This was the challenge facing the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.
Formed over 40 years ago, it had seen considerable change: membership was ageing and declining, governance requirements were increasing, demand for community services had increased, the structure of the sector had become more complex and engagement with religious institutions had changed.
Despite these changes the Synod itself had only undergone small, incremental adaptations and had failed to keep pace with the increasing demands of the modern world. Its structures and systems of governance remained complex, finances were stretched, a culture of custom and practice had developed, and the Synod lacked a clear and cohesive strategic direction.
The Synod recognised it needed to change in order to become a sustainable and thriving institution.
Changes were required across the whole organisation but there were difficulties to navigating these:
The work resulted in a range of recommendations that were agreed by consensus by the c.300 members of Synod. Jason then led the team to implement these changes over a two-year period.
While the full impact of these changes will only be fully realised over many years, the benefits so far have been considerable. They include:
The Synod now has a much more cohesive and smooth functioning operation which will enable it to better face the challenges of an increasingly complex, uncertain and rapidly changing future.