Read the opening article on the leadership retreat below or click here to download a PDF of the full edition from FPCC’s website.
Why have a Leadership Retreat?
It is time for a Retreat when your team is at a crossroads. Things have changed and it is necessary to focus on what makes us good and what obstacles we might face.
Look at our people. They work hard and do their best – but maybe something else might be possible, something all can reach for together.
So the question becomes: How to re-invigorate our vision and commitment to fulfill our full potential?
What is needed is time to step back . . . together . . . to reconnect with core values. Imagine working with a highly productive team, driven by a shared vision and a deep sense of cohesion. Envision a congregation that brings out the best in people, while enhancing our commitment to Christ.
Imagine the power of highly motivated people making their contributions energized, leaving each church member satisfied that they are all on the right track and we are the best we can be.
That’s why a Retreat is important. So let’s take a look ours . . .
2022 FPCC LEADERSHIP RETREAT
The Leadership Retreat included the Elders, Deacons, and permanent staff of the church. Church members were also invited to attend the Saturday morning portion and join for lunch.
The Friday Session
The Friday evening program began with a communications game called “Telestrations”, a game that demonstrated how communications can be interpreted in different ways by people as they are passed around in a group. The exercise was followed by a lesson in active listening.
Clarity and Understanding of the Letter to Congregation Regarding Interim Leadership
The letter sent to the congregation regarding the church was carefully examined and tested for its clarity and understanding, and questions were answered.
All in the Same Boat
Judith read from the book, “All in the Same Boat”, where a dog, cat, pig, and goat get into a rowboat together and began to row. They are faced with several scenarios that could spell disaster. For instance, If they can’t agree on a direction to go, they can’t move at all. Splashing each other would get them uncomfortably wet. Rocking the boat might make some of them sick. Only by operating as a team can they fix a leak, share an umbrella, ride the waves safely, and rescue colleagues who fall in the water. When faced with danger of any kind, they must work together and vow never to give up because they are “all in the same boat”.
Feedback from the Teams: Crises that result from not working together include:
Teams Formed to Identify and Solve Problems
Teams were formed based on each person’s self-identified management tendencies in approaching problems, whether they are 1) risk takers or 2) cautious and whether they are 3) technical or 4) people persons.
The groups were then challenged to determine how potential crises in the church are similar to the possible crises in the boat story, and how the issues can be dealt with in the church.
Examples of “Boat Problems” comparable to Church problems
Not moving because can’t agree on where to go – the result of not working together
Splashing or rocking the boat – creates discord that makes people uncomfortable or sick
Falling into the water or abandoning the boat – people don’t contribute to the effort, give up, don’t contribute support, don’t participate, or leave the church
Leak in the boat (fix it before the boat sinks) – Decrease in membership, including loss of leaders (people leave the church or pass away)
Going over a waterfall or getting lost – people working at cross purposes, disagreement with the direction church is heading, which results in wasted resources, failure to succeed, confusion, and possibly the eventual closure of the church.
The Saturday Session
Identification of highest priority problems that FPCC needs to focus on:
Communications (Rebecca, Marilyn, Judith, Andrew)
Communications to/from correct people (Roles)
Organizational Focus (David D, Nancy, Frank, Ann, Terry)
Degree of Effort/Intensity
On the needs of others and not just ourselves
Accountability/Checks and Balances (DeVonn, Darryl, Harold)
Leadership Development (Members to be determined)
Evaluation of the Retreat
The Retreat was deemed an enormous success and a valuable learning experience. The teams will be asked to continue deliberating on the issues identified and report back their findings.