The Balancing Act: The Congregation as a Healthy Emotional System


web resource
Peter Steinke. 2012.

'The Balancing Act' encourages leaders to understand their congregations as emotional systems of interconnected relationships. Consultant and presenter Peter Steinke draws on systems theory to explain how congregations function, how dysfunction can develop, and how leaders can promote healthy emotional systems in congregations. This video explores some concepts that are central to systems thinking: 1) the structure and functioning of the human brain; 2) our opposing needs for closeness and separateness; 3) the problems of emotional “fusion” and emotional “cut-off”; 4) self differentiation—the process of developing one’s ability to act on one’s values, to both stand alone and connect with others, and to distinguish between thinking creatively and reacting instinctively; 5) leadership and leaders’ capacities to affect emotional systems through the way they function and the nature of their presence; 6) the symptoms and consequences of chronically anxious systems; 7) common triggers of anxiety in congregations today; and 8) steps towards developing healthy congregations. 'The Balancing Act' will be a key training tool for any congregation willing to consider systems thinking in the development of its leaders.

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