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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

Front Line Workers in Congregations

Photo by True Agency on Unsplash

During the COVID-19 shutdown, we all learned a new term: the frontline worker. Since the spring of 2020, frontline workers have put their health and lives on the line working in industries critical to keeping our economy running. Healthcare workers, firefighters, and grocery store employees, among others, have to work outside their homes, at continual risk of exposure. While I had the luxury of staying safely at home in front of my computer, my spouse, who is a manager in the transportation industry, went in to work every day. Thankfully so far, none of his co-workers have contracted Covid on the job.

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From Languishing to Flourishing

As more folks get vaccinated and COVID restrictions end, we all long for a return to normalcy. Still, leading congregations is hard work and may get harder as we pivot once again in response to changing circumstances. Some people and some congregations struggle even as good news comes. Part of our ministry will be to help each other move from languishing to flourishing.

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Crisis Fatigue? Metaphors Can Help

Are you tired, exhausted, experiencing grief or even moments of hopelessness and despair? If so you are not alone. You may have hit the six-month wall and are experiencing crisis fatigue. I feel it, too. My intent is not to write another article about how to care for yourself in this time. The internet is full of these types of articles right now. Instead, I want to offer a simple way to give yourself a break through a simple practice using metaphors.

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Using Media to Get Your Story Out

Tell Your Story
Damian Gadal via Flickr

New information technologies pose new challenges and opportunities for congregations and all other institutions. While many congregations have fallen behind the times, others have found effective ways to tell their stories, reach new people and live out their mission using social media, apps, the internet, news media, music platforms, and websites.

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Leading in a Time of High Conflict

In the wake of the 2019 United Methodist General Conference, I want to share some common patterns and feelings that you may recognize in yourself or others, as well as some suggestions for healthy ways to channel energy.

Reaching the Next Generation

Call me overly optimistic or even naïve—but I think it is still possible for congregations to reach the next generation successfully. One key skill will be to listen to our mission field—the people and communities around us—better and more deeply than we’ve listened in the past.