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The Congregational Consulting Group, organized in 2014 by former consultants of the Alban Institute, is a network of independent consultants. We publish PERSPECTIVES for Congregational Leaders—thoughts on topics of interest to leaders of congregations and other purpose-driven organizations. —  Dan Hotchkiss, editor

Leadership in an Age of Polarization

by David Brubaker We live in an increasingly polarized age. Political polarization among the American electorate (and thus among those we elect) has risen dramatically. As I observed in my recent article on the deeper roots of our current conflicts regarding human sexuality, congregations and other faith-based organizations have not been immune to the balkanization …

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Clergy in the Crossfire: Conflicts over Human Sexuality

by David Brubaker
In the last decade, hundreds of congregations and at least six Christian denominations in the U.S. have experienced significant conflict over acceptance of same-sex relationships. Many clergy feel caught in the crossfire. What is the most helpful way for leaders to respond?

The Rhythms of our Lives

by David Brubaker
All of us who worship in or work with congregations know that each congregation develops a unique rhythm in its corporate life. These rhythms are organized both around seasons of the year (e.g., “summer is our slow time”) and around significant holy days and sacred texts (e.g., the celebration of Passover, or the lectionary cycle). Such rhythms not only provide a sense of order and meaning, they also create a cycle of creativity and rest that alternatively stimulates new energies and restores tired bodies and souls.

Pondering a Map for Conversational Leadership

by W. Craig Gilliam
For the past year, I have been working with a group exploring the components of leadership and conversation. I believe good leadership involves courageous, honest conversation with self, others and God, thus, conversational leadership. In this article, we will discuss 7 components of conversational leadership that cultivates healthy congregations.

Developing a Restorative Congregation

by David Brubaker
While the great religious traditions teach the importance of compassion and reconciliation, what is often missing among the adherents of those traditions are practical ways of embodying compassion and striving for reconciliation. Restorative practices are increasingly being appropriated in local congregations as they offer effective mechanisms for compassionate communication and restoration of relationships.read more…

Leading in an Age of All-or-Nothing Conflict

by David Brubaker
Pastor Bethany feels like a punching bag. For the past decade her denomination has held wrenching debates at its national conference about how to respond to individuals in same sex relationships who desire to be ordained to ministry, and members of her congregation are increasingly losing patience with the “dialogue.” Polarization has set in and Pastor Bethany feels trapped in the middle.