What can a congregation do when a pandemic, a political crisis, and a racial reckoning come knocking at the same time? We were already overwhelmed by a ten-month long pandemic and growing polarization. Then last summer’s nationwide protests against racialized state violence forced many white citizens to begin to come to terms with our country’s 400-year legacy of racial injustice. On January 6, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, threatening revenge against those they believed had betrayed them. Three major crises at once pose unprecedented challenges for congregational leaders.
Few individuals are eager to lead in a polarized time. Yet leaders today cannot escape this reality, particularly during an election season. How might congregational leaders navigate the minefields of polarization while safeguarding both their members and their own integrity? The following five suggestions can contribute to successful leadership in polarized contexts.
I set a goal for myself this summer that is quite atypical for me. I decided to read every page of the Mueller Report.
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 …
Can we find ways to call ourselves back to constructive ways of managing our differences?
Managing polarization requires living with ambiguity and paradox.
I am as enmeshed in our current state of polarization as it’s possible for anyone to be. But those of us who are leaders cannot stay here.