Ministry Development and Congregational Vitality
The Office of Congregational Vitality provides resources for all congregations in the Diocese of Atlanta to become vibrant and thriving communities of faith. We have trained Consultants to assist with Congregational Assessment, Vital Teams, Vestry Retreats and Trainings, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Stewardship programs, and Mutual Ministry Reviews.
If you need assistance in exploring any of our resources, contact the Office of Congregational Vitality, 404-601-5353.
The Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT) is a reliable benchmarked instrument designed to provide an in-depth look at the experiences, perceptions and aspirations of a church’s congregation. It is an essential step for any church in leadership transition or undertaking strategic planning. The CAT is administered by Holy Cow! Consultants, an Ohio-based Church Consulting firm which uses Organizational Intelligence (OI) to help Church leaders chart a well-informed future for their congregations. OI offers leaders a comprehensive, three-dimensional view rather than a patchwork of opinions and guesses. More information can be found here.
The CAT is a customizable assessment instrument that can help congregational leadership:
— Measure the level of satisfaction and energy in the congregation you lead.
— Identify the critical success factors for improving the organizational climate.
— Pinpoint the strengths of the congregation’s culture.
— Discover where members would like to go in the future.
— Gauge readiness for change.
— Uncover potential resources they may be missing.
— Prepare for a search for a new next pastor or priest.
The Diocese of Atlanta has trained Interpreters for the CAT, and they serve as Consultants to parishes that use the CAT for future planning. The Office of Congregational Vitality requires all congregations that are planning to use the resources of the office to take the CAT as an initial step.
Vital Teams training equips congregations, regardless of size or budget, with highly effective team leadership skills tailored to their specific situation. In partnership with the Episcopal Church Foundation, the Diocese of Atlanta provides training of vestries and their clergy to develop collaborative leadership to carry out the congregation’s purpose and mission.
Training focuses on
1) Clarity of Team’s Purpose
2) Building Strong Relationships
3) Developing Clear Processes
4) Focusing on Results
More information about Vital Teams can be found at ECF Vital Teams.
The College for Congregational Development (CCD) is an intensive two-year program designed for teams of lay and clergy leaders to develop leadership skills for parish growth and health. Based in the academic disciplines of congregational and organizational development, CCD is also rooted in the identity, doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church.
CCD is recommended by the Office of Congregational Vitality for parishes facing serious challenges and that have decided they are ready to do the work to change. Parishes either holding steady or thriving, but still looking for further growth, should also consider CCD. Parishes going through a sudden trauma or crisis are not the best candidates for CCD. The Canon for Ministry or one of our Consultants will assist such congregations through the crisis before they consider CCD.
The Canon for Ministry will work with the parish leadership to identify the best candidates to attend the college which consists of two 7-day intensive sessions over two consecutive summers. The cost to attend CCD is currently around $950/person for the program, room, and board.
Travel costs are extra. Scholarships are available to pay a portion of the tuition based on the annual budget of the parish.
The Diocesan Stewardship Commission has a team of consultants who can help create or improve your stewardship program. Feel free to contact one of them.
Mal Underwood, Commission chair emeritus
Juan Sandoval, Deacon
Tammy Pallot, Commission chair
The Rev Frank Baltz
The Episcopal Network for Stewardship
The Diocese of Atlanta is a member of TENS, an organization committed to inspiring generosity and faithful discipleship. A primary benefit of membership is that all congregations throughout the diocese have access to the Stewardship Narrative Series, a program designed to complement and support an annual giving program. It also is available in Spanish, Chinese and Korean.
To access the material,
Circle of Stewardship
Come and See Membership Growth Preview
PDF | PPTX not available
ECF Planned Giving Presentation
Electronic Giving and Stewardship Resources
PDF | PPTX not available
Major Gifts Presentation for Clergy Training Day
Reasons for Giving
Year Round Stewardship
Circle of Stewardship Training
The Commission on Stewardship conducts training throughout the year.