Pastor Karl at the Whitney Avenue Congregational Church

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Pastor Karl at the Whitney Avenue Congregational Church

In this leadership study case we see the 42 year old first-time pastor Karl facing a new organizational culture at 150 year old Whitney Avenue Congregational Church compared with his previous experience at Community Fellowship church where he tried to initiate some changes hopping that will make a difference in the congregation. After a couple of years teaching at a religious school, he went to seminary and completed all his coursework for Doctorate in Ministry. Now he was for the first time in a full time position as a pastor. Even he was a pastor for ten months at Whitney; he was still considered a newcomer by the “power holders”, which were a few old parishioners of the congregation.

Congregational Way members were known as Independents and the role of the entire congregation in self-governance was a critical part regarding what it meant to belong to a church. For people from Whitney Avenue Congregational Church, the pastor was seen as a teacher, comforter and a leader with defined job description: to preach and teach, to provide pastoral care, to serve as a pastoral leader in all the aspects of the life of church and to work closely with the Diaconate board. People from this church had their own way to conduct business, when things had to be decided, he had a meeting with a small group of elders who set up of policy for the church, but he was surprised that he did not have to vote. Whitney Avenue Congregational Church was seen by other churches as fronting a steady decline both in attendance and membership over the last decade and in the same time a reason for survival, the culture clan in this organizations was mention in ”there is a willingness to be helpful, loving and supportive of one another. “ A decline in the active memberships was noticed when the children of the church members were forced to move from the area because of rising cost of housing.

Congregationalism movement started...
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