Welcome to Thinking Congregations. This is a site for faith leaders, clergy, local pastors, judicatory leaders, bishops and anyone who has an interest in thinking about congregations. Congregations include churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, home churches, or any house of faith and worship. While we may differ in our beliefs about the nature of God, we have much more in common when it comes to the ways each faith community functions and carries out their beliefs.
We hope Thinking Congregations becomes known as a site for individuals from various faith communities to think differently about how we gather as congregations and what good leadership looks like in our various contexts. If you find the resources here useful, we hope you will share them with others. We also hope you will participate in the ongoing conversation by commenting on blog posts. Your feedback is important.
Thinking Congregations integrates Bowen Family Systems Theory with leadership in the congregation. We are grateful for thinkers like Dr. Dan Papero, Rev. Peter Steinke, Rabbi Ed Friedman, Rev. Richard Blackburn, Ron Richardson, Roberta Gilbert, and many more who have helped to bring Dr. Bowen's theory to organizational leadership. Rev. Bell hopes his ideas are useful to the next generation of leaders.
John Bell, M.Div. is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church where he has served for 22 years. He has been teaching and applying the principles of Bowen Family System Theory for more than 16 years. John finished a three-year post-graduate program in Bowen Family Systems Theory and Its Applications at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family at the Georgetown Family Center in Washington, DC.
In addition to his work in his local church, John’s effort to understand BFST continues through research, writing, teaching and coaching individuals, families and congregations. He is currently on the faculty of the Center for Family Consultation in Evanston, IL.
John is married with three children and is currently serving a congregation in Aurora, Illinois.
The Clergy Consultation Group is a an educational opportunity to learn the concepts of Bowen Family Systems Theory and their application to congregations and families.
To learn more, please visit the official website.