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

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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The Stories We Don’t Tell

by John Wimberly One of the things I love about consulting is listening to the way congregations describe themselves. The narratives they spin about themselves are usually filled with a great deal of pride and love—problems they have overcome, faithful work they have done together, loving their favorite pastors, surviving their least-favorite pastors, the list […]

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How to Have a Better Conversation

by Susan Beaumont Board leaders long for meaningful meetings. Instead, many participate in mind-numbing meetings that repetitively chase topics, with little forward momentum. Agendas are rigidly structured around the receipt of reports, with little work that actually impacts the future of the congregation. What would it take to foster more fruitful board conversations?

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Four Ingredients of Successful Congregational Change

by David Brubaker How can congregational leaders make needed changes without incurring wrenching conflict? In addition to working as part of a Team, successful change leaders set a Tone of invitation and listening, take Time to understand the system and to earn the right to propose change, and nest their congregation’s story in Theology–their larger […]

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