Congregational Consulting Group logo

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

Tolerating Bad Behavior in the Church

This morning as I was driving to one of the churches in my district I listened to the radio to get caught up on the news. It was all about President Trump’s tweets regarding the NFL and the National Anthem, escalating tensions with North Korea, and the impact of the latest hurricane on Puerto Rico. I couldn’t help but think about how the intense divisiveness in our country right now impacts congregations. I wonder if we have become too tolerant of bad behavior.

Getting Comfortable with the E-word

For some pastors and lay people in mainline/established traditions, the word evangelism has become, if not a “dirty” word, an unpleasant one. How can we get more comfortable with the e-word?

The Joy (and Challenge) of Community

It’s very easy in our American culture to leave a church. No matter how hard pastors and lay leaders work to keep folks focused on mission instead of individual preferences, church attendance is often a consumer-driven phenomenon. If there is any kind of conflict brewing in a congregation the temptations to flee grow exponentially. It’s not unusual to hear someone say, “That church was no longer meeting my needs.”

What I No Longer Believe about Congregations

Susan Nienaber
For most of my consulting practice, I “held certain truths to be self-evident.” I used to believe, for instance, that many congregations had declined so far they could not possibly revitalize—but I have changed my mind.

What It Takes to Revitalize the Mainline

by Bishop Bruce Ough and Rev. Susan Nienaber It is possible to revitalize our mainline congregations and denominational structures. And it is happening all around us, in spite of the numerous challenges we are still facing. It’s true that we are still challenged by an aging population in our mainline churches, fewer younger clergy, seasoned …

Read more