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Using the Census: A Case Study – Oak Park, IL & Anderson, IN

An important part of any congregational study is understanding the history and ecology of the community. These changes can involve racial or cultural changes to the community, like the example from Oak Park Illinois. Other important changes can...
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Making a Megachurch: Hebron Baptist Church

Below is an extended quote from A Particular Place: Urban Restructuring and Religious Ecology in a Southern Exurb. The book outlines how two particular congregations grew in an area outside Atlanta. Notice how the author, Dr. Nancy Eiesland,...
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Vision in Ministry: Developing a Vision Statement

Vision statements are organized statements outlining an organization’s vision for itself. Many organizations (both secular and religious) prominently display vision statements, so many congregations feel they must too. Developing these...
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The Particular Roles of Interim Pastors

The Billings Gazette featured an article discussing interim pastors and the particular roles they play. The article begins: Billings pastors Tom Hall, Joel Westby and Aline Russell enjoy getting together once a month to chat. None of the three...
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Daily Struggles: Tasks in Leadership

There are a number of key tasks that congregational leaders must help congregational members do. First, congregational leaders must help the congregation to get a realistic understanding of its surroundings, circumstances, and situation. Second,...
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One Building, Two Rabbis, Alternating Services

The New Jersey Jewish News reports two interdenominational congregations are sharing one building. The two congregations will hold separate services, alternating Friday night services. They have chosen to blend organizational and administrative...
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Engaged Scholar Ria Van Ryn: Interfaith Experiences, Individual Growth

The blog post below is written by current Congregational Studies’ Team Engaged Scholar Ria Van Ryn for her college newspaper. ——————————— In a recent article ...
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Why are young adults leaving their churches?

Question:  Why are all the young adults leaving the churches that their families have been part of for generations?  If we change our worship style to be more like the churches they are now attending, will they come back? There are lots of...
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Understanding Your Community’s Culture

How do you best understand your community’s culture? When thinking about culture, people often think about social or racial heritage. People within the community will speak the same language, with the same accent. The people in your...
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