March 1, 2016

Leadership and Management


Many congregational leaders know the importance of clear mission and vision statements. However, congregational leaders are less capable at enacting plans. Years ago, Kennon Callahan described this as “calling plays the players can play.” There are lots of visionary congregational leaders, but not so many who can pull off Vacation Bible School. There need to…

February 3, 2016

Mission and Vision Statements


Many congregational leaders know the importance of clear vision and mission statements. Some of us have experienced positive energy working with a team that articulates congregational hopes and dreams. It can be a creative endeavor. It can be fun. There is a sense of standing in the presence of hope. What’s the difference between the…

January 28, 2016

Good News and Bad News about Congregational Decline


For many, the condition of United States congregations and denominations is worse than reported by sociologists. In sundry settings, the decline is now irreversible. See Jim Collins’ research about the irreversible decline of other once strong institutions, How the Mighty Fall. Unreported pain It is upsetting to be the one who has to tell a…

January 28, 2016

Five Things to Know about Assessments


Assessment tools are used in congregational planning. Such tools are helpful in strategic planning, formation of new programs, improvement of existing projects and more. There are internal assessment tools and external assessment tools. Internal tools help you learn about your congregation, its members, staff and other constituents who are part of your congregation. External tools…

December 11, 2015

Your Local Community – Abundant Possibility


Increasingly, all kinds of congregations are actively externally focused. I’ve observed this since 2008. The change is remarkable. Really! The energy is so powerful. The conversations exciting. The possibilities abundant. At the Center for Congregations, we receive calls daily from congregational leaders and members inquiring about outreach.     “We want to start a partnership with…

December 8, 2015

Want to Know a Secret?


Here’s a secret for you. The Center for Congregations in Indiana has learned something while working with 3500 congregations that we want to share with you. Ready? Here it is. A congregation that uses an outside resource in concert with its own creativity is likely to effectively accomplish the new things it sets out to…

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