An Invitation to Evolve

Mind open by wonderI recently returned from conducting a Transformational Leadership™ training at Unity of Prescott in Arizona. Over 80 participants representing 11 ministries were present for the Friday evening, all day Saturday program. This training consists of four core modules integral to moving from a minister-centric model of ministry to a mission-centric context for ministry practice.

The first module is called The Integral Ministry Model. This module examines our current ministry practice that is over 400 years old and in my opinion, the reason why 4 out of 5 ministries in North America are in decline or have plateaued. Integral Model of Ministry 2016Using my adaptation of the integral framework formulated by Ken Wilber, I show how our current model Level 1 vs Level 2 Indicatorsof ministry is unsustainable and what is necessary to shift the culture of a ministry into a new paradigm of ministry practice that is capable of aligning with the transformative energies of this post-modern era. In addition, I show how shadow work, and more importantly, shadow integration is the foundation for evolving the ministry—taking it to the next level of emotional, spiritual, and organizational maturity. We examine what a 2nd tier ministry practice might look like.

The second module is called the Ownership Project. It is all about how to grow the culture of ownership in the ministry by working Ownership Project 2016with what I call the receivership / ownership polarity. The principles of polarity management help us understand and see how most problems within ministry are not so much things to resolve or solve, but rather polarities to manage. In the minister-centric model of ministry the focus is on cultivating the culture of receivership. This supports the “tithe to the source of your spiritual nourishment” principle. The context of this dynamic has the rationale: If people don’t feel fed, they won’t support the ministry. The problem with a focus on the culture of receivership is that it is often to the exclusion of any intentional effort to cultivate greater ownership.

Receivership Ownership PolarityUp until now there has been no training in the New Thought movement (to my knowledge) that helps ministry leaders balance the receivership / ownership polarity. Therefore, there has been no “HOW TO” on how to cultivate ownership. It happens by accident rather than it being an intentional aim of organizational development. This module is the first of its kind to map out the action steps for cultivating ownership and a healthy balance between the receivership / ownership polarity.

Integral MembershipThe third module is called the Integral Membership System. It looks at a phased approach to seamlessly moving an individual from first-timer to governing member over time. The first phase of membership honors an individual’s desire to belong to the community, to deepen their understanding and practice of spiritual principles, and to draw closer to the community through meaningful service. In addition, those moving through this first phase are invited to take on a minimum member contribution that is in integrity with their desire to join the community. Those who say yes to these three things: spiritual education, sacred service, and a minimum member contribution become Community Members.

Two phases of MembershipThe second phase of membership is all about equipping individuals who are in ownership of the ministry to become governing members. Governing members are voting members. Those wishing to partner with the leadership as governing members need to be supported in gaining the competencies necessary for this important role. Therefore, it is necessary that each ministry according to its own culture and demographics, create the qualifications for perspective governing members and what governing members say YES to when they occupy the governing member role.

This module shows how the integral membership process is the best way to cultivate ownership. Studies have shown that when the process for becoming a governing (voting) member is complex rather than easy, more ownership and retention results. There is less turnover in the culture of receivership that otherwise is as much as 90% in one year.

Final1Medium_JPGThe final module of this training focuses on SpiritGroups.org, a small group ministry program created by Unity.fm’s brainchild and former director, Mendhi Audlin, L.U.T. She has studied the phenomenal success of the three largest churches in the U.S. and how their focus on small group ministry is transforming lives. While small group ministry is not a new concept, SpiritGroups is a powerful approach to small group ministry that prevents the creation of independent sub-cultures that can sometimes become problematic if not accountable to or aligned with the ministry’s mission. Her program is affordable, scalable, and turnkey.

My next  Transformational Leadership Development workshop (click here for flyer) will be held June 24 – 25, 2016 at Everyday Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Fe, NM. If you would like to host a similar program or an Art & Practice of Living with Nothing and No One Against You / Q Process workshop (click here for details), please contact me: drgarysimmons@gmail.com.

As I tell my audiences, the three things that you can do to evolve your ministry is shadow integration via the Q Process™, SpiritGroups small group ministry program, and the Integral Membership System. These three foundations will assist in evolving your organization from a minister to a mission-centric paradigm of ministry.

Blessings, Gary