Church leaders need to analyze carefully both the good and band trends in their congregations. They need to do more than superficially diagnose situations
This drawing titled "My wife and my mother-in-law" was published in 1915 by cartoonist W.E. Hill. It was likely adapted from a more detailed German postcard engraving printed in 1880.
Some have referred to this design or sketch as the "old hag and the beautiful young lady." This optical illusion reminds us that many things we observe in a local church can be interpreted in more than one way. Don't think that because of your position, experience, and qualifications, your initial analysis of a congregation is the only way to evaluate it. An optical illusion like this is a is way of reminding us to beware of "the fog" which Donald McGavran talked about that often hinders church leaders from comprehending what is really going on in terms of the health of a congregation. So, train yourself to question how you interpret what you see in the life of a congregation and its ministry context. Be willing to modify your initial perception.
Solving this brain teaser takes patience, a reminder that reflective analysis of a church takes time. This will also point out highlight our often less-than-perfect powers of observation. That's important to keep in mind when we are analyzing a congregation as well as the fact that our knowledge is often incomplete ( For example, what constitutes a square?).
-- Howard Culbertson
Health/Growth course resources: Course home
page Church analysis
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graph analysis Church planting
steps Conversion age
Devotional: Musings about a fast-food chain
Exam study guides Identifying
PowerPoint presentations used in
class Why do pastors resign?
Testing contextualization Case study: When
trust in a pastor erodes
Professor/student contract Improvig
your written work
Listening to boring lectures Getting better grades
"Come share the dream" Is Dr. Gresham right? "Commitment" -- African pastor 15 Key Bible chapters Seeking God's will? How to avoid becoming a missionary PowerPoint presentations used in classes and other venues Nazarene Missions International resources