Author Archives: Rev. Alison Hyder

About Rev. Alison Hyder

My name is Rev. Alison Hyder and I am a Unitarian Universalist parish minister from Baltimore, MD. I am a professional Clergy Coach, with degrees in divinity and social work. I specializing in parish issues, helping ministers and rabbis determine their goals in areas like pastoral counseling, congregational relationships, worship, administration, and social outreach, and then develop practical steps for improving their skills and achieving their vision. I find that a fulfilling ministry is often the cure to spiritual malaise. The more confident we feel about our abilities, the better our relationships with other people, and the closer we feel to God. I also find spiritual sustenence in music and painting. I am a sometime artist, performer and handyman. Please visit my site at www.ClergyCoaching.org.

Surveys

These days our congregational leaders are more empowered than ever. With more complex and specific information on the internet, members have a lot of resources, whether Biblical interpretations, mission statements, professional pay scales and guidelines for growth. They can compare … Continue reading

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Coming and Going

My apologies to my subscribers and regular readers for my long silence. I have been in transition, busy moving from a small pastorate and beginning work as an interim minister in a multi-staff congregation. It has been a busy summer. … Continue reading

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Praise Be

Sometimes ministers feel that they are carrying the entire congregation on their shoulders and that the church would crumble without them. But no matter how much we do as religious leaders, we know that we are not the church. Our … Continue reading

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Just Kidding!

Preaching is an art, but it comes with old conventions. One common practice is to start your sermon with a joke. There are several reasons for this. Some preachers use it as a way to grab the congregation’s attention after … Continue reading

Posted in boundaries, humor, mission, Nasrudin, parables of Jesus, pastoral role, preaching, respect, roles, stereotypes, worship | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sacred Sensations

Poet David Brendan Hopes tells this story: “A literary friend and I walk a whole day in the Ohio woods. By main force we keep the topic of conversation away from books. ‘Well, what did you see?’ he asks at … Continue reading

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Conforming to the Brand

Ministry can be a minefield of mishaps, injuries, and misunderstandings. It is easy to take a wrong step and hurt someone’s feelings, or expose a long-buried resentment. A sermon, or even a chance comment, can unleash a chain reaction of … Continue reading

Posted in blogs, boundaries, branding, Church Leadership, communication, consistency, Facebook, God's work, growth, image, LinkedIn, mission, newsletters, perfection, privacy, publicity, roles, Social media, websites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Branding Your Ministry – pt 2: No one’s perfect

Last month’s post dealt with the concept of branding a church so that presents a consistent image that can drive both mission and publicity. Conversely, you could say that a strong mission identity can mold all aspects of the ministry … Continue reading

Posted in branding, burn-out, calling, church growth, Church Leadership, clergy abuse, congregations, goals, God's work, growth, image, ministry, perfection, publicity, rabbis, roles, self-discipline, websites | Leave a comment

Branding your Ministry (pt 1)

The ubiquitous nature of social media has changed everything from corporations to churches. While branding used to be reserved for products like Barbie and Kleenex, or a corporate image such as American Express that was built on the public trust. … Continue reading

Posted in branding, church growth, Church Leadership, communication, growth, image, ministry, mission, newsletters, publicity, websites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Children in the Church

I attended Sunday School throughout my childhood. While I don’t retain very strong memories of the lessons, I do remember the converted house where we met for classes, sitting on folding chairs around the table. There were shelves with the … Continue reading

Posted in children, church growth, families, family conflict, respect, self-discipline, values, worship | Tagged | Leave a comment

Appreciative Inquiry

Of late, it seems that ministers are regularly advised to take lessons from business models. Whether inspiring volunteers or organizing a fundraiser, we’re urged to look to corporate gurus like Tom Peters. Being masters of human psychology, these people do … Continue reading

Posted in Appreciative Inqiury, calling, church growth, Church Leadership, clergy coaching, communication, congregations, families, goals, growth, ministry, rabbis, small groups, tools for mininsters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment