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.

—Dan Hotchkiss, editor

We Can See Clearly Now

by John Wimberly As a consultant, when I first meet with the leadership of a congregation, I ask them a straightforward question: “What is your congregation’s primary purpose, your driving reason for being?” Usually, the response is halting, filled with qualified statements, and includes a laundry list of things the congregation does. The exchange leaves […]

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Changing the Ending of our Conflict Stories

by David Brubaker Despite their enormous capacity for transformation, congregations persistently experience internal conflict. But when leaders acknowledge that people fight about things that are important to them, help them to identify their underlying concerns, maintain leadership unity despite differing perspectives, and move towards conflict rather than away from it, they can help the congregations […]

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Succeeding in a Paid Position

by Dan Hotchkiss Each year, thousands of musicians, educators, clergy, office workers, and custodians start new jobs in congregations. If all goes well, the new staff member will eventually become an energetic, well-respected, and productive member of the team. The staff member helps to make this happen, but so do the governing board, the head […]

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Supervision Myth Busters

by Susan Beaumont Pastors generally do not enter ministry with a strong desire to supervise the work of others. For many, supervision is a necessary job, a burden to be tolerated on the way to the good stuff. If you are struggling in your role as supervisor, you may be harboring false assumptions about supervision—myths […]

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How do we practice change?

by Sarai Schnucker Rice Congregations unavoidably, inescapably, inevitably, unalterably change. Which is really a good thing, of course, or we would still be lighting our sanctuaries with candles and timing our sermons with sundials. So, given the inevitably of change, how do we make it possible for our congregations to move their furniture around, sing […]

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What Makes for a Strong Partnership?

by Dan Hotchkiss Nothing is more important to a congregation’s dynamism than strong partnership between the clergy leader and the governing board. By a strong partnership, I don’t mean one in which the partners are necessarily comfortable or happy all the time. A strong partnership is one that produces results in keeping with the congregation’s […]

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Does Size Matter?

by Sarai Schnucker Rice Congregational life has very few reliable metrics, and when we think we’ve found one, we all seize upon it, grateful for some measure of certainty in an otherwise murky world. For example, it seems as if we’ve been talking forever about family, pastor, and program. Even without any additional information, you’ve […]

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