The Center for Congregational Health has been working with congregations for over thirty years helping congregations and their leaders thrive. We realize that now, many congregations cannot afford a consultant to help them become healthier and stronger. In 2020, the Center received a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., to help underwrite the work we do to help congregations thrive. To this point, receiving grant funded consulting has been by invitation only. For the next year we are excited to offer everyone the opportunity to apply for consulting projects that can be substantially underwritten by our grant. This is a unique opportunity and we will have a limited funds to help with this work so apply today.

Your congregation is invited to apply to become part of this grant-funded project. As a participant in our Thriving Congregations grant, you may receive funding to assist our congregation to work with a trained consultant that is focused on empowering clergy and lay leaders to work together within their faith communities to help them thrive. As a participant in this project, you will have the opportunity to engage in a process that has an estimated value of over $10,000. Congregations that are successful applicants may receive up to $10,000 to help cover the cost of consultation. The exact amount awarded to your congregation will be determined by the resources of your congregation as well as the amount your congregation has or will budget for helping your church to thrive.

While the exact scope of the process will be determined by the needs of your congregation, each church will engage in a process built around essentials we have identified for congregational thriving:
1. Relationships/community
2. Clarity of mission, vision, and values
3. Engagement
4. Sustainability
5. Ability to adapt to change

A trained consultant will work with congregations to answer questions about the future of their church by exploring the past, naming the current assets, and understanding the larger community.

Each congregation will be facilitated by trained faculty members from the Center for Congregational Health network of consultants. The overall goal of our program is to help congregations thrive through creating adaptive capacity in the congregation, especially through its leaders. More specifically, the program goals for congregations include the following:
1. Build the capacity of congregations to clarify their mission and vision and fulfill their calling as a congregation.
2. Empower clergy and lay leaders,
3. Build community and trust between the congregations participating in learning communities
4. Assist congregations in getting to know their community and ministry context.
5. Provide tools and resources for congregations to explore and adapt their congregation’s traditions for today in new and meaningful ways.
6. Assist congregations in discerning how to become deeply and meaningfully engaged in mission and ministry in their communities—outside the walls of their church.

If your congregation is ready for clarity around its next steps and you believe would benefit from working with a consultant, we invite you to apply to be a Thriving Congregation. Once we have received your application, a consultant will reach out to discuss more of your congregations need and if you are selected, a proposal will be written with clear expectations of the congregation and consultant around cost, process and desired outcomes.  To apply click here.