Three Ingredients for a Well Run Ministry

management growing giftsTwo different management strategies: The first believes in getting things done through other people. The second helps people exercise their spiritual gifts and natural abilities. Which one is best for your organization?


Over the past several years, Compassion Canada has experienced 20% annual growth, while giving new promise and purpose to 1.4 million children around the world. President/CEO Barry Slauenwhite cuts to the chase about how they’ve managed this.

“Someone once defined management as ‘the art of getting things done through other people.’ I’ve never liked that, because it assumes you’re using people to your end. The better definition for management is “helping God’s people exercise their spiritual gifts and natural abilities in a harmonious way to benefit His Kingdom—even if it means changing the culture.” Here is the road we’ve taken.


  • Trust is the key ingredient. Control is the antithesis of trust. Trying to dictate or control people is not the mark of good leader. When you try to control people, they just do the bare minimum; they do what they’re told and that’s it. Instead, you hire good people and you trust they’re going to do the work God has called them to do.
  • You have to implement trust, which means you yourself, the leader, must be trustworthy. You must say to yourself, ‘I’m going to be trustworthy,’ and then demonstrate it and expect the same from your staff.
  • Trust leads you to seek God’s best for your people. In the Great Commission, Jesus tells us to go and make disciples, servant leaders. Everyday, I pray for my leadership team will be what God wants them to be. I pray they’ll be used far greater than me.


Barry_Slauenwhite“The best your people have to offer can truly better your organization. There’s a clear link between being a well-managed organization and acting on the suggestions of your people. Years ago, before email, we invited employees to drop their anonymous ideas into a suggestion box. I assured them I would read every note. One day I asked them to complete the sentence, ‘If I were president, I would. . . .” Their responses were amazing, and today 15 years later, Compassion Canada, some of those suggestions our employees wrote out on a slip of paper are still defining and sustaining our healthy, trusting culture. But it doesn’t stop there.

“We celebrate new ideas, initiatives and innovation, the evidence that people are using their spiritual gifts and natural abilities. I make sure our managers get the credit not for the idea, itself, but rather for creating the climate, the culture, in which the ideas could spring up and come to life.

“How can you lose when people exercise their spiritual gifts and natural abilities? Recently I had an accident and what was off work for several weeks. I didn’t sit at home worrying about what kind of decisions were being made. Instead, I sat home thinking, ‘I can’t wait to see what these guys and gals are going to come up with by the time I get back.’ Their work was amazing. It made me realize we’re managing just fine.’”

See How Active Listening Leads to a Flourishing Culture [Videocast]

Welcome to our first video Positive Core Series Podcast.  In this episode I interview Dr. Tom Bennett the Head of Schools for Santa Fe Christian Schools in Solana Beach, California.  Listen, as Tom discusses the steps that led to the transformation of their culture and impact.

Santa Fe Christian Schools has conducted the Best Christian Workplaces engagement survey for seven years in a row… Continue reading

Involvement Drives Winning Strategy: Santa Fe Christian School Case Study


Seven years ago, you probably wouldn’t have wanted Tom Bennett’s job as Interim Director at Santa Fe Christian Schools in Solana Beach, California.

  • Sizable debt and red ink had delayed accreditation
  • No leadership team in place, no effective organizational structure and virtually no reporting lines in effect
  • Several open faculty positions
  • Plus, two weeks

Lancaster Bible College’s DNA [Podcast]

Peter TeagueWelcome to this edition of our Positive Core Podcast Series titled, Creating the DNA for a Flourishing Culture at Lancaster Bible College.  In this episode, join Dr. Peter Teague and I as we discuss how he has led Lancaster Bible College to become a flourishing Best Christian Workplace.


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Defining DNA on a College Campus Builds Collaboration: A Lancaster Bible College Case Study

Lancaster Bible College SignJust when you think the strength of an organization starts at the top, along comes someone whose storied, transparent leadership shows it’s absolutely, positively true.


Sixteen years ago, Peter Teague became president of Lancaster Bible College, in Lancaster, PA. And while the school enjoyed a reputation for preparing young people for ministry, Teague quickly discovered a… Continue reading

BCWI Announces 2015 Best Christian Workplaces

BCWI_Certified_2015_ClearThis year’s 2015 Best Christian Workplaces list identifies organizations where employees experience healthy, even flourishing workplace cultures. The employees in these organizations find the work they do to be so meaningful and transformational they are willing to go the extra mile. The rich day-to-day relationships and fellowship experienced are particularly meaningful. Results show employees in our Certified organizations give more of… Continue reading

Communicating to Create the Desire to Excel: College of Biblical Studies Case Study



When Bill Blocker became president of College of Biblical Studies in Houston, two goals rose to the top:

  • Articulate the mission
  • And get everyone’s buy in

Blocker realized, however, that neither outcome would matter without achieving a third goal—seeing every staff and faculty engaged with passion and energy.


Blocker… Continue reading

How NewSpring Church Built a Flourishing Culture [Podcast]

Welcome to this new audio podcast with Jason Moorhead, Central Development Pastor at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC.  In this episode we discuss how NewSpring created a culture of trust and transparency.  We also discuss their goal of having 100,000 weekend attenders by 2020.

NewSpring Church Worship

Listen how NewSpring has achieved a 93% staff engagement level!

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Transparency and Trust Build Culture: College of Biblical Studies – Houston Case Study

What president or CEO wouldn’t want to cultivate the kind of transparency and  trust  that can generate staff unity, organizational effectiveness and ministry impact? But what if turbulent events preceding your arrival meant you had to essentially start from a deficit position?



When Bill Blocker came to the College of Biblical Studies in Houston as incoming president… Continue reading

4 Reasons Behind NewSpring Church’s Flourishing Culture

          If you were offered a comparable job at higher pay would you stay? … Or leave?

Recently, when asked this question, 97% of 400 staff at NewSpring Church in Anderson, South Carolina said they would stay (81% Strongly Agree).

That finding is consistent with an overwhelming 99% of staff that say they like working at NewSpring.