Cultivating Communities

Jason W. Locke – Using Appreciative Inquiry as a Tool for Congregational Change

Cultivating Communities offers helpful resources and relationships for congregations to do the hard work of maturing into ‘real communities’ that share a common life together and care about everything that is essential and necessary for life.

Appreciative Inquiry is a conversational process that is particularly helpful in helping organizations explore and imagine how they might move forward in difficult seasons, like the present transition out of the COVID pandemic that churches are facing now.

*** Download our guide: Appreciative Inquiry: A Guide for Churches Navigating the Post-Pandemic Transition

We found the following article to be a helpful introduction to Appreciative Inquiry for churches…

Using Appreciative Inquiry
as a Tool for Congregational Change
Jason W. Locke

Successful navigation of congregational change is difficult. Churches face numerous technical and adaptive challenges. While leaders can often guide their churches through technical change with logic, negotiation and even force, adaptive change requires a deeper form of reprogramming and congregational discernment. The College Church of Christ, having been in decline for nearly two decades, went through an intensive process of appreciative inquiry to elicit data that might fund a new, life-giving narrative. This article discusses that process and challenges that arose in moving on to next steps.


Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry: Vol. 4 : Iss. 1, Article 2.

Katie Selby is Associate Editor of The Englewood Review of Books. Prior to her family‘s recent transition to the Englewood Christian Church community, Katie served various churches and organizations in Nebraska, East Tennessee, India, and Ethiopia. She is an M.Div. graduate of Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University.

Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior

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