Tuesday
May062014

Consulting, Carlus Gupton

Workshops and Consulting

NOTE: This information is in the process of a major revision which will be posted September 2016.

These presentations may be adapted to different settings such as seminars and retreats for ministers, elders, deacons, ministry leaders or entire congregations. The list below is representative of the modules that are available.

If you are interested in scheduling any of these events, or if what is listed brings to mind other needs in your church or organization for which a training or consultation may be designed, please contact me.

Congregational Change and Transition

One group wants change, and another group does not. Both groups exist in your church, and both insist that the congregation’s growth and survival hinges on their perspective. Who do you listen to? How do you determine which changes to make, if any? How will you deal with the repercussions? This seminar focuses on how to link change to biblical purposes and perceived needs, and how to help members through the spiritual and psychological reorientation they must make in adjusting to change.

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Leadership and Ministry Team Building

These presentations may be arranged into team-building seminars or weekend retreats to enhance the working relationships of elders, ministry staff, deacons, women’s ministries, project task forces and other groups. Utilizing a variety of behavioral profiles and relationship assessments, participants are helped to understand and affirm themselves and others as God has made them. Special emphasis is placed upon using one’s gifts in service and creating environments where others can flourish in the use of their gifts. My repertoire of assessment instruments includes Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, DiSC Personal Profile System, Team Dimensions, Dimensions of Leadership, Listening Styles Profile, Conflict Styles Questionnaire, and many others.

Christian Peacemaking

This highly practical, interactive seminar presents biblical guidelines to help Christians resolve their interpersonal conflicts in a manner that glorifies God. A few of the topics covered are Christian communication, confrontation, confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation. This seminar is ideal for retreats or enrichment weekends, and can be a deeply emotional, rewarding, and liberating experience for those who are focused on the resolution of specific conflicts.

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Managing Congregational Conflict

Conflict is inevitable, and can be constructive. It can be an opportunity for people to learn from God and each other things they would never learn apart from the struggle. This seminar focuses on the contributors to corporate conflict, how leaders and members can behave in ways that lead to healthy resolution and which keep conflict from becoming unmanageable, and how to institute preventive measures. Also, several conflict styles are discussed, with guidelines on how to use them in their appropriate contexts.

Church and Culture, Understanding the Changing World

The mission field has moved next door. What are the major cultural shifts that have contributed to America becoming an unchurched culture, and what can churches do to respond? What is postmodernism, and how does it affect the way people view the world, the church, the Bible, and truth? How does a church handle generational differences? This training module presents insights on how a church can become a mission outpost in today’s pre-Christian culture.

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Inter-Generational Unity in the Church

In many American churches, membership may consist of five different generations, each of them having their own shaping events, identifying characteristics, ministry preferences, and mission response tendencies. Churches have always dealt with generational diversity, but the rate and intensity of cultural change in the last century has created such unique “moments in time” for each generation’s formative years. This has minimized the generational continuity and stability of faith communities. As a result, there is often less understanding and appreciation, and heightened tension among the younger and older. Whether the issue is worship and leadership styles, the role of women, or the use of visual media, there is usually a generational dimension. This intergenerational, interactive workshop presents tools for greater understanding and deeper unity.

Interim Ministry

This is specialized assistance to churches in transition, usually involving issues arising from the departure of a minister, which are important as the congregation considers how to define its future. For a more complete description of these services, click here.

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Creative Problem-Solving

The elders keep discussing the same problem that never goes away. Education department coordinators try to get needed help and gain parental cooperation. Ministry groups need more volunteers. There are problems, but are there solutions? Yes, and they may reside in the collective wisdom of the group, if there was just a way to tap into their creativity and arrive at realistic, concrete plans of action. This seminar goes beyond role play. One focus group, or a collection of focus groups, brings one real problem to the table. A step-by-step process is presented that equips them to arrive at a mission-based solution and a schedule for implementation. Insight is also given into how to deal with persistent problems that cannot be solved, but must be managed. Participants are trained in a process that can be easily duplicated in the future.

Preacher Search and Transition

When a preacher leaves, either by his or the church’s initiation, it signals the beginning of a chaotic period for the church. The level of energy increases, often with both positive and negative possibilities. There may be enough positive charge to launch the church into an exciting new era of ministry. There may also be enough negative anxiety to catapult the church into a spiral of destructive conflict. These transitions also present the church with one of the greatest opportunities to learn from their past, define their strengths, and identify and remedy lingering patterns that have hindered their ministry effectiveness. How can a church capitalize on the unique opportunities presented by preacher transitions? What is the role of prayer and spiritual discernment in determining God’s will for the congregation? How should a church conduct the searching, interviewing, and selecting process to insure the best match between minister and congregation? What can be done to maximize the first year or two of a preacher’s new ministry to increase the possibilities of a long and effective relationship? These and other important questions are dealt with in this training module.

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Elder Selection Process

What are elders? How should their role be defined? Who should select them? What is the role of prayer and spiritual discernment in selecting those who lead God’s flock? Are there biblical guidelines on process, or are process decisions left strictly to each congregation? This training module presents biblical and organizational insights to increase the possibilities that the elders chosen are biblically qualified and competent to lead, that the congregation feels adequately represented in voicing their needs and preferences, and that the members are predisposed to cooperate with the leaders once they are appointed.

Shepherding Your Church from Control to Empowerment

A common cry heard among elders is their desire to be more involved in the lives of the people and less involved with church management. Many feel caught between the realization that church management is necessary for responsible corporate stewardship, but shepherdly care is necessary as they wish to guide a church’s spiritual development. They often feel torn between the two, sometimes feeling like mediocre performers in both areas. To complicate matters, church members often insist that their elders become more relational, yet express disappointment when they do not fulfill the administrative expectations that were part of the old pattern. Also, deacons mean well in taking over administrative responsibilities, but often wonder whether the elders trust them to carry out their responsibilities. This consultation considers ways to develop healthier belief systems and structures that allow the elders, deacons, and ministers to develop effective working relationships within the church.

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Defining Your Future: Congregational Purpose Refocus (CPR)

This workshop equips churches with a formal process for clarifying their purpose. A workshop features a series of interactive Bible studies and group explorations, providing a host of usable information that can then be refined into clear statements of corporate purpose. This information is usually assigned to a CPR Task Force that is charged with crafting statements of mission, identity, values, and vision. This consultation also includes special sessions with key leaders on how to embed statements of mission into the life and work of the congregation.

Healthy Churches

This advanced seminar presents a balanced perspective on what constitutes a healthy congregation, with a strong emphases on understanding churches as emotional systems. The workshop is not a list of items that all healthy churches should have, but focuses on the quality and maturity of relationships among members as the climate in which growth into Christian maturity may occur. It is based on the research of Dr. Pete Steinke.

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Communication Skills for Caring Churches - Listening Laboratory I

This is an adaptation of Dr. John Savage’s Listening Laboratory I that trains participants in the use of 11 deep-structure listening skills. These skills were originally used to help recover dropped-out church members, but have been used by thousands of churches in a variety of other ministry contexts. The Lab trains people to look for signs of spiritual distress in their brothers and sisters, and intervene with care and concern. Although it has been 30 years since John Savage first introduced the Listening Laboratory, it is still widely recognized as the best training for shepherding available. Not only does it increase ministry effectiveness, but it often serves as an agent for deep personal change. It is the single best training to help church leaders learn the skills of sensitive response.

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