Of course, much of the pre-work came from drawing on our own expertise and our experiences leading growth in congregations. Consultation participants were also asked to go beyond our own experiences and to confer with leaders in our congregations and colleagues.
In addition, we were assigned reference materials including:
1) The book that I edited, The Growing Church: Keys to Congregational Vitality.
2) UUA President Peter Morales' Monitoring Report of Global Ends, presented to the UUA Board in March, 2010.
3) A fascinating document entitled "Faith Formation 2020: Thirteen Trends and Forces Affecting the Future of Faith Formation in a Changing Church and World."
Finally, when we arrived for the Growth Consultation we all took a standard personality inventory known as the DISC Profile. The DISC involves answering 28 questions which reveals one of four personality tendencies. The four tendencies are:
Dominance: Emphasis is on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results.
Influence: Emphasis is on shaping the environment by influencing and persuading others.
Steadiness: Emphasis is on cooperating with others within existing circumstances to carry out a task.
Conscientiousness: Emphasis is on working conscientiously within existing circumstances to ensure quality and accuracy.
It is fascinating to note that one third of the gathered group tested as "dominant" and two thirds tested as "influencing." (Three members of the group also tested high on the "conscientiousness" scale.) But, it is worth noting that the group trended extremely highly towards the "dominance" and "influence" side of the spectrum and that our group lacked participants who most strongly embodied the traits associated with "steadiness" and "conscientiousness."
Question #1: Have you ever used the DiSC profile in a congregational leadership setting? What blend did you find among congregational leaders?
Question #2: Do you think the high tendency of our group towards "influence" and "dominance" says something about the nature of leading congregational growth?
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