Tag Archives: models

Managing Polarities

Polarity management is helpful for handling some (not all) differences in Ethical Societies.  A polarity describes a situation where there are two poles, which are in some tension with each other, and where overstressing one will result in understressing the other. Rather than the typical problem-solving approach, which looks at both ideas and sees them as a choice for focus, polarity management looks at both poles as necessary and looks… Read More »

12 Keys to Effective Congregations

Adapted to humanistic language appropriate to Ethical Societies, the following are the 12 keys to congregational growth, according to this model: One major effective outreach program: building a more humane world in the broader community One-to-one relationship-building within the Ethical Society: help and hope for human hurts, connection with members and friends of the Ethical Society Sunday platform meetings that are warm and welcoming, intellectually stimulating and encouraging of ethical… Read More »


Theory and practice are intertwined.  How we look at a problem — which model we use — may influence what solutions we come up with.  Having multiple models to use may help provide better perspective on issues in your congregation. Some major models of congregational development that the AEU has found useful are:  

Appreciative Inquiry

The questions we ask set the direction for our attention. “Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a method for studying and changing social systems (groups, organizations, communities) that advocates collective inquiry into the best of what is in order to imagine what could be, followed by collective design of a desired future state that is compelling and thus, does not require the use of incentives, coercion or persuasion for planned change to… Read More »