Rob Voyle's Appreciative Way Blog
Church Growth Makes Absolutely no Sense
Posted: January 29, 2016 by Rob Voyle
The language of Church Growth has dominated the religious culture for all of my
Many people have written books and theorized on why we haven't grown and we
We have been called to make disciples and followers of Jesus and not to grow
Take a moment and think what comes to mind when you contemplate making followers
Now think of what comes to mind when you contemplate growing churches...
The language we use has a powerful impact on the images and ideas that come into
The words "church growth" evokes a picture of the white clapboard church I
One of the core assumptions of the Appreciative Way is that language not only
Andy's work is important for both the Chiefs in our congregations and for the
Example 1 for Chiefs: Aligning Our Language and Core Metaphors
In the last newsletter I looked at the core charism of a denomination. The same
What is the core charism of your congregation?
Often that core charism will be represented as a metaphor. I think of one
Now imagine you are the leader of each of these congregations and are about to
Telling the "shade tree" community that you are ready to embark on a new
Or telling the "ship" congregation it is time for them to prune back some of
Or we could confuse everyone by really mixing the metaphors and talk of pruning
Whenever the metaphors are incongruent with perceived reality the metaphors will
As leaders we need to align calls to action with our core metaphors.
Example 2: For Shaman and Spiritual Directors
Imagine you are offering pastoral care to two different parishioners who are
Before reading on you might like to consider what you think death is like... Or
Now consider how to respond to the two people.
The first is getting ready for the "Rest of their Life." The sleep metaphor also
"Passing over" suggests that death is perceived as a journey and I recall
In the Metaphors of Movement Training training Andy will teach you how to listen for and elicit a person's metaphors as they describe their life predicament.
You will then learn how to respond to the specific metaphors.
You will also discover not all metaphors are created equally, in fact there is a
For example people describing themselves as "being boxed in" are using a
I have posted an article by Andy that outlines some of the types of metaphors
With gratitude to Andy for teaching me about the use of metaphors in my work and daily living.
The Appreciative Way
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