Leader Guides

The U.S. Congregational Life Survey offers three Leader Guides for use with the reports that participating congregations receive showing their congregation's results.

  1. Connecting — A Leader's Guide for Congregational Reflection Using the U.S. Congregational Life Survey will help you and your congregation make the most of your first 8-page report — the Connections Report. The process can be used in a series of meetings held over several weeks or in a weekend or day-long retreat. It's also been used in congregational meetings to allow everyone in the congregation to look at the results and help interpret them. Read the author's overview of the purpose and uses of the Connecting Leader's Guide. Or download the guide now: The Connecting Leader's Guide PDF icon. The author has also provided a resource kit for use with this Leader's Guide that includes pages that can be used for handouts as your congregation works through your Connections Report. Download the Connecting Resource Kit. PDF icon
  2. A second leader's guide is distributed free of charge with the second congregational report — the Strengths Report. This 23-page guide, Your Congregation's Strengths Report — A Congregational Study, Discussion, Planning, and Action Process, will help your congregation (a) recognize present strengths; (b) understand how those strengths compare with other congregations; (c) identify action possibilities that, building on those strengths, will increase your congregation's effectiveness; and (d) implement those actions.
  3. The third leader's guide is designed to help congregation’s look at the community where they are located. The Places of Promise Leader Guide PDF icon and exercises it contains provide a framework for understanding how location forms a congregation’s identity and ministry and will help congregational leaders explore the congregation’s connection with its unique location.
  4. Mapping Change:  Comparing Your 2001 and 2008 Reports will be helpful if your congregation has taken the survey more than once.  This guide will help you identify and understand change.  Download Mapping ChangePDF icon
  5. Leader Guide for Leadership That Fits Your Church by J. Brent Bill will help your congregation unpack the wealth of learning contained in this latest book and determine how to best use that information to enhance your effectiveness as a church. While the guide is organized into six, ninety-minute sessions, it can also be adapted for use at a leadership retreat. It is a good resource for pastoral search or clergy relations committees. Download leader guide PDF icon