How Your Congregation Learns describes how congregational leaders move from identifying a congregational challenge to a project, program and activity that effectively addresses the challenge. The author of the book, Tim Shapiro, the president of the Center for Congregations, describes the movement from idea to implementation as the learning journey. Elements of the learning journey include identifying the challenge, exploration, disappointment, discovery, taking on and letting go, validation, and the reality that there is always going to be another challenge. The learning journey represents what actually happens when a congregation learns to do something new. It is not just a theory. It is based on the author’s work with more than 1000 congregations. By exploring what actually occurs when your congregation takes on something new, you experience more agency and more options to move ideas to action. The learning journey applies to all kinds of learning in your congregation; learning related to organization development, faith formation and life practice. At the end of each chapter are reflection questions. These questions can be reviewed by a team or committee as leaders learn how to do something new. The book uses many illustrations and examples representing a wide variety of congregations. Your congregation is a learning organization. This book will help you leverage that learning to meet your goals.
Reviewed by Tim Shapiro