germany—the image is called the Nuremberg Funnel. Imagine a funnel stuck into someone’s head while a teacher is stuffing all manner of knowledge into…

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Dimensions of Leadership

The noted theologian Jürgen Moltmann remarked that in “every period the church has a duty to be clear about its commission, its situation and its goal.” [1] These three things – mission, context and purpose – are very significant for congregational leaders. And each of these things can quickly and easily be lost…

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Not All Problems Are Alike!

Congregational leadership is often comprised of various problems that call for attention. Everything from sorting out a new insurance policy to discerning the next step for pursuing God’s mission can be on the table. Following the work of Speed Leas, [1] it can be helpful to recognize that not all problems are alike;…

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Looking for Millennials, Part Two

Two months ago, I offered some insights from the work of William Sachs and Michael Bos [1] on the ways in which churches can knowingly or unknowingly distance themselves from young adults. These researchers also point toward some distinctive values that congregations might focus on to remain open to young adults. Naturally, not all young adults…

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Siburt Institute – Mission Revisited

As September approaches, the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry begins its fifth year of ministry to leaders and congregations. Our executive team held its annual review day in May, and we were inspired by the development of new services and encouraging stories from people and the churches where they worship and serve. We…

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