Monday, February 22, 2010

Steinke on congregational health

Peter Steinke is well-known as a writer who deals with issues in churches. One of his most widely read books is Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach.

Whether you find lists of suggestions about problems helpful or not, the one he presents in an article entitled Twenty Observations about Troubled Congregations is worth a read.

The list covers quite a lot of ground, and on one reading you're unlikely to take it all in; quite apart from that, some of the points take a bit of unpacking. If you're having issues in your church, it's probably better to consider two or three of the points that seem particularly relevant, and begin from there.

Just for starters, here's point number one:

Most people are interested in relieving their own anxiety rather than managing the crisis or planning for a clear direction. Their primary goal is anxiety reduction, not congregational management.

You may or may not agree - it may depend on how easily you fall into anxiety or whether you're a person who stands up straight when everyone else is becoming anxious (!)

Check the twenty observations out. You're bound to find some of them useful.

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