This is an area of growth during interim ministries because organizational development increases a congregation’s capacity for embodying their mission. One of my favorite things about being on Congregational Life Staff for the Southern Region was working with congregations to assist them in this way. In our Leadership Experiences, we taught congregational leaders about systems theory, about change management, about lifespan faith development stages, about bringing an equity lens to their work, about governance, about culture and strategy, about leadership as a calling, and more.
Our congregations often talk about the difference between technical problems and adaptive challenges, as defined by Ronald A. Heifetz & Marty Linsky. If the solutions to technical problems often lie in the realm of administration, the solutions to adaptive challenges often lie in organizational development. This means congregations (volunteers and staff) need to learn new ways of doing and being. An interim period can be an excellent time for this learning and practicing.