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Difficulties of Diversity – Why So Few Congregations are Racially Integrated

Question: Why are so few congregations racially integrated? Racial diversity in congregations is a popular topic among religious leaders and researchers of religion. Despite a desire for diversity, multiracial congregations are difficult to create and sustain. Less than one in...
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How is your congregation oriented to the community?: Mission Orientation

There are four basic ways of relating the congregation to its community, according to a study of congregations in Hartford, Connecticut (Roozen, McKinney and Carroll, 1994).  These orientations align closely with theology, but vary slightly. These orientations stem from...
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Commitment to the Congregation: Measurement Best Practices

How do you study how committed people are to your religious group? Do you look to attendance? Financial giving? Volunteering? Serving on committees or teams? One way to better understand this issue is to bring together a focus group from your congregation. Use a list like the one...
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Implicit Assumptions and Expectations: Spell Them Out

Many religious leaders struggle with fitting into new congregations. Congregants may have implicit assumptions and expectations of the new leader — whether it’s what day the leader takes off, to how frequently he visits those who are homebound, to preaching or...
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