Uni-News – Congregational Strategy Workshops

Uni-News: Congregational Strategy Workshops

We are delighted that Prof. John Bates, Chair of New Unity congregation, and Fellow of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, is offering some help to Unitarian and Free Christian congregations that will help them develop and work towards their strategic vision.

“With pandemic prompting so many congregations to rethink their ways of operating, and finding their long term future, there are lots of big questions to ask. This webinar and two workshops led by John Bates will give local leaders the tools to help navigate these question for the future. When I was Secretary at New Unity, in my first role as a trustee, I learnt so much from John, and he helped me to see how what I had learnt in the business world could be translated with integrity to a church context. I’m so pleased that more people will be able to benefit from his expertise” – Liz Slade, Chief Officer, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches 
There are two opportunities:
1 – A webinar at 4pm on Tuesday 8th September (1 hour 20 minutes) Everyone welcome.

What is your church’s strategy for the future? In this webinar led by John Bates, we will learn what a strategy is and how trustees and congregational leaders might apply some of the classic strategy tools to develop a strategy for the long term success of their church or community. Via Zoom and ppen to all. Register in advance for the webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

2 – A series of two workshops for a smaller number of people to take a deeper dive together, developing their strategy and getting feedback from John and the other participants.

This is open to eight congregations – with ideally two people participating from each congregation, who have both attended the webinar on 8th September. Because this workshop is designed for a small number of participants, please complete this short application form to express your interest. Apply in advance for the workshops here.

– Workshop 1 (Wednesday 23rd September, 3-6pm)

An interactive online workshop to develop your strategy, and set congregations up for some ‘homework’ of data gathering and analysis ahead of Workshop 2. 
– Workshop 2 (Wednesday 7th October, 3-6pm)

Presentation and feedback session for 8 presentations  – 10 minutes to present 10 minutes of questions and feedback.
An invitation from Prof. John Bates: 

“Strategy – a pattern of actions over time aimed at building and sustaining superior performance goals in the pursuit of specific objectives to achieve an agreed mission. All organizations whether businesses, charities, churches or congregations have a ‘Strategy’ though for most in the church or charity sector this is usually implicit rather than a clearly articulated plan.

For some the religious ‘mission’ is enough, however in an increasingly secular society this has failed to prevent declining engagement and diminished relevance. As Steve Jobs once said of Apple when it lost its way in the 1990’s ‘We were on a glide path to history’ – is that what we want for our Congregations? 

Since the 1950’s the art and science of Strategy as taught at business schools around the world has developed an impressive collection of tools to help organizational leaders think explicitly about their strategy. There is no magic formula or ‘one size fits all’ solution however by using a few of these tools leadership teams can gain a clearer view of their organizations resources and capabilities and local context that can help them develop and communicate a successful strategy for a sustainable community.”