When do you lead by majority and when do you lead because you feel it’s what the Lord wants? It’s a balancing act all church leaders face, and Episcopal priest and scholar Gary Hall knows it well.
Gary has seen attendance and involvement increase at his large mainline congregation, Christ Church Cranbrook,by rediscovering the church’s history, reconnecting long-held passions and by pushing in new directions. Hear how he’s balancing it all and leading a well-established congregation to new places of ministry and mission.
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Gary was one of my all-time favorite seminary instructors and a valued colleague whose wisdom and experience in congregational development is unmatched. In his present context, he is working to improve communication and spiritual depth in his congregation – and he just may have some tips for you. Here are my notes:
Reconnect with History
Gary thinks every leader needs to know where a church has been – what ministries have flourished, what gifts have been raised up? In this case, children’s and social service ministries that once thrived are being revived, to renewed energy.
Know Why People Are Coming to Church
They do so because something is going on in their lives that they need to sort out. Our job is to help them make sense of what God is up to and making room for them in our system.
You Must Love Them
Leaders must love. Gary says you can’t be an effective leader in a congregation unless you love the people with whom you share ministry. Leaders must find ways to fall in love with their people.
About Gary Hall
The Reverend Canon Gary R. Hall, Ph.D., is the seventh Rector of Christ Church Cranbrook and Chaplain at the Cranbrook Upper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Prior to coming to Bloomfield Hills, Dr. Hall served as Dean and President of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston Illinois, Rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Senior Associate at All Saints Church, Pasadena, California, Vicar of St. Aidan’s Church in Malibu, California, and Associate Rector and Chaplain at Christ Church Cranbrook and the Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
He has also taught at Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont, UCLA, and served as Director of Studies and Principal at Oakwood School in North Hollywood, California. In the 1990s he served the Diocese of Los Angeles as the Clergy Sexual Misconduct Officer. A native Californian, Canon Hall received his A.B. at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his M.Div. with distinction at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English at UCLA. He is an honorary canon of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul in Los Angeles.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Church Post - If you are looking to improve your church’s communications you’ve got to check out this great email platform. I’ve found it easy-to-use, reliable, and John, Debra and Kim are great to work with.
Wistia – If you’re still hosting your videos at YouTube or another ‘free’ video sharing site you know the drawbacks. Wistia helps me put out great looking videos and see who’s watching for how long. The Wistia staff is easy to work with and very professional.
The Grow My Church Store – Everything from mugs to pens to fridge magnets, this is a promotional products store aimed at helping churches become closer communities, more hospitable, and welcoming. I started this store and shop there often because I couldn’t find anywhere else to go for these products.