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  • Hawai‘i Conference Office

Adaptive Leadership Learning Initiative To Be Led by Dr. Lawrence Peers

How do we lead in a time of change and transition for the church in the USA? How do we go about identifying what is a technical challenge and what is an adaptive challenge? How do we bridge the gap between our aspirations and our current reality?

The Rev. Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Peers will be guiding an adaptive leadership learning initiative for congregations. Larry Peers is a leadership coach who works with ministers and religious organizations across many traditions. He draws from a rich array of insights and methods from his extensive background in organizational development. Larry is a former senior consultant with The Alban Institute and helped to establish networks of learning and support for the Pastoral Excellence Network from which the Community of Practices arose.

Larry is energized by helping others. He holds a doctoral degree in organizational change from Pepperdine University and in congregational studies from Hartford Seminary. He also holds master's degrees in both theology and developmental clinical psychology.

Through the leadership of Dr. Peers, pastors and congregational leaders will have an opportunity to identify adaptive challenges and create a model for addressing those challenges. Registration cost per church is $100 for a team of 3 to 6 people. The teams should plan to attend each workshop and complete the learning/action guide activities prior to each workshop.

The process will include churches identifying learning goals for their team. The dates for this online learning initiative are:

  • July 31, registration deadline;

  • August 28, half-day retreat (online)

  • September 11, 25; October 16, 2-hour workshops in which church leaders address the adaptive challenges that have been identified

  • January 15, final conference-wide program to access how the model worked and what was accomplished.

The goals are to help congregational leadership teams (clergy and lay) to:

  • Assess gaps between what leaders hope their church can do and what it is doing.

  • Imagine ways to build on current strengths and clarify how the church is called and challenged for the future.

  • Determine ways to innovate, experiment, and plan to respond to these adaptive challenges and learn from the results.

  • Feel resourced by learning planning disciplines and tools that inform the challenges and aspirations of the church.

The workshops help identify challenges and barriers to change and offer an opportunity to develop prototypes and experimental learning projects. Three to six months following the workshops, participants will join to celebrate their accomplishments and learning and plan next steps. All Conference-wide activities will be conducted through Zoom.


Informational Flyer - Adaptive Leadership 2021
Download PDF • 133KB
Registration Form - Adaptive Leadership 2021
Download PDF • 79KB


Conference Minister David Popham answers questions that you might be asking:

Is this a workshop on church vitality? Not per-se. It is a intensive on developing leadership model(s) for your congregation. It is somewhat assumed that good leadership does positively effect church vitality.

What model does Larry Peers use? Larry does not use one model but works to establish knowledge of context and what leadership model or program the context is asking for. Larry does approach issues through the lens of Adaptive Leadership and Larry is aware that not all challenges facing your congregations are adaptive in nature; some are technical in nature and some are both adaptive and technical.

The question, of course, behind all the questions...

Will this be a waste of my money and time? The answer is a guarded no. I personally think Larry comes with many gifts, but his strongest gift is to call out your leadership and to help refine your own skills in the context you serve. I say “guarded” because, as with any of our offerings, you will get out of it no more than what you put into it. So if you put in sincerity, honest discussion, and a full-hearted commitment to address pressing needs of your congregation, then yes, that is what you will receive in turn. If, of course, you put in something less, then you will receive something lesser. That is the karma of education and learning.

View a recent presentation that Larry Peers was a part of by the Lancaster Theological Seminary, entitled 'A New Day Dawning.' Larry's presentation is about 15 minutes long and starts at time mark 14:55. You will encounter in this presentation Larry's approach to leadership development, his educational style, and a few of the models he works with.


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