QT4CM Episode 30

team building Mar 28, 2017

Organizational Coach Dr. Ken Thiessen talks about "multi-generational transmission process" — the fourth of the five unhealthy ways anxiety manifests itself in congregations and Christian ministries.

You're probably thinking to yourself "What does "multi-generational transmission process" mean?" Well, let's describe a scenario. A church has a problem with a pastor. They say "The solution is we need to find ourselves a different pastor." So they begin to put pressure on and send not-so-subtle messages to their current pastor saying "You know, maybe God's calling you to another ministry situation." And the pastor moves on. Usually it's messy for the pastor and family and for the church. They call a new pastor, and guess what? Before long, they're seeing some of the same patterns happening. Why is that? Well, what happens at an organization is once they've blamed and scapegoated "the problem person," then the system exerts pressure on that person to leave and get out, and once that person leaves, everybody lets out this huge sigh of relief, and they say "Aah, now we're going to be on a better path." But, the real problem within the church organization still remains.  They bring in a new pastor and the cycle unfortunately begins again. It is important to understand how anxiety dominates much of the unhealthy decision making processes and broken relationships within faith-based ministries and congregations.  

Click the green play button to listen to this episode: You will recall that in Episode 16 Dr. Thiessen identified these five unhealthy ways anxiety hampers good communication and conflict resolution within Christian ministries:

  • Triangulation — people talk about people rather than to people
  • Self-differentiation —  relationship is contingent on agreement
  • Blaming and Scapegoating — Who's the one who made this mess?
  • Multigenerational transmission process — an endless cycle of looking to replace  "the problem person"
  • Over-functioning and Under-functioning — People who take on the burdens of responsibility for everything, and those who avoid responsibility for anything.

  Take Dr. Thiessen's "Anxious Congregation" diagnostic survey for ministry teams and congregations by clicking here: Anxious Congregation Resources.


Dr. Ken Thiessen has a 30 year track record of leading, consulting, and coaching organizations to realize their imagined future.

Church leadership teams will benefit from the resources on his Anxious Congregations website.

Dr. Ken Thiessen came into ministry after a very successful sales career.  He spent 20 years in pastoral ministry before transitioning into a denominational leadership role for 5 years.  During his time as a pastor he served small town and city churches.  In his denominational leadership role he resourced 45 churches and ministries often helping pastors and leadership teams address conflict, develop vision/strategy, and stronger governance structures.  In 2010 he started Power of One Consulting and he now works with churches and nonprofit organizations in the area of strategic planning, governance, and organizational health.  Ken is a certified coach with Gazelles International and is the author of two books:  The Anxious Congregation. Manage Your Fear. Before It Manages You, and The Entrepreneurial Nonprofit.  The Key to Maximizing Sustainable Impact.  (See below.)

Ken can be reached through his Power of One Consulting websiteLinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

Ken is also a very engaging speaker and is available to speak at leadership retreats or denominational conferences.

A true entrepreneur, Ken brings a wealth of diverse experiences and expertise to his coaching and consulting practice.  He owned and operated a restaurant, spent a number of years in retail store management, was a highly successful commission territory sales person, and effectively led a number of nonprofit organizations through significant transitions and growth.  Ken has an earned Doctoral degree with a specialization in organizational systems.

He has been trained to use the various organizational tools developed by Human Synergistics and is a certified coach with Gazelles International, a network of business consultants and coaches who help mid-growth companies and nonprofit organizations apply the Mastering the Rockefeller Habits Four Decisions model of strategic thinking and execution planning to maximize the effectiveness and growth of their organization.

Click the book cover image to learn more:

Click the book cover image to learn more:



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