Healthy Congregational Leadership

Courtesy Library of Congress

Courtesy Library of Congress

What makes for healthy congregational leadership?  Here is a discussion tool for lay leadership courses, board development time, etc.

Text from that file:

Peter Steinke’s book, Healthy Congregations: A System Approach (1996), looks at how congregation leaders act in healthy systems.  He is using “leader” in the general sense, including all volunteer and professional leaders within the congregation.

He identifies behaviors of emotionally and spiritually healthy leaders, including (in no particular order):

  • focus on vision and mission
  • focus on presence and functioning (avoiding triangles, remaining calm)
  • manage their own anxiety
  • take stands and stay connected
  • challenge themselves and others
  • focus on individual responsiveness/responsibility
  • stay spiritually grounded
  • focus on strengths (and use them as leverage for dealing with “growing edges”)

As you read through this list,

  1. Are there any for which you would like a definition or explanation, or help in “translating” to our Ethical Culture context?
  2. Can you think of concrete examples where this Society’s leadership has shown that characteristic?
  3. Which ones are strengths within the Society’s leadership (in the broad sense of that term)?
  4. Which ones warrant attention and development? For yourself? For the Board? In general?