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

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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Governance and Ministry: Why Worry?

by Dan Hotchkiss Why should congregations worry about governance and ministry? When there’s so much important work to do, why spend precious time defining boundaries, tinkering with bylaws and policies, delegating power, assigning duties, setting goals, and holding one other to account?

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Visual Cues, or Sometimes You Can Tell a Church By Its Cover

by Sarai Schnucker Rice Six years ago, I made my very first trip overseas – to New Zealand – and it was fabulous! Breathtaking scenery, generous people, amazing art. With the exception of the indigenous Maori culture, which was literally another world, I felt like I “got” everything about the country. My next trip? China. […]

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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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