Case Detail

Case Summary

Leadership and Vision at Barrington United Methodist Church (B)

Case Number: 5-211-258(B), Year Published: 2011

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Key Concepts

Nonprofit, Leadership, Crisis Management, Values-Based Leadership, Faith-Based Management, Organizational Change


“The building is gone but the Church is still here” was the immediate thought of Pastor Jim Wilson as he watched his church structure burn to the ground in 1998. Pastor Wilson realized that as the leader of the congregation, he needed to take action to manage the crisis and to lead his congregation to a new vision of the future that might be quite different than the past. His choice of leadership style, his gathering a team of leaders around him and his creation of a strong vision for the future are lessons that nonprofit and for-profit leaders can learn from through this case. The case chronicles the story of leadership and change management that led BUMC from the ashes to a new building and a strong, growing congregation.

The case brings to light several critical issues in nonprofit management: change management, leadership and vision, changing demographics and environment, and crisis management.

Learning Objectives

To provide an understanding of the importance of leadership and vision to move nonprofit organizations past a “plateau” of growth
To help nonprofit leaders better understand the role of change management in their organization and to think about the role of leadership in a crisis situation
To build understanding of the role of teams in creating vision and executing strategies
To invite nonprofit leaders to think about how to challenge the organization in the face of complacency

Number of Pages: 8

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management, Non Profit, Strategy

Geographic: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Industry: Nonprofit, Faith

Organization Name: Barrington United Methodist Church

Organization Size: Small

Decision Maker Position: Pastor

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2011