Expert Insights from Congregational Observers

Helping or Hindering? The Impact of Congregations’ Networks on Their Vitality and Sustainability

When we think about relationships in congregational life, we often think about relationships between attenders within a congregation. But what about relationships between congregations as organizations? These relationships can involve friendships between ministers, joint events, collaborations, and other partnerships. And different kinds of relationships can have different consequences.   My research has looked at two…

Read Article

Listening to Congregations

When we say we are ‘observing’ congregational life, we often think about using our eyes to see what people are doing and using our ears to listen for the words used. But what else can our ears tell us?   That’s a question the American Religious Sounds Project has been asking. Since 2014, scholars from…

Read Article

Resources Abound!

The University of Southern California’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture is especially focused, not surprisingly, on Southern California, but many of their tools – everything from responding to disasters to engaging racial issues — can be useful to congregational leaders anywhere.

Read Article
Search Our Archives: Coming Soon!

Since 2012, has published over 200 articles on how and why people of faith gather. And soon you’ll be able to search our complete archives! Explore a wide range of topics such congregational conflict, the Nones (non-affiliation), race & ethnicity, and civic engagement. Learn more about various methods of study including demographics, interviews, and walking the neighborhood. Or focus your curiosity on religious & cultural traditions such as African American congregations, Latinx congregations, Catholic parishes, and more.