Author Archives: jwwimberly

About jwwimberly

I am a Presbyterian pastor who recently retired after thirty years of serving a congregation in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. I am currently a Field Consultant for the Alban Institute as well as author of books dealing with management issues in congregations. I am a devoted potter, throwing pots on the wheel and teaching the wheel when my schedule allows. Finally, I consider Mexico my second homeland since we have a home in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico.

Quick Wins

Yes, it is a gimmick. But it is a gimmick that works. When creating a strategic plan, I always encourage congregations to include one or two highly visible changes that they can accomplish in a matter of one or two months. I … Continue reading

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Is Sunday School Doomed?

Regardless of their theological beliefs, churches struggle with some common issues. Of these, one of the most surprising to me has to do with the future of Sunday schools. No one lacks commitment to educate children and youth in the … Continue reading

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Organizational and/or Staff Performance Reviews

Almost everyone dreads the annual performance review that remains a ritual in most congregations. The employee wonders if it will be fair. If the pastor performs reviews of staff, she or he wonders if the results will be toxic for … Continue reading

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Who Is Sitting in the Meeting?

When a congregational board sits down to make decisions, what if we think a bit differently about the participants? Let’s forget their names for a moment and view them as individuals who view the world from the perspective of the … Continue reading

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Mobilizing for Minstry—Using Teams

Fair or unfair, the younger generations have negative assumptions about the way committees function. Teams, however, are something they understand and embrace. Most Millennials and Gen-Xers have been involved in team sports from an early age. Many workplaces today are … Continue reading

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It’s Time to Talk About Performance

When I told the pastor that I wanted to use some of my time at his staff retreat to discuss performance, he responded (with a smile), “Performance is a word we don’t use in our denomination.”  With a similar smile, … Continue reading

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On Your Mark—Get Set—Stop (and Reflect)—Plan

Part of consulting is Emergency Room work. When a congregation is bleeding, the bleeding needs to stop before anyone can step back and think big picture. However, in our fix-it-quick, put-a-Band-Aid-on-it culture, another part of consulting is making sure congregations … Continue reading

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The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Occasionally, congregations are presented astounding opportunities to grow. One of those opportunities is upon us. The opportunity is called the Millennial Generation. The number of Millennials in the United States differs depending on whose statistics you trust. However, 80 million … Continue reading

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In Praise of Congregations

Over my 40 years of ministry, a common theme has been voices within the church proclaiming the imminent demise of congregations. When I was in seminary at McCormick in the early 1970s, most of my classmates were looking at what … Continue reading

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Aligning the Mission and Life of a Congregation

I am a big fan of Patrick Lencioni.  Yes, his writing is sometimes a bit simplistic and repetitive.  But therein also lays his genius.  He takes very large organizational problems and breaks them down into categories we can understand and … Continue reading

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