Congregations as systems
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Congregations as Systems. Congregations are spiritual & human social systems that are complex, connected, and changing constantly. We typically underestimate the complexity. Congregations are open systems everything in them affects everything else.

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Congregations as Systems

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Congregations as Systems


Congregations are spiritual & human social systems that are complex, connected, and changing constantly. We typically underestimate the complexity


Congregations are open systems everything in them affects everything else.


Family Systems and Congregational Systems are different but the same.


Components of a Congregational System:


  • Mission & Vision

  • Boundaries

  • Context

  • Heritage

  • Leadership

  • Ministry

  • Feedback


Dynamic Qualities of Congregational Systems


Congregations have personality.Understand your congregation’s unique culture and environment.


Every change changes everything.Achange in one area will ripple through the entire system.


The Past is Always PresentEverything that happens in a congregation becomes a permanent part of its identity.


Congregations Talk Their Walk .Leaders frequently overlook or misinterpret streams of information that are readily available. People are constantly giving us feedback by what they say or do.


Congregations Change in Order to Stay the Same. Congregations naturally alter their behavior to maintain the status quo. Maintaining the status quo provides stability and continuity for the group. Find the right balance between stability and transformational change.


Solving a Problem Can Make Things Worse.Often the apparent problem and the real problem are entirely different. Use caution when applying quick-fix remedies. Take the time to find the real solution to the real issue. Systems get exactly what they are designed to get.


Strategic Points of Leverage Exist Within Systems.Points of high leverage are often in places that are counterintuitive – they don’t seem obvious or probable. Leaders must probe beyond the surface to find the real issues that are at play. You must have accurate diagnosis and high leverage intervention.


Layers:

  • Events,

  • Trends,

  • Systemic Structures,

  • Mental Models.


Five Why’s


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