Helping make decisions pt 4 – context and environment

Administrative Skills, Equipping, Facilitation, Good Practice
Furniture! The layout and comfort of chairs are key contributors to the success of a meeting! Yet they are often neglected. This is true of a church meeting as well as of meetings of elders, trustees etc. For instance, prayer and participation in ‘body ministry' is greatly helped by people being able to see each other - a circle or ‘horseshoe' - rather than praying into the back of the head of someone in front of you! An elders' or trustees' meeting can be more effective around a table where there is space for papers and laptops than in relaxed easy chairs. It also brings a helpful ‘formality' to the meeting. The same is also true for group discussions of the type we are considering in this series. It is…
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Helping make decisions pt 3. Facilitation – a living example

Administrative Skills, Equipping, Facilitation, Good Practice, Jubilee+, Newfrontiers
I have just returned from a meeting that is very relevant to this series. So, contrary to what I had anticipated in this posting, I am going to share my experiences as they illustrate what this series is about and how powerful the process of Facilitation can be. What is Jubilee+? I was invited to attend the two-day retreat of the Core Team of Jubilee+ where they were seeking God about their strategy for the next season. Their intention was to end up with an Action Plan. Jubilee+ is an initiative within the UK for facilitating Newfrontiers churches (and others) to launch effective ministry among those who are poor and disadvantaged. What did we do? One of the team members, Andrew Westerman (Emmanuel Church, Durham and Kairos UK Ltd) served…
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Helping make decisions pt 2. Group dynamics

Administrative Skills, Equipping, Good Practice, Poor
As we continue to look at making decision-making more efficient (and, I hope, enjoyable) we will now look at the people involved and how they flow together. It may be helpful to say that this part, particularly, applies to any small group in the church, whether decision-making or just meeting weekly for encouragement and discussion. Who takes part? It is not possible to be dogmatic about who should participate in discussions but, in the case of the Ministry Health Checks I carry out, I like to have not only those who lead the ministry, cast vision and support the team, but also those who are ‘hands on' in carrying out the day-to-day activities. This second group often know more about the reality of what is happening than the leaders since…
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Helping make decisions pt1. What is Facilitation?

Administrative Skills, Equipping, Poor
Facilitation What an unattractive word! Yet behind it lies an important skill; that of helping a group discussion to be fruitful and come to meaningful conclusions. In this short series I will share some of the things I have learned when I have been a facilitator in various settings. For instance, when I help a church carry out a Health Check on a ministry among the poor I facilitate a discussion with the team which allows them to consider the key characteristics and performance of their ministry and to produce an action plan to make improvements. Another example would be a discussion I was asked to facilitate recently about how a team could work strategically in Burundi to contribute to cultural transformation through the outworking of the gospel. Key features…
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