Perspectives for Congregational Leaders

The Congregational Consulting Group, organized in 2014 by former consultants of the Alban Institute, is a network of independent consultants. We publish weekly thoughts on topics of interest leaders of congregations and other purpose-driven organizations.


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Using Nonprofits for God’s Purposes

Congregations start nonprofit organizations for many worthwhile purposes: to feed the hungry, care for victims of domestic violence, care for and educate children, build health care facilities in distant corners of the world, and so much more. Starting a nonprofit often is the most effective way to carry out parts of the congregation’s mission. However, […]

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Eight Rules for Innovation in Congregations

Innovation is a standard expectation for leaders who want congregations to attract and retain new members or reach out to the community in new ways. But many congregations, having never had to go beyond small programmatic tweaks, don’t know where to start. Based on recent experience with a major innovation at the faith-based nonprofit that […]

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Tolerating Bad Behavior in the Church

This morning as I was driving to one of the churches in my district I listened to the radio to get caught up on the news. It was all about President Trump’s tweets regarding the NFL and the National Anthem, escalating tensions with North Korea, and the impact of the latest hurricane on Puerto Rico. […]

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Why We Fight

Why is conflict so common in congregations? When we ask people what they are fighting about, the responses focus on the usual suspects—members’ behavior, money, worship, leadership style, and decision-making. But are these really the deepest causes of congregational conflict?

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Teams: Not Easy, Just Necessary

As an advocate for using teams to carry out the work of a congregation and for eliminating as many committees as possible, I often get phone calls like this: “John, we read your book and decided to move from a committee-driven to a team-driven organization. But it hasn’t gone smoothly!” If I or other advocates […]

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It’s Crazy Out There: Practices for Religious Leaders

We live in a “VUCA” world—a world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. A recent Harvard Business Review article called VUCA “a catchall for ‘Hey, it’s crazy out there!’” Religious leaders can engage these “crazy” times intentionally by cultivating practices that I’ll describe here. Though there can be no guarantees of success when dealing with […]

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