Relationships: Clergy and Congregation

by Tim Shapiro.


This article briefly highlights the signs of a healthy and productive relationship between clergy and congregants.


Assists to define "affection" in the church; Advocates for connection and caring relationships between clergy and congregation; denotes positive dynamics between clergy and congregation, including mutual respect, trust, and appreciation.

Recommended Audience

Any congregation



Practical Applications

  • Use as a conversation starter for a personnel committee.
  • Assist church boards with evaluating the relationship between pastor and congregation, which is different than assessment of performance.

About the Contributor

Tim Shapiro

Tim Shapiro is the Indianapolis Center’s president. He began serving the Center in 2003 after 18 years in pastoral ministry. For 14 years, Tim served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. Prior to his pastorate at Westminster, he was pastor of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Logansport, Indiana. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Tim’s interest in how congregations learn to do new things is represented in his book How Your Congregation LearnsAfter his extensive work on the Center’s Sacred Space initiative, Tim co-authored the book Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and MessageHe has also authored several articles, including Applying Positive Deviance and The Congregation of Theological Coherence.

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