Where Do You See Pastors Missing the Mark?

Continuing our series of conversations with creative thinkers, this week we chatted with Michael Bungay Stanier. Michael is the Senior Partner of  Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work.

Michael was the first Canadian Coach of the Year and a Rhodes Scholar. He’s written a number of books, the best known of which are Do More Great Work and the philanthropic project End Malaria, and created a series of short internet videos, such as The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun (there’s that topic of play again!).

We asked Michael, “What is one thing you’d love to see the church tackle? Where do you see pastors missing the mark?”

Michael wrote back: I’m an atheist, but went to a C of E (Church of England) school in Australia. My experience of going to a service on the rare occasions that I do is one of bemused confusion. There often feels like a lot of unconscious mind activity going on, and not much conscious engagement. I’d be curious to know what’s at the essence of what [a churchgoing experience] should be, and what that means then in terms of different ways and means of bringing it to the world.

Always the coach, Michael proposed these questions for us:

What’s non-negotiable about what you do and how you do it?

What rules can be broken?

Thanks for your contribution, Michael!

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J. Val Hastings

J. Val Hastings, MCC, is the Founder and President of Coaching4Clergy, which provides specialized training for pastors, church leaders and coaches. Val is the author of the book The Next Great Awakening: How to Empower God’s People with a Coach Approach to Ministry and the e-book The E3-Church: Empowered, Effective and Entrepreneurial Leadership That Will Keep Your Church Alive. Val currently holds the designation of Master Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation, the highest coaching designation.

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