The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Five congregational self-images

Which fits your church?

Here are five congregational self-images and explanations of what identifies them: the pillar, the pilgrim, the survivor, the prophet and the servant. An example:

The pillar
Anchored in its community, it feels a distinct responsibility for it. Its building often reflects a pillar self-image. Membership includes pillars of the community, good citizens individually and corporately. Uses its resources to strengthen the whole community.
Negative image: Can turn into a fortress, preoccupied with its own concerns. Can withdraw, seeing itself as a haven of purity against the world's unrighteousness.

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November issue


From myths to ministry