Church Innovations’ Partners Post

April 16, 2009

Reading Congregations?

Filed under: Bremer Partnership,Uncategorized — ptellison @ 9:21 am

Next week our Church Innovations team will be having reading team meetings for two more congregations in the Bremer project, one church here in the city and one church in St. Cloud. 

What does a reading team do? 

1. Its convener receives a batch of interviews from a congregation and sends copies of that batch to the others on the team. 

2. They each read the collection independently, making all kinds of notes and color codes and tallies and smiley-faces in the margins. 

3. Then they come together one afternoon, pray for the Holy Spirit’s work among them, and talk through the whole batch, and from that talk comes a tying together of separate notions, weaving of themes, and quite a few open questions, which the convener stitches together into a 9-12 page report.

That’s about it. Wouldn’t you like to be on a reading team?  Peace. Pat


  1. Good summary…though it sounds much more simple than it feels at the time! I’m always surprised at how complex and interesting congregations are when we get to read the interviews. It is not necessarily easy to communicate that in a report.

    Comment by Scott Hagley — April 16, 2009 @ 10:20 am

  2. You are so right, Scott! Congregations are even tough to read sometimes. Many are moving in many directions at the same time and when the readers try to see paterns, things seem like blurs in several directions at once. And once in awhile there are no smiley faces in the margins – just question marks and deeply furrowed brows. Do they make an emoticon for that?

    Comment by Pat Ellison — April 16, 2009 @ 10:26 am

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