About Shaping the Parish™
What do we mean by “Shaping the Parish”?
We mean that healthy parishes don’t just happen. They require work at grounding their members in baptismal identity and to create communities living more fully as the Body of Christ.
Leaders shape the parish. So, healthy leaders are essential to the development of healthy and faithful parishes. Healthy parishes devote time and energy, and use proven methods and processes, that foster a deep spiritual and community life. What Augustine called “a real life.”
This is a new program focused on equipping parish leaders to shape healthier, more faithful parishes.
Shaping the Parish™ is:
- An integration of organization development, emotional and social intelligence, and ascetical theology and practice
- A program long enough to develop a critical mass of learning for the participant while being as efficient about time use as possible
- A program that provides the tools to successfully shape parishes toward a healthier life.
- Spiritual practice
- Emotional and social intelligence
- Change theory and methods
Grounded in Anglican spirituality and the most effective methods of leadership and organization development.
Focuses on making immediate, tangible improvements while building long-term health.
Equips participants for effective leadership through their own spiritual and personal growth and an increased ability to shape the parish.
Provides the methods and knowledge needed to shape a parish culture centered in spiritual maturity and emotional intelligence.
Gives you the tools to focus your energies around what works and the primary task of a parish church.
Provides for the direct transfer of learning to the participant’s leadership in the parish.
The Next Generation
Shaping the Parish™ moves the work of the past 35 years in the Church Development Institute (“CDI”), and other programs, to a whole new level of effectiveness.
We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die. W. H. Auden
Those who decide to participate in Shaping the Parish enter knowing that this is a decision about change, conversion, and transformation. We are joining together in a commitment to be open to change in how we manage our own emotions, thinking and behavior. We are involved in this program because we hope for a better parish and will act to make the changes needed. In Shaping the Parish leaders and parish communities take responsibility for their ongoing health and formation. The training staff assists by providing a supportive and challenging environment, resources, and guidance.
Our hope is that you will gain greater knowledge of who you are along with a renewed interest and wonder about your life, the church and the world.
A special message for clergy: The program is about the parish’s revitalization. It’s not about the continuing education of the clergy. So, there is no certificate provided, no CEU’s offered. We of course hope clergy will learn a great deal. That learning however is directly about the health of your parish.
How the program can connect to your secular work: The program is grounded in organization development and systems thinking. We are applying to a church setting what we know broadly about the field of organization development, including change methods; coaching and people development; ways to increase buy-in and accountability, thereby improving team functioning; and effective analysis and decision-making. These areas are critical to the health of any organization and we will be using methods and theories that can be easily transferred to different organizational settings. A letter sent to one partcipant.
Program Assessments - Reflection
Mid point evaluation of National Shaping the Parish - During national program June 2011