The Power of Stories

Maybe stories are just data with a soul. —Brené Brown This is one of my absolute favorite lines from Brené Brown’s famous 2010 TED Talk. As a qualitative researcher, I (Kristina) also like to think of myself as a storyteller. Qualitative researchers rely on the power of words to evoke / provoke themes, wisdom, new ideas and–on…

Thinking Like A Data Scientist

I recently came upon a great blog article from Harvard Business Review entitled “How To Start Thinking Like A Data Scientist.”  The exercise described in the article is one that church councils, Conference and Association committees, and various visioning teams can do. No longer should the church be a place where data illiteracy proliferates! Data…

Congregational Growth and Decline: A Closer Look (Part 2)

Another noteworthy theme from Roozen’s synopsis of American congregations is that racial, ethnic, and immigrant communities are growing. The overall increase from 20 percent to 30 percent from 2000 to 2010 is significant; and it seems that nearly all types of congregations (mainline, evangelical, Catholic, or other) are experiencing this same phenomenon. I recently heard…

Congregational Growth and Decline: A Closer Look (Part 1)

A recent Christian Century article written by my colleague David Roozen at Hartford Seminary does a nice job of highlighting congregational growth and decline over the last several decades. He points out, contrary to popular belief in mainline Protestant circles, that nearly all faith traditions are experiencing decline today. From 2000 to 2010, conservative Protestants…