Far more than “happy talk,” positive change processes refer to a series of techniques and tools that help congregations to identify their life-giving core and design a preferred future. This article summarizes the experience of the Indianapolis Center for Congregations in teaching positive change processes to over 700 congregations in Indiana through a one-day event called Flourishing Congregations. Several congregational success stories are included, along with descriptions of the positive change tools of Appreciative Inquiry, World Café and Asset Mapping and how congregations can use them. A resource list is also included. Positive change processes move congregations away from traditional postures of problem-solving and identifying strengths and weaknesses. Instead, positive change processes are broadly inclusive and invite people to focus on blessings, affirmations and hopes, asking questions such as: “What gives life when our congregation functions at its best?” Congregations that have tried traditional planning tools and become ‘stuck’ will benefit from considering the fresh approaches offered here.
Curated by Wendy McCormick