Strategic Strengths of Congregations

Strategic Strengths of Congregations – A Worksheet

Note: These are not clergy strengths, but strengths that live within the congregational social structure. By John Dempsey Parker, 2016, adapted and reorganized from Deeply Woven Roots, 1997 and an ABCD workbook, 2002

Strength to Convene

  • Real humans in real rooms bridging boundaries and divides
  • Gatherings of various sizes for a variety of purposes
  • Encourages relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship

How does your faith community convene?

Strength to Connect

  • Making assets, resources, and strengths more visible and accessible
  • Encourages transparency and a spirit of stewardship and generosity
  • Encourages the giving of gifts, talents, time, and resources
  • Encourages relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship

How does your faith community connect?

Strength to Frame and Tell Stories, the Gospel story

  • Developing a shared narrative
  • Meaning making: educational and teaching vocation
  • Puts the immediate into the context of the ultimate
  • Places little stories in the bigger stories, and into the Gospel story
  • Creates the strength to endure: within and beyond fiscal cycles, seasons, elections, life-cycles, and intergenerational contexts
  • Encourages relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship

How does your faith community tell stories and share the Gospel?

Strength to Bless and Pray

  • Links to understanding and learning from life experiences
  • Nurtures healing, health, wholeness, restorative justice, and forgiveness
  • Encourages relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship

How does your faith community bless and pray?

Strength to Accompany

  • Being present physically
  • Congregations congregate
  • Encourages relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship

How does your faith community accompany?

Strength to Give Sanctuary

  • Safe space for relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship
  • Safe space for disputes, problem-solving, questions, and refuge
  • Physical space for programs
  • Blessing space and sanctuary beyond the walls of the congregation
  • Encourages relationship building, hospitality, community, and discipleship

How does your faith community give sanctuary?