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How would you describe a thriving congregation? Perhaps a thriving congregation has young people attending worship. Another thriving congregation might manage conflict well.

At the Center for Congregations in Indiana, we interact with all kinds of flourishing congregations. Here’s what we’re learning from faith communities that thrive.

 

Healthy Strategies

  • Focus on congregational assets rather than problems. Reframe observations as a positive question “What is going well?”
  • Learn to do new things. This encourages intentional growth as a community. See the book How Your Congregation Learns.
  • Help your people to live life well. Connect teachings, worship, and faith convictions to the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

As part of our work, we captured the stories of 12 innovative, thriving congregations around the United States. Below are some of their common practices.

 

Intentional Practices of Innovative Congregations

For more information, see the book Divergent Church.

On the surface, thriving may look like growing worship attendance or conflict management. By considering the strategies and practices listed above, your congregation can take new steps to thrive.

 

For further discussion
Brainstorm strategies or practices that happen within thriving congregations.

 


Tim Shapiro by Tim Shapiro

Tim is president of the Indianapolis Center for Congregations – of which the CRG is a program. He began serving the Center in 2003 after 18 years in pastoral ministry. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Tim’s interest in how congregations learn to do new things is represented in his book How Your Congregation Learns.

tshapiro@centerforcongregations.org