Becoming church in a new era

In this week’s article Alban Institute discusses the dynamics of becoming church when demographics change or when the local church has become stagnant and static. Narrative Leadership is a new tool in assisting needed change. This summer at General Convention a similar process will be undertaken:

How do congregations make the shift from nostalgia to a new story like neighborhood? What kind of leadership is needed–by pastors and lay leaders–to move beyond the stuck places of “we’ve always done it this way” to a new way of listening for “where are we being led?” Gifted pastors, rabbis, and lay leaders who lead well in times of transition are able to guide their congregations in shaping a new kind of story based in part on reframing the strengths and obstacles of their past. Great public leaders have been marked by such “narrative leadership,” from Lincoln to FDR to Reagan and, as many hope, to Obama.

Alban recommends some of the lessons learned by Interim Ministers in their work with churches in transition. Narrative Leadership draws out stories of faith to help with the tasks of coming to terms with history, cultivating new leaders, reconnecting with the denomination, and discovering a new or renewed identity.

Read it here.

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