Although vision points to what the future may hold, the best visioning processes look backward and forward. Strategic leaders, Ken McFaydon says, seek to cast a vision that builds upon the best of the past as the congregation moves toward the future.
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Building a vital congregation requires long-term commitment to strategic change. Read about eight Jewish synagogues whose journeys of change began with a clarification of their “sacred purpose” for existing at all. Then explore with them the other five traits that helped them change from commonplace to extraordinary.
Congregations are made up of many stories about “the past” and “how it brought us to where we are.” Susan Beaumont muses on our inclination to tell just one story, and shares how telling many stories – the “good, the bad, and the ugly” – can be more useful to the congregation.
Sometimes change enters a congregation’s life so profoundly that it must be addressed in the sermon – at the center of worship. Craig Satterlee reflects on how to do this while ensuring that the sermon remains the lens through which scripture is interpreted, the preacher is heard, and God is experienced.
A complex question – probably with as many different answers as there are questioners. Dan Hotchkiss lets this question prompt a brief but enlightening journey through the creative tension between theology (“the queen of sciences”) and economics (“the dismal science”). How do you and your congregation respond to this tension?
Great leaders do more than articulate goals and unite and motivate people to achieve those goals. Great leaders seem to craft a story, a story that inspires others to willingly become part of that story and to live it out in their work and lives.
Loss, transition, change of every kind is disorienting, difficult, and usually hard work. Bob Leventhal shares some wisdom dearly learned from difficult and challenging study of the story of Jacob.
The North American church must die in order to be reborn. This bold suggestion takes seriously the centrality of the resurrection for the Christian faith. The church must understand that its death is possible – in fact, inevitable. Only then can the church experience the amazing power of the resurrection.