New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
In the book, How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems (Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 1996), Peter Steinke gives this summary statement about system thinking:
System thinking is a way of seeing
— the whole,
— how the parts mutually influence one another,
— how the circle of influence becomes patterned, and
— how the pattern is maintained by the arrangement of the functioning parts.
In an emotional system there is always
— information (a reaction or a response) and
— the struggle to be self-defined and yet in touch with others.
Here are three guidelines for congregational leaders to consider to help them remain healthy and effective in a congregational system under stress or in distress:
Take Responsibility Only for What Belongs to You
Maintain Personal Integrity
Stay Connected to the Organization
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Last updated on Saturday, October 29, 2011.
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