Marion Aldridge at abpnews examines the issue of conflicting congregational identity in his latest commentary. He writes,
Nowadays, I see a lot of confused churches. They don’t know who they are. Confused congregations often call confused pastors. That is a disaster.
Or, just as bad, confused congregations call an unconfused pastor who is blind-sided by discovering the church is mixed up about its own identity. One pastor told me he knew he was in trouble on the day of his installation when he was being introduced. The pastor search committee introduced someone, but he was not that person. Big mistake!
He goes on to discuss a number of ways in which a congregation has unique theological and cultural identities — from liturgical style to perceptions of a “family church.” He then suggests that congregations need a “church search committee” to really understand themselves.