Vision & Leadership Change

Client Organization

A large suburban church with 1800 members needed to replace their retiring Senior Minister but didn’t want to lose momentum in the church by going through the normal process with an interim minister before settling on a permanent replacement.

Client Objective                                                                                                                                         Leadership

The objective was to find a way to move “From Strength to Strength” by finding a new Senior Minister to take over directly from the retiring Senior Minister without having to go through the interim process.

Develop a vision for the future. Utilize an “Appreciative Inquiry” to gather input from the congregation that will be used by the Search Committee to describe the church.

Define those things that have been done well that are important to the church and that should be retained and built upon for the future. Use this to build an overall level of expectation for all of the stakeholders in the organization.

What was done? An “Appreciative Inquiry” was held with approximately 350 members of the church participating in the 4 hour process. The collaborative process provided data that was analyzed and summarized into a document, collateral material and a profile that was used in presentations to potential candidates for the position.


Based on feedback from other Search Committees, this process reduced the time to prepare a profile by as much as three months. It created a common understanding for the search and allowed the church to go “From Strength to Strength” without the need for an interim Senior Minister. Even counting the time for the incoming Senior Minister to give 3 months notice to his prior church, the process was completed in less than a year.