April 2, 2024

Cultivating Flourishing Congregations


One valuable lesson gleaned over the past decade is the power of individualized mapping in fostering the growth of disciples, leaders, and congregations. A central theme explored in my book, Simple Discipleship, is the recognition that while there exists a collective vision for discipleship, the specific needs for growth vary greatly among individuals, necessitating customized pathways. During our ordination retreats, we aim to cultivate certain outcomes, yet each candidate enters with unique strengths and weaknesses, thus requiring tailored approaches to their development. Similarly, within churches, there are foundational principles for flourishing, but the manifestation of these principles varies significantly based on various contextual factors.

I’m delighted to have Kaitlyn Wood on our team as Director of Church Health. Completing her Doctorate of Ministry in church health and transformation, Kaitlyn has taken insights from churches both within and beyond ECO that have embarked on change journeys. Her mission, both in her studies and in her role within ECO, has been to distill fundamental principles essential for churches committed to pursuing greater flourishing. Collaborating with myself and others, she has been instrumental in crafting a process designed to create personalized roadmaps for churches as they embark on their Flourishing Next Steps.

What we have learned from previous offerings like Flourishing Disciples, Vision Framing, Flourishing Leaders, and Church Transformation Cohorts is that it is really important to address the whole congregational system. Some of those offerings focus on one part of the system and they are helpful additions, but often would have limited impact because the result of the congregational culture would sabotage those efforts. Any organism that seeks to flourish needs to have all of its systems functioning properly and in fact a weak or unhealthy element can sabotage health that is created in another part of the system. This is why we’ve developed Cultivating Flourishing Congregations, a whole system approach to church health. We can’t wait to share with you!

It would be impossible to explain all of this in a newsletter article so we invite you to join us for a webinar on Tuesday May 7th at 12pm Central/1pm Eastern. In this webinar, Kaitlyn and I will present the framework for how we bring health and our flourishing church measures to congregations of any age, stage and size to achieve health in the totality of its body to achieve flourishing. 

I hope you had a wonderful Lenten and Easter season, and as we live in the power of the resurrection, may the Lord through the Spirit empower us to be witnesses to that resurrection wherever he has placed us!

In Christ,


Share +

Similar Posts