Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Harvest the Power, 2nd Edition: A Lay Leadership Development Program for Adults


The prophetic liberal church is the church where persons think and work together to interpret the signs of the times in the light of their faith. 
—James Luther Adams, 20th-century Unitarian theologian

This workshop introduces the idea of turning points—times when events or circumstances lead one’s life in a new direction. After identifying personal turning points, participants consider conditions that can lead a congregation to and through a turning point.

Participants examine both their own congregation’s recent history and a story about a turning point in another congregation, identifying gifts and skills brought by individual leaders and by the leadership team. Turning their attention to their own team, they identify and celebrate the gifts and skills that they collectively bring to face whatever challenges and possible turning points lie ahead.

Participants learn about the difference between management and leadership, as defined by congregational consultant Gil Rendle, and use a fishbowl role-playing activity to discover the difference between asking, “Are we doing things right?” and “Are we doing [the] right things?”


This workshop will:

  • Lift up examples of turning points, and invite participants to recall their own turning points
  • Explore ways that congregations can experience turning points
  • Provide an opportunity to name the gifts and skills that the participants’ leadership team can bring to help navigate turning points
  • Introduce and explore the difference between management and leadership.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify their own turning points and moments of grace
  • Explore turning points in their own congregation and another congregation
  • Identify the gifts and skills present in their own leadership team
  • Practice applying what they learn about the difference between management and leadership.
  • Investigate power and its role in faithful leadership.






Activity 1: Turning Points


Activity 2: Practicing Reconciliation – A Reflection


Activity 3: What Gifts Do We Bring?


Activity 4: Leadership and Management


Activity 5: Adaptive Challenges


Faith in Action: Responding to Adaptive Challenges




Alternate Activity 1: Leadership and Management Alternate Scenario


Spiritual Preparation

Reflect on the turning points in your own life. Share some of what you discover about yourself with your co-facilitator or with a trusted friend.

Examine each of the “player” instructions in the role play for Activity 4, and imagine yourself, in turn, as each of those people. Find in each of them the desire to do what is best for the congregation, remembering that each leader has an important contribution to make to the conversation.