In the last 50 years, not a single minister had survived at First Community Church for more than five. There were many theories as to why. The generally accepted rationale was simply that “First Community chews up its pastors.” Pastor Bethany, who had received plenty of warnings before accepting the lead minister role at First […]
Author Archive | David Brubaker
by David Brubaker on March 12, 2018
Congregations that started a “new community outreach” in the previous five years were much less likely to report a significant conflict than similar congregations that did not.
by David Brubaker on November 20, 2017
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, […]
by David Brubaker on September 25, 2017
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?
by David Brubaker on July 10, 2017
Americans recently celebrated Independence Day, an event associated, in my childhood mind, mainly with fireworks. In recent years, another July 4 ritual has gained popularity: public readings of the Declaration of Independence. I’ve come to appreciate the annual reminder that genuine authority derives from the consent of the governed, and not from the mere assertion […]
by David Brubaker on May 30, 2017
Nearly every congregation wants to perceive itself as an open community that welcomes newcomers. Yet congregational leaders often say, “People visit a few times, but they don’t stay!” Why do congregations experience this so often?
by David Brubaker on March 27, 2017
When it comes to making major decisions, we often encourage congregational leaders to slow down, plan a careful process, and follow it carefully. But there are times when process paralyzes, and what is most needed is a clear and timely decision.