Congregational Development is a commonly understood term used in the Episcopal Church that refers to the health and dynamic evolution of congregations. A significant study of churches has proliferated in the past twenty-five years. Disciplined research and objective observations about congregational life have resulted in volumes of information.
It is up to leaders of congregations to take advantage of this information to better understand predictable patterns of behavior, unique aspects of congregational culture, and best practices which can support healthy mission, vision and development.
In order for the Diocese of Texas to lay a foundation of understanding of what healthy congregations look like, the Iona Center researched and developed the 12 Marks of Healthy Church Behavior and its 12 Marks of Healthy Church Behavior Assessment Tool. This is a standard by which congregations can do a self-evaluation. It is meant to be a framework of essential activity any church of any size should undertake. This document and corresponding assessment tool can be a starting place or utilized as an ongoing reference for periodic assessment. Go to Congregational Development Basics 101 for a small library of congregational development articles and educational pieces which will help you better understand your congregation and its call to mission. In addition, peruse the materials on congregational development available for checking out of the Diocesan Resource Center. You can find its card catalog under Christian Formation.
The Iona Center of the Diocese of Texas has responsibility for some specific aspects of congregational development which are listed below.
- Identifying and training persons to work with congregations (congregational coaches)
- Deployment of congregational coaches to assist congregations with the following work:
- Congregational assessment of readiness for visioning and planning
- Core values articulation
- Mission statement creation
- Vision discernment and definition
- Strategic planning based on values, mission and vision
- Search Committee interview skills training
Mutual Ministry 360° reviews Guide
Conferences, seminars, workshops on a variety of congregational development topics
Every diocesan staff member understands that congregational development is at the heart of their mission and stands ready to assist according to their individual expertise. If you are a congregational leader and need help with your church’s development give us a call. Every effort will be made to connect you with the person that can assist you.