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Congregational Life: Vision, Mission & Identity: Mission

tools for listening to God, generating new vision, developing a mission and empowering communal embrace of congregational identity


Faith-Based Organizing: A Congregational Planning Resource for Addressing Poverty     Jesus on Main Street     Mission Rift: Leading through Church Conflict     Reawakened          The Space Between Us     Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers

Articles, Blogs, & Podcasts

Sunbeam over a neighborhood church

Reimagining Church Buildings


How can your church building be an asset rather than a liability? Dave Harder says we must interrogate the dominant narrative that says church is what happens in the building for a few hours on a Sunday and let a new narrative emerge — one that focuses on God’s hopes and dreams for the neighborhood.

What Now?

Tools for Engaging the Post-Covid Church is a suite of practical resources created for pastors as they navigate the impacts and realities of COVID19. Sign up here.

Graphic of a church building and office building and lines of sharing going back and forth between them

Episode 82: What Can Churches and Businesses Learn from Each Other? featuring Randy Casey-Rutland

Graphic illustrating steps from mission statement to checklist to open church

Do You Need a Mission Statement for Your Post-Pandemic Transition Plan?

As congregations plan for a future with fewer pandemic-related restrictions, Lovett H. Weems Jr. says they need a standard for assessing various options. Without a clear connection to your primary mission your transition plan could easily be hijacked by those pushing hardest for their point of view or what neighboring churches are doing.

Photographer's loupe bringing into sharp focus a distant mountain range and the word MISSION

How to Stay Focused on Your Mission

Barry Winders says having a mission statement isn’t enough to keep your church focused and fruitful. Churches need to develop a mission filter — a question or statement designed to evaluate decisions and activities to determine their alignment with the mission.

Many smaller lit lightbulbs hanging from colored cords

The Myth of the One Big Idea

Scott Cormode explains how change efforts often fail because we risk everything on one big idea. Innovation flourishes within systems that generate lots of ideas. And a leader’s task is to plant and water the seeds of change to see which take root and grow.

Photo of a cluttered storage room

To the Point: Unclutter Your Church: What needs to die in your church?




Organizing Church

In this Exchanges training, explore what the church can learn about itself and about its mission through broad-based community organizing.

Strong church institutions depend upon a strong relational fabric grounded in sacred values, because relationships that are grounded in values are more able to withstand change and conflict. Broad-based organizing provides a unique way of building strong relationships grounded in values we hold most dear. The relationship between broad-based organizing and the church is reciprocal and mutually beneficial.

The Faith+Lead Learning Lab is a place to listen, learn, innovate, and grow. Join other spiritual leaders in grappling with real-world challenges and discoveries of ministry in the 21st Century.

Congregations Lead Initiative

The ELCA's Growing Younger page includes stories, resources, and tools to assist you and your congregation in connecting with new people so that our world may experience the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation; including:

6 Core Commitments                                                                            

Download The 6 Core Commitments of Churches Growing Younger pdf here.

6 Core Commitments

Register for the ELCA Growing Younger Train the Trainer Event here.

Engaging Local Schools Video Tool Kit cover featuring a smiling student holding a textbook

Engaging Local Schools is a toolkit to help congregations discern how best to support and engage local schools, utilizing videos, presentations, and supplemental materials.

Thriving Beyond COVID is a scripture-based small and large group study that will encourage, inspire, and challenge members and get them in a positive frame of mind for your post-COVID journey. Challenges can be managed with faith and a plan. This two-minute video is an introduction. A leader guide, small and large group participant guides, as well as videos are available for free download here.

Doing Good Well Video Tool Kit cover featuring a smiling woman packing groceries at a food drive

Vital congregations are increasingly committed to serving others through mission. And congregations are asking whether their good intentions always yield good results. Through engaging videos, presentations, and supplemental materials, Doing Good Well explores the fruitfulness of mission efforts and provides practical strategies to help ensure your mission hits the mark.

Doing Good Well is ecumenical and designed for both self study and for use with groups in your church.

Be sure you are gathering the right kind of information. In this assessment, you will:

  • Discover the larger impact that you are making in your community through your service and outreach;
  • Uncover areas for further development of your ministries and programs;
  • Understand what makes you unique in your community;
  • Deep-dive into the financial goals and strategies for your congregation’s present and future;
  • Gain clarity about your “next best step” as your church engages in its life together.

Learn more.