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 to leaders of congregations and other purpose-driven organizations.

—Dan Hotchkiss, editor

Option 5: Grow to a size where you can afford full-time clergy

by Alice Mann [This article is part 5 of the series Crunch Time for Small Congregations.] When faced with the prospect that they can no longer support a full-time, seminary-trained pastor or rabbi, many congregations set a goal that they will grow to a size where supporting this style of ministry is once again possible. […]

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Option 3: Join a multi-congregation cluster

by Alice Mann [This article is part 3 of the series Crunch Time for Small Congregations.] Another related approach might be called clustering. Several congregations decide to combine as a single mission unit, but maintain more than one location. One end of this spectrum would be full amalgamation—the Roman Catholic parish in my community is […]

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Option 2: Merge with Other Congregations

[This article is part 2 of the series Crunch Time for Small Congregations.] When churches and synagogues face new economic pressures, they sometimes consider merging. In this section we will take up three questions: What different forms can “merger” take? What is a “successful” merger? What have other congregations learned about merging that might apply […]

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Option 1: Shift from Full-time to Part-time Clergy

by Alice Mann [This article is part 1 of the series Crunch Time for Small Congregations.] A smaller congregation may occasionally hit a temporary rough patch, cut back the clergy position to three-quarters or half-time, and then restore the full-time position when the immediate issue is resolved. Many of the challenges facing smaller congregations today, […]

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Crunch Time in Smaller Congregations

by Alice Mann Many smaller congregations find themselves facing a choice point right now—a moment when their current ministry arrangements have broken down and alternatives must be considered. The most important advice I can offer you as a leader is this: Stop and look at all the options—no matter how far-fetched or unpalatable some of […]

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Three Traits of Effective Congregational Leaders

by David Brubaker Over the 27 years that I’ve consulted with congregations and other organizations, I’ve noticed three consistent traits of effective congregational and organizational leaders—whether lay or ordained. These traits are present with such consistency I’ve come to believe that together they constitute a required set of core characteristics of effective leaders. Fortunately, these […]

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You Disappointed Me

by Susan Beaumont A volunteer agrees to complete a task but fails to deliver, or delivers a less than satisfactory outcome. A leader violates an established behavioral standard. What do you do? How do you redeem the situation? Disappointment is inevitable when people are involved in ministry, but disappointment doesn’t have to be the final […]

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