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1241 results for Congregational Renewal
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Congregational Leadership Development
Curator Kate White
Collection
Congregational Finance
Curator Kate White
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Caring Congregations
Curator Doug Hanner
Collection
Inclusive Congregations
Curator Kate White
web resource
Turnaround Churches
This website has a secondary title of "Ideas for Revitalizing Struggling Churches" and focuses on congregational renewal.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
Your Congregation and Innovation


The Harvard Business Review defines innovation as “the difficult discipline of newness.” What new thing is forming in your congregation? The congregation I attended last Sunday is starting a Friday night dinner, which will end with communion. In explaining the gathering, the pastor said “We don’t have to wait for Sunday to break bread together.”


My colleague Kara Faris and I have learned about the difficult discipline of newness from 12 innovative congregations. Stories from leaders of these congregations are in the book Divergent Church.


We learned of six practices evident in various configurations among these congregations. By practices, we mean universal human activities that take on unique and often new shape in these innovative congregations.


The congregations told remarkable stories that featured creative expressions of these six practices:




  • Shaping Community

  • Conversation

  • Artistic Expression

  • Breaking Bread

  • Community Engagement

  • Hospitality


If you were given full license to innovate regarding a practice, which practice would you choose and what would the innovation look like?


If you are interested in reading the book Divergent Church email me at tshapiro@centerforcongregations.org and I will send you a copy.


To learn more about congregations and innovation, take a look at the blog From Hallowed Space to Holograms and the organization Ministry Incubators.


By the way, the congregation starting the Friday night gathering is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Innovation is not dependent on a congregation being shiny and new.


organization
Greater Orlando Baptist Association
This organization hosts an annual Renovate Conference as well as many online resources focused on church renewal.
book
Church Transfusion: Changing Your Church Organically From the Inside Out
This resource centers on the role of leadership and how church leaders motivated by vital faith and the ethic of love can create positive change.
book
Choosing Change: How to Motivate Churches to Face the Future
This book will help congregational leaders move their churches towards change through practicing motivational theory and helping congregants accept change.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
It’s About Life

A generation ago, congregational observers noted that congregations experiencing growth were those which gave clear-cut, right and wrong, direction about life.

I want to note a subtle correction to this observation.

Vital congregations are those which give more attention to the lives of adherents than the needs of the institution. Congregations which are flourishing are those which provide education, a sense of community, and moments of meaning that help congregants navigate the challenges of life with resilience.

A balance

Certainly, your congregation needs to pay attention to its organizational life. You need people attending to budgets, the condition of the facility, the copier, the agenda for the board meeting and so forth. Yet, if attention to the operations of the congregation subtracts from supporting the lives of members and the lives of people in the community, then folks will sense that the congregation is not doing what it is called to do. The congregation becomes a purposeless community in which only those with a strong sense of obligation will stay engaged.

Paying attention to life

Flourishing congregations are those which pay attention to life. People are praying. They are asking important questions. They are thinking about what it means to be a community. The congregation serves as a resource to its members around any number of crucial matters: parenting, finances, justice, vocation, character building, and of course, one’s connection to God.

My colleague Kara Faris and I were introduced to 12 creative congregations and had the privilege of writing about them for the book Divergent Church. A divergent church focuses on an aspect of life beyond the emphasis on the church itself.

It’s about life. It’s not about the congregation as an end unto itself.

What matters most to you in life?

Let your congregation attend to such matters.

To learn more about the book, Divergent Church, here are two links:

https://thecrg.org/resources/divergent-church-the-bright-promise-of-alternative-faith-communities

https://www.faithandleadership.com/kara-faris-divergent-churches-are-exploring-innovative-ways-congregational-life

You can also read this blog about practices that connect faith and life.

book
The God Problem: Expressing Faith and Being Reasonable
Written by a sociology professor at Princeton University, this resource uses material from over 200 interviews to study how Americans manage the relationship between faith and reason.
web resource
National Congregations Study
This website for the National Congregations Study provides data and survey results that pertain to numerous congregational matters, such as age of senior clergy, styles of worship, number of teenagers active in congregational life, budget figures, number of staff and much more.
organization
The Center for Parish Development
This organization provides resources and consulting to help congregations expand their missional work, and serve the world beyond their membership.
organization
Leadership Network
This organization promotes innovation among congregations by connecting entrepreneurial clergy and laity to discuss new knowledge applicable for strategic planning.
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