No other institution in North American social life combines the personal formation, corporate fellowship, and community development functions that we find in a local congregation. Nowhere else—not our families, our schools, or our workplaces—do we have the potential for individual, group, and community transformation that exists in our local congregations.
One of the things I love about consulting is listening to the way congregations describe themselves. The narratives they spin about themselves are usually filled with a great deal of pride and love—problems they have overcome, faithful work they have done together, loving their favorite pastors, surviving their least-favorite pastors, the list goes on. Since I like to start a consultation by having members tell me what they love about their congregation, the dominant, guiding narrative emerges very quickly.