Knowledge is power, and the way knowledge is shared in a congregation can build up or break down community. When congregational leaders are sensitive to the ways that information should be shared, the congregation can become safe and strong. Unfortunately, congregations can easily fall into patterns of communication that lead to disastrous interpersonal and organizational outcomes. Even in times of crisis, however, congregations can learn and practice new skills and healthy communication management.
Congregational consultants Kibbie Ruth and Karen McClintock show clergy and laity how to appropriately handle information. Healthy Disclosure is filled with step-by-step ideas for handling different types of sensitive material. It helps clergy and other congregational leaders understand levels of disclosure, including how and when to reveal information, the difference between privacy and secrecy, legal issues related to public knowledge, and the power of secrets from a congregation’s past. What we don’t know can hurt us.
The more conscious congregational leaders are of the information they have and how they pass it along to others, the better off the congregation will be. Information management is both a technical process and a spiritual undertaking. Leaders need the ability to spiritually discern, not just intellectually decide, the solutions to congregational dilemmas. Ruth and McClintock guide readers in developing the skills needed to create a healthy congregational environment.
In this commonsense, rational, well-researched, and down-to-earth book, Kibbie Ruth and Karen McClintock have taken the dreadful menace out of secrets and their disclosure. It is a helpful manual for everyday congregational management and thoughtful, faithful community development.
As a judicatory executive, this will save me and our churches lots and lots of headaches.
A great ‘nuts and bolts’ book to have on a pastor’s desk. This is the go to book when difficult situations arise.
Karen A. McClintock is a clinical psychologist and clergy person in the United Methodist Church. A nationally known lecturer and consultant on sexuality issues in the church. For two decades, Kibbie Ruth has taught abuse prevention and intervention strategies, and consulted on cases throughout the country. She works with judicatories and congregations to establish safe relationships and prevent child abuse, domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual harassment, professional misconduct and other abuses of power.