December 2021 Resource
Managing Congregations in a Virtual Age
John W. Wimberly, Jr.
Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN
Book Review By:
Premise of the book:
Managing staff in virtual space requires maintaining purpose while embracing a culture that necessitates new ways of communication, teamwork, and work expectations.
What this book does:
Author, John W. Wimberly, Jr., is a management expert and author of “The Business of the Church” share insights/experiences of interviewed clergy maneuvering and managing in virtual space. He offers suggestions on how to maintain purpose while conducting business using virtual, in-person, and hybrid work models. Also, he shares ideas how to integrate new remote staff using videoconferencing. Further, emphasizes the importance of creating covenants to establish expectations and a positive working environment. At home work guidelines are offered to maintain work and home boundaries. Each chapter concludes with questions related to practices.
Chapter 1 - Managing People
Chapter 2 - Managing Information, Resources, Workflow, and Culture
Chapter 3 - Staff Teams in a Virtual World
Chapter 4 - Virtually Managing a Congregation’s Program and Life
Chapter 5 - Life at Home and in the Workplace in a Virtual World
What are some important insights:
The author provides numerous insights and considerations for managing staff and volunteers. Maintaining clarity purpose is very important. Recognize communication preferences of different generational groups. State congregational mission and key goals at the beginning of every meeting.
Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This is a much-needed resource for clergy, staff and lay leadership moving into an age of working and doing ministry both in-person and virtually.
The Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist and Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.
Amerson is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering, and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership, and visioning. He served as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center until it was dissolved in 2021 and is currently serving on the Texas Annual Conference Church Leadership Team. He is a nationally recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations. Beyond strengthening congregational leaders, one of his favorite ways to use his skills is to empower Wesley Foundation staff to effectively fund their college ministries.
Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, an M.Div degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University. Recently, he completed a fundraising certificate with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.