“What’s Good About That?” by Dan Hotchkiss

As an advocate for asset-based leadership, I found the article by Dan Hotchkiss helpful.  As a pastor I believed in building on congregational strengths.  But was I asking the right questions?  The questions I might find myself asking: What’s working?  What’s satisfying?  What’s going well?  But was I asking the right questions?    I like the framework of the the question that Hotchkiss asks:  “What influence would we like our faith to have in the community today, and how can we gather a community of leaders who can make that happen?”  I encourage you to read the Alban Institute article:  http://www.congregationalconsulting.org/whats-good-about-that/

Including People who have Disabilities


Amy Julia Becker has written about a topic close to my heart—including people with disabilities into our churches. She says,

“If people in your community are going to Wal-Mart in their wheelchairs but not coming to your church, a lot of times the church community calls them shut-ins. They’re not shut-ins; they’re just shut out of the church” (Ned Stoller (cited in Making Churches Accessible to the Disabled, 1998). When your church considers including people with disabilities in your congregation, what questions are you asking? Does the conversation run something like: What sort of accommodations should we make? Which ones would make sense since some accessibility options are really expensive? An elevator would take a major campaign!

What if we began to ask ourselves, our churches, and our ministries this question; “What is it that we are missing? What are we missing out on because we are not as inclusive of persons with disabilities as we truly would like to be?”

I commend this article for anyone interested in learning more about including those with disabilities as members of the whole body of Christ.  http://www.christianitytoday.com/amyjuliabecker/2014/april/including-people-with-disabilities-in-your-church.html


PHEWA (Presbyterian Health Education and Welfare Assocaition) also has a network for those interested in this topic.






What’s NEXT?

Many main-line churches are struggling/closing. Buildings are old and expensive to maintain. Membership is growing older. Pledges and congregational contributions are no longer sustaining all the needs of growing church budgets. Churches can no longer support full-time staff. All of this while churches try to maintain worship and faithful ministries centered in Christ and God’s Word.  What’s NEXT?  This summary is a good place to start.  Plan now to attend the 2015 event in Chicago.