Hope for Congregations in Distress

If your congregation has dealt with persistent conflict or challenges, you might be thinking anything from, “It’s a tough situation, but every job has bad days,” to “I may need to move on.”

The reality is conflicts don’t have to be enormous to impede ministry.

If a conflict or issue continues to come up, even after you’ve tried different solutions, it may be time to explore the CARE (Congregational Assessment and Renewal) process. The CARE process brings Missouri District facilitators to congregations with ministries in conflict or other crises. Ultimately, they are your partner, providing a sounding board and neutral observer to your leadership.

The CARE process might be a good fit for you if you would welcome assistance that:

  • Is rooted in scripture and relies on the Holy Spirit
  • Puts things in perspective
  • Gets to the root of the problem
  • Gives everyone a voice
  • Prevents a few people from dominating the process
  • Is objective and data-driven
  • Comes with the full support of the Missouri District Office

Throughout this process, your perspective and those of your congregation come forward and help everyone see the situation more clearly. The name of the process, Congregational Assessment and Renewal, reflects the essence of how this work unfolds. As the pastor, you’ll help start the CARE process by leading intentional prayer and bible study.

Congregational Ownership, Partner Facilitators

Our facilitators count on the insights, opinions and decisions of participants. They cultivate a fresh perspective, conducting both surveys and interviews across the staff and membership, look at data for the past decade to get a clear picture of attendance, membership, baptisms and more.

The CARE team will work with you to come up with an action plan, approved by the District President and includes follow-up support to help you get where you want to be for the long-term.

Even congregations with conflicts simmering for years have found success, often in less time than anticipated. While nothing happens overnight, people have been delighted how fast things can get better, especially if they’ve spent a lot of time trying to address the situation unsuccessfully.

As you consider the challenge your congregation is grappling with, ask yourself if you believe the problem can be resolved without some help. If you have a nagging feeling that it won’t, contact Gene Wyssmann to learn more about the CARE process at gene.wyssmann@mo.lcms.org.

Email Rev. Gene Wyssmann to learn more.