Who is Susan Beaumont?
Susan Beaumont has been involved in the development of leaders and organizations – both congregational and corporate – for more than 25 years. She is an ordained minister who has served as an Area Minister in the American Baptist Churches. She also managed her own consulting practice, working with congregations, nonprofits, and corporations, and she has served on the faculty of two business schools. Susan’s consulting work specializes in the unique dynamics of large congregations and the staff team dynamics of middle judicatories. Her work synthesizes the best of business practice with careful theological reflection.
Philosophy of Practice
I believe that every faith-based organization has a God-given mission that is a unique reflection of the community it serves and the giftedness of its membership. A ministry that is spiritually vital, relationally whole, and organizationally strong will naturally respond to the leading of God’s spirit, discovering and engaging its mission. My approach is to support leaders as they seek to renew vision and revitalize ministry in their context. I focus on the strengths and resources my clients already possess, what they have already accomplished, and how they want to move forward. I provide models and ways of working that are tailored to congregational realities. I place emphasis on leadership vitality, relational wholeness, and organizational effectiveness.
Staff Team Assessment and Development
Is the staff team appropriately configured for the mission of the church? Does the team operate with synergy? Do board members and the staff team communicate and make decisions together effectively? I can assess the strengths and weaknesses of your staff team function, and lead you in creating action plans for further staff team development.
Board Development and Governance
As congregations grow larger, the governing board must operate with increased strategic focus and clarity. Often, large congregations are faced with the need to reduce and simplify the size and structure of the board to improve strategic decision-making. I can help pinpoint needed areas of development and help to facilitate those changes.
Planning and Visioning
Planning and visioning in congregations is a “holy conversation” centered around three questions: Who are we? What has God called us to do or be? And who is our neighbor? The challenge of the large church is to design a planning process that engages a broad enough base of leaders to address these questions effectively. I can help facilitate congregation-wide participation and sustain interest and energy all the way through to implementation.
Leaders of larger congregations face unique challenges in sustaining momentum, aligning resources and actions, and negotiating the turbulence of change during pastoral transition. I can offer valuable insight and can serve as a stabilizing presence to the search committee, board leaders, the staff team, and transitioning clergy during this vital time.
Changes in the size of the budget and worship attendance in the large congregation involve predictable changes in staff team design, board functioning, governance practices, the senior minister’s leadership style, and methods of assimilation. I can help congregations understand the unique challenges posed by their particular size and organizational requirements.
- B.S., Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL
- M.B.A., Northwestern University, Chicago IL
- M.Div., McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago IL
Below are some of the many testimonials for Susan, but you can read all of them here.
Your work exceeded my goals and expectations for such consultant help. You were very helpful in keeping us on task and timeline. You also discerned when we needed to back up, change pace, or shift direction, and you did that with the essential 'non anxious presence' of a good consultant'... thank you finally for being a positive, supportive and constructive presence.”
— Jane Fisler Hoffman, Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ
Susan’s great. I appreciate her expertise and experience, and the way she has integrated corporate practices into a church, faith based context.
— Rod Stafford, Portland Mennonite Church
[W]e just received the final report for a Staffing and Governance Assessment that was worth every penny we invested in it. [T]he report was a window into the consultant [Susan Beaumont]’s considerable wisdom about the functioning, care and feeding of a large church… [It] is helping us align our staffing expectations, and it has offered us a welcomed, specific, and useful assessment of our governance --Rev. Gail R. Geisenhainer, Senior Minister First Unitarian Universalist Congregation Ann Arbor, Michigan
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