Skip to site content

Author Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson is president of the Center for Healthy Churches (CHC) housed at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Recently, our staff was talking about things our parents would tell us that we find ourselves repeating to our children or ourselves. We had to admit that we increasingly sound like those voices we vowed never to imitate. Here are a few of our “favorites:” â—      “If you’d done it right the first time, you […] Read More

One of the key predictors of strong congregational health is the type of leadership the ministerial and paid staff of a congregation offers. When the staff of a congregation functions out of strong spiritual and organizational health, the entire faith community benefits. Likewise, when that leadership is unhealthy, it is nearly always at the heart […] Read More

Our current Christmas celebration habits are a uniquely post-World War II phenomena. Much of the excess we experience stands at odds with the way Western society approached the holiday only a few years ago. This shift has lessons for any congregation attempting to manage expectations and change as it tries to embrace the new realities […] Read More

In an excellent sermon, New York City pastor Alan Sherouse suggested that a most appropriate stewardship metaphor for a New Testament church is that of a table. Sherouse specifically referred to the round tables that his church uses seven days a week for a variety of worship, ministry and fellowship opportunities. Battered and worn from […] Read More

One of the most helpful insights I have gained in recent years for understanding the leadership culture of congregational life is the concept of managing polarities. Polarities are ongoing, chronic issues that are unavoidable and unsolvable. They are the hardest issues we face. Attempting to address them with traditional problem-solving skills only makes things worse. […] Read More

Whenever I address a group about the work our organization does, I mention that one of our frequent calls is to help a congregation, staff, judicatory or organization manage conflict. Our conflict intervention calls are on the upswing. My colleague, Chris Gambill, goes so far as to say that congregational conflict is pandemic at this […] Read More

Previously, I suggested that the starting point for bringing health and effectiveness to a church’s ministerial staff is the critical work of clarifying mission, vision and purpose in the congregation. That clarity then becomes the “north star” for every decision, every investment of resources, every staff position, every event that a congregation chooses to engage […] Read More

There is a consistent theme in the conversations I have with clergy and laity alike about what frustrates or challenges them most. Without a doubt, it is staff. Every pastor’s gathering in which we ask for issues that need attention inevitably leads to a conversation about some aspect of staff. Nearly every layperson who calls […] Read More

The headlines are relentless. I wince every time I hear of a minister violating sexual or moral boundaries. I listen sadly as clergy describe unrealistic demands placed upon them by their congregation. Over the years, I have seen the great harm inflicted on congregants and clergy alike by boundary violations. As preparation for our offering […] Read More

As part of our work with congregations who are engaging in the process of imagining their future, we invite them to first look back and connect with their past. One effective tool for doing that is to create a timeline that includes significant events from the life of the church, the community and the world. […] Read More