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Diagnostic for a Parish Leadership Development Program

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)

Priests, parish administrators and parish councils often lament that volunteers or staff are unmotivated, unprofessional, unproductive and undependable. In fact this was the number one comment in a recent survey sent to 100 Orthodox priests. Though it is by no means a panacea, Stewardship Advocates energetically recommends investing in leadership training and development of staff and volunteers. It directly address these four “un’s”.

A parish should have a line item in the budget for training and development of staff and volunteers. Provide materials, subscribe to publications, import coaching or send staff and volunteers out for training. Not all will benefit or respond noticeably to the investment but even if only some do, the quality of parish service and the spiritual life in the community will improve.

Make sure that the program is ongoing year after year and that there is accountability regarding performance improvement. If there is none, then get new staff or volunteers in the position and continue to invest in their training and development.

Jesus asked people for sacrifice, for repentance and even for a significant financial gift in the story of the rich young man who asks Jesus what is necessary for salvation. There are many ways to raise the funds necessary to fulfill the mission of the parish. Some are far more effective and beneficial than others.


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