Over the last month we have explored how polarization in society affects congregations. This week we suggest five effective responses. Congregations are uniquely placed to help divided communities to reconnect. Doing this requires new forms of leadership that draw on our deepest traditions and are committed to local presence and action. Following are the five …
If we are to successfully overcome polarization, we must first look deeply into its roots.
Economic inequality has increased, even inside congregations.
Nearly every congregation has a mission statement. A good mission statement reminds leaders of who their congregation is and what it does in the world.
Character trumps every other attribute of leadership—including skills, charisma, vision, motivation, and persistence.
In the last 50 years, not a single minister had survived at First Community Church for more than five. There were many theories as to why. The generally accepted rationale was simply that “First Community chews up its pastors.” Pastor Bethany, who had received plenty of warnings before accepting the lead minister role at First Community, was determined to unearth the reasons for this phenomenon.
Congregations that started a “new community outreach” in the previous five years were much less likely to report a significant conflict than similar congregations that did not.