What We’re Hearing from the Church

Faith+Lead Innovate Faithfully 1 Comment

In fall 2018, faculty/staff teams from Luther Seminary visited a dozen ELCA synods across the country to listen to local pastors, lay leaders, and synodical staff.

Our key question was:

What do leaders need to know, or know how to do, to be faithful and effective in a rapidly changing world?

We combined the answers we heard in this listening with other research we’ve conducted since 2015. Taken together, some important themes began to emerge.

This post is an initial summary of those themes. It will guide all the work we do here at Faith+Lead. As our listening to the church deepens, we expect to add to it in the coming months and years.

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What We're Hearing from the Church

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What we're hearing from the church

What We're Hearing from the Church

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The Themes

Connect with God

Leaders and congregations need a Christ-centered identity, embodied in a life of discipleship and nourished through spiritual formation.

Cultivate Community

Leaders need to cultivate community by listening to people, loving them, and building trust within and beyond the church.

Innovate Faithfully

Leaders need a spiritual theological purpose that frees them to renegotiate established cultural norms.

Connect with Diverse Neighbors

Leaders and congregations need intercultural competency to connect with neighbors across all dimensions of diversity.

Equip the Saints

Laypeople need opportunities to develop as disciples, ministers, and leaders.

Shift Ministry Models

Leaders need to know how to start, tend, and manage entrepreneurial models of structuring ministry.

Deepen Administrative Leadership

Leaders need to be skilled in organizational leadership, management, and administration for a 21st-century world.

Want to join the conversation? Here are three ways:

  1. Download the full report.
  2. Join the Faith+Lead Learning Lab, our free social network for church leaders of all kinds.
  3. Share your insights with the Faith+Lead team.

And in the comments section, tell us how you would respond to the question: what do faith leaders need to know, or know how to do, to be faithful and effective in a rapidly changing world?

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