Tag Archives: church

Congregations as Communities of Faith

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Congregations are, in their essence, authentic communities of faith—despite the fact that they are also organizations. That’s an insight worth keeping in mind for every congregational leader. Too often, the tendency for is to address congregational issues from an administrative approach in an attempt to control outcomes. Symptomatic of this tendency is the popularity of management books among clergy. Administration and management can work at one level, at the organizational level, but they will not work at the “communal” level. (Read an excerpt on what makes a congregation a real faith community from the book The Hidden Lives of Congregations ).

One reason why management and administration cannot effect control or bring about essential change in congregations has to do with the nature of congregations as communities. Congregations are localized, encultured, emotional relationship systems and they are more organic than organizational. They embody well what constitutes a community, despite their organizational structures. If you want to understand a congregation, you’d do better to assess its culture than analyze its organizational chart. Continue reading Congregations as Communities of Faith

It’s NOT a “Leap of Faith” … It’s just FAITH

By Shavon Starling Louis, MDiv ’13

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. Luke 16:10

I have been amazed in recent days, weeks, and years by the amount of abundant anxiety that is shared as helpful wisdom. Anxieties around relevance, anxieties around the BBs (Butts (membership) and Bucks (meeting the budget)), anxieties around technology, anxieties about being anxious.

It’s happening in politics and its happening on our churches. The work to be faithful in community—to truly be the beloved community—can seem really hard. Continue reading It’s NOT a “Leap of Faith” … It’s just FAITH

Volunteerism and the Future of Church Leadership

By Michael Harton

It is not a stretch to realize that churches are probably the longest standing user of volunteer services. From teaching Sunday school classes, staffing committees to operating the various mission efforts churches are almost completely dependent upon unpaid volunteers. That is why the future of program and ministry leadership in churches is in jeopardy.
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Reasons for Not Attending Church

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I met up with some old friends recently, who’d brought along some of their friends I appreciated meeting. It didn’t take long to get to that awkward point in the conversation that follows the “What do you do for a living?” Well, maybe not awkward for most jobs, but typically for the ones I’ve held (funeral home manager, local church clergy, and now seminary professor). At least people clean up their language.
Continue reading Reasons for Not Attending Church