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, […]
Author Archive | David Brubaker
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.
by David Brubaker on February 13, 2017
When a congregation’s leader starts to exhibit strange and harmful behavior, the experience can be frightening and divisive. To reduce the harm such a spinout can do to the congregation long-term health, others must face up to the situation promptly and take firm steps.
by David Brubaker on January 9, 2017
by David Brubaker Most observers would agree that the campaign to keep Millennials out of our congregations has been nearly a complete success. Despite our best efforts, however, young adults occasionally are spotted in the pews. So we need to review the basics of our strategy. First, who are these Millennials? Second, what strategies have […]