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.

Tiny church | by Loozrboy <a href"https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(CC BY-SA 2.0)</a>

In Praise of Small Congregations

We live in a society that assumes larger is better. But as Isaiah wrote, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (55:8) Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that Jesus challenged the assumption that larger is better: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jesus’ […]

Continue Reading
Old church building

What Will We Do About the Building?

Many congregations are seeing a decline in contributions and attendance. Most of them try to address the decline, usually by tweaking staff size and deferring maintenance. But I rarely encounter a church that is willing to consider one of the biggest and potentially most energizing changes: letting go of the building.

Continue Reading
meeting

Meetings With an Afterlife

An organization director I once worked with was asked, “What do you do?” He replied, “I attend meetings.” Sadly, this was true. The “meetings and meetings-about-meetings” culture was pervasive in that director’s organization. Once while sitting in a meeting with people flown in from around the country, I started estimating the travel and staff time […]

Continue Reading
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, […]

Continue Reading
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 […]

Continue Reading
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.

Continue Reading
hands-1838658_640

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, […]

Continue Reading

Powered by the Canvas Theme

<a Gravityscan Badge