Changing Culture through Changing the Conversation


“Many Protestant congregations have become burdened with elaborate, nearly Byzantine organizational structures that have assumed a life of their own but do not effectively further essential ministry or core purpose in this new time, ” (Anthony B. Robinson). Does this ring a bell for you as you think of your classis? It rings one for me! I don’t think we need to get rid of our church structures but I wonder - can we make our structures work for us?

The above quote comes from an article by Anthony B. Robinson: “Changing the Conversation: Nurturing a Third way for Congregations.”  Robinson writes that many of our congregations have become polarized, the “liberal” vs. “conservative” or the “contemporary” vs. “traditional.” I think this applies to our classes and even our denomination. Robinson suggests that “changing the culture of organizations, institutions, or a society is about changing the conversation.”

In the article Robinson suggests 10 topics for new conversations. Some of these conversations are:

  • “It’s Not About You”
  • “Why Are We Here?”
  • “Let’s Get (Less) Organized”
  • “Taking on Adaptive Challenges”
  • “Death and Resurrection” and
  • “Where Do We Start?”

What do you think about changing the culture of classis by changing the conversation? Are there any conversations that Robinson suggests that stand out to you that would be helpful in your classis?

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