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.

Denominations

Do Denominations Matter?

The dramatic decline in denominational affiliation and loyalty in the U.S. the last half century has prompted many to ask, “Do denominations (and their regional bodies) matter?” When there is often more variation in belief and practices within a given denomination than between denominations, what does it mean to identify as a Presbyterian or Methodist, […]

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Clergy vs Forklift Operator graph

Talking about Work at Church

How is a pastor like a forklift operator? Not very much, apparently. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the jobs of clergy and equipment operators are about as different as two jobs can be. If you’re a clergyperson and your board is full of forklift operators, this fact might help explain why […]

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cultural difference (animals)

Supervision and Cultural Differences

Performance management conversations are inherently difficult. It is just hard to talk with another about failed expectations. When the supervisor and employee don’t share similar cultural backgrounds, these conversations can be treacherous.

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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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Innovation light bulb

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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