Empowering Congregations:

Empowering Congregations:

And all were fed.

How to build ministry, people, funds and spirit, using the assets you already have.

Want to strengthen and renew your congregation?  You can't force it; faith community is voluntary.  But you can release a snowball effect of positive action that grows and multiplies over time.

My asset-based tools and methods have worked in every aspect of congregational life, and have been applied by national, regional, and local religious organizations.  Best of all, they are based on a theology of abundance and traditions of faith that remind us why we form congregations in the first place.

What is Empowering Congregations?

Congregations, parishes, and other faith communities face daily challenges to our leadership, organization, and finances.  But we can choose to focus on God's blessings.  Empowering Congregations is a strategy that builds on our strengths, gifts, and assets.  From appreciation and thankfulness for these gifts, we are led to connect our gifts with each other to get things done together we could not get done on our own.  In the process, we experience the power of being part of something bigger than all of us.

Use Empowering Congregations to:
  • get your congregation or group focused on the positive again
  • start a new congregation or ministry
  • facilitate positive collaboration among and between congregations or groups
  • identify and raise new funds
  • build powerful relationships with the wider community
  • renew a sense of faith, justice,  and spirit
  • train and equip leaders to work effectively

Strengths on Your Side: Empowering Congregations

  • Luther has trained hundreds of faith-based organizations in positive, networked strategy for faith community, including
    • the leaders of 6 major national denominations
    • national and regional faith-based organizations such as Lutheran Services in America, the National Catholic Rural Life Council, Partners for Sacred Places, and the Ecumenical Stewardship Center
    • Regional, local, and judicatories and ecumenical groups and networks
    • dozens of individual congregations.
  • Over one million people have successfully applied Luther's empowering approaches in every aspect of faith life, including stewardship, outreach, community ministry, global mission, youth ministry, Board development, partnership facilitation, financial development, and work in rural, urban, and suburban contexts.

Empowering Congregations: Luther in Action

Inspirational Impact:
An historic congregation with about 30 active members and a lot of unpaid bills brought Luther in for a day-long workshop.  Clergy and lay leaders took the message and method of "asset thinking" to Scripture and to heart.  "Connecting the dots," they developed ministry, grew to 300 members, and raised $1.7 million.

Strength from Sustained Practice:
The leaders of a large denomination used Luther's Asset Mapping skills and tools with thousands of participants in diverse aspects of the church.  When controversy and conflict struck, the culture and habits of asset thinking helped leaders guide with wisdom and strength.

Power in Partnership:
8 smaller congregations struggled in a suburban area surrounded by larger congregations.  They tapped Luther to facilitate sharing and collaboration, growing in spirit and numbers as a "megachurch without walls."

Energized Participants:
A non-profit training organization used Luther's skills and approach to energize congregational participants for action.  In the process, both the non-profit and the participants discovered and tapped valuable connections between ministry, fundraising, building restoration, and congregational strength.

Who Uses Empowering Congregations?

  • Individual congregations, parishes, synagogues and faith communities have used this approach either for:
    • a one-time "boost," or for
    • longer term consultations to build on fundraising, ministry, facility, and worship.

  • National denominations and faith-based non-profits have engaged Luther for his services and the use of his Asset Mapping tools.  This has included
    •  "Train-the-trainer" services and consultation in the special application of these methods to specific areas of ministry. 
    • Applying Asset Mapping methods to existing organizational development systems such as Appreciative Inquiry or Natural Church Development.

  • Regional organizations and ecumenical coalitions have tapped Luther to
    • facilitate large gatherings and to
    • inspire and support collaboration among groups of congregations.

  • Rural, inner-city, and suburban organizations have taken advantage of Luther's unique combination of skills in both congregational development and community development to generate place-based action strategies.

How Can I Use Empowering Congregations?

Join the movement to build on assets for faith community and action!  

Read the book:  Get a copy of bestselling book, The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts, published by the Alban Institute.  It contains detailed notes for facilitating an early version of Asset Mapping, which you may use as a volunteer working with any voluntary organization.  If you are a paid professional, use the book to consider how this might apply to your work and to contact Luther to propose mutually beneficial consultation.

Develop and strengthen your own Empowering Congregations approaches.  Abundance, connection, open-sum networking, and the larger whole it's all in Scripture.  You are already using these approaches wherever people are coming together in faith and forming community.  Lift up those blessings in community, and listen and learn from what happens.

Network.  In months to come we'll be providing more ways to share and collaborate with other leaders in this field on this website.  Meanwhile, check the "Links" section of this website and our social networking connections like Facebook and Linked In.

Engage Luther K. Snow.
  • Hire Luther to be a speaker and presenter at your conference, gathering, worship, or other spiritual event.  Participants praise his presentations for combining positive, interactive process with powerful insight and inspiration.  Luther will tailor the presentation to your group, and participants will develop practical skills they can take home and use, right away! [Speaking]
  • Tap Luther to facilitate and lead a workshop or series of workshops for your congregation or faith community.   You'll tackle the issues that matter most, discover what your people really want to do, and take the action that really works.  [Facilitation]
  • Bring in Luther to consult with your congregation or group of congregations.  Use Luther's skills to get a new community partnership off the ground.  Or apply Luther's approaches to youth ministry, outdoor education, stewardship, or another area of ministry.  Luther will help you see opportunities in even the toughest situations, and train your leaders to respond and act from strength. [Consulting]

Thank you, and God bless your ministry!