Join me at the ‘Seven Levers Workshop’ led by Bishop Robert SchnasePosted: August 14, 2014
Levers – They help us lift things that are heavy. They help us get things done!
Bishop Robert Schnase of the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church has identified seven levers to help conferences like ours get things done.
This year he published a book to help better understand what he calls the seven levers. Appropriately enough, it’s titled Seven Levers – Missional Strategies for Conferences. There’s also a website with information and resources at www.7levers.org.
Bishop Schnase will lead two offerings of the Seven Levers Workshop, one this month and one in October:
• Saturday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Collierville UMC, Collierville, TN (Memphis Conference) Click here for details.
• Saturday, Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., St. Mark’s UMC, Murfreesboro, TN (Tennessee Conference) Click here for details.
These workshops are for clergy and laity with an interest in what Bishop Schnase calls “prying loose the many ‘stuck’ places in our connectional system.”
The Seven Levers described in the book that will be discussed at each of the two workshops are:
• 1st Lever: Strategy for Starting New Churches
• 2nd Lever: Strategy for Clergy Peer Learning
• 3rd Lever: Strategy for Congregational Intervention
• 4th Lever: Strategy for Cultivating Clergy Excellence
• 5th Lever: Strategy for Aligning Budgets and Resources
• 6th Lever: Strategy for Creating Technically Elegant Governance Systems
• 7th Lever: Strategy for Reconfiguring Conference Sessions
As the book does, these workshops will explore United Methodist conferences in terms of the seven levers: what works, what doesn’t work and what we can learn from experiments and innovation. This is critical information for our two conferences, especially now that we have come through the Nashville Area strategic mapping process and adopted our mission statement: to “discover, equip, connect and send lay and clergy leaders who shape congregations that offer Jesus Christ to a hurting world, one neighborhood at a time.”
Each workshop will include three one-hour sessions:
I. Why Working Harder Isn’t Helping
This session focuses on the default assumptions and common operational practices used by conferences and churches that are no longer conducive to our mission. This will challenge people’s thinking and stimulate much conversation in a positive way.
II. The Seven Levers
Levers multiply results. Each lever leads to multiple system-wide consequences. Levers are not necessarily the easiest places to effect change, but successful work in these areas fosters sustainable long-term benefits. These seven levers rise to the top because of the extraordinary consensus of research and experience that has developed on the importance of these strategies.
III. Imagination and Innovation
This session walks through several principles of innovation, describes the importance of creating a culture of experimentation and learning, and culminates with a reminder of the essential boldness of the early Methodists.
Bishop Schnase reminds us as United Methodists that we are blessed with immeasurable resources. It is by effectively using our resources that we can reach our neighborhood mission fields and “fulfill the mission of Christ in ever more faithful and fruitful ways.”
Please join me for one of these two workshops. I am confident the seven levers can help us fulfill our mission.
Deadlines to register for these workshops are Aug. 20 for the Aug. 23 Workshop and Oct. 17 for the Oct. 25 Workshop. Click on the links above to register. Free childcare is available for the August workshop by request with registration and some scholarships are available for the lunch fee.
And thanks to our friends at Cokesbury, copies of the Seven Levers book will be available to purchase at both workshops, but I also hope you might obtain and read a copy before we gather. (Order the book here from Cokesbury.)