The congregations of the Southern Ohio Synod have access to 12 rostered and lay leaders specially trained in Bowen Family Systems Theory to assist your pastor, council, and entire congregation through transitions, disagreements, future planning, and gaining a clear picture of who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.
This is done through:
- Work with pastors to help them visualize and see the larger picture within the life of the congregation.
- Opportunities for monthly review, by the team, of case studies submitted by a pastor on issues and opportunities within the life of the congregation.
- Congregational History Events where the entire congregation gathers and walks through its history from genesis to current-day to help frame their life together and identify what dynamics have been at play over the long term that either positively or negatively impact the ministry and vitality of the church.
- Assisting congregations as they prepare to transition from their current pastor to their next, whether this event is expected or unexpected, to ensure the best transition possible for everyone involved.
- Conducting interviews and sharing a report with the congregation when the congregation is experiencing conflict. The report provides observations and questions for further thought by the congregation and its leaders.
Bowen Family Systems Theory
In the years since Dr. Bowen first introduced it, Family Systems Theory has been studied, researched, expanded, and used to understand how churches, synagogues, corporations, and other organizations work. The Congregational Resource Team spends much of its training time on the work of those researchers, including Dr. Edwin Friedman, Dr. Roberta Gilbert, Rev. Peter L. Steinke, and others.
The team receives its training from Dr. Larry Foster, an ELCA pastor, Family Systems therapist, and teacher at the ELCA Family Systems Academy in Chicago, where Pr. Bob Abrams, Assistant to the Bishop, received his four years of training in preparation for leading this specialized team.
For more information on Family Systems Theory, please visit the Bowen Center website at www.thebowencenter.org.