Kennon Callahan and Asset-Based Planning

12KeysThe first resource I read that approached congregational planning from a strengths-based perspective was Kennon Callahan’s book Twelve Keys to an Effective Church.  Before looking at his approach, I had learned that planning was a way to fix problems. Planning was a way to shore up congregational weaknesses. Like many, I found this perspective tempting. After all, who doesn’t want to fix a problem? It was also frustrating. Some problems can’t be fixed. Some challenges can’t be resolved. 

However, strengths can be reinforced. Strengths can be extended. Strengths can make the downsides less problematic. Callahan’s approach to planning encourages congregations to look at what he calls the twelve keys and concentrate on improving the ones that are naturally inclined to good results.  

This approach, it seems to me, is full of grace and possibility.

His book, Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, is an accessible resource. A congregation could always hire a facilitator to help them work through the content. Many, many congregations could work the twelve keys process themselves and come up with a plan that is both positive and implementable. 

If your congregation is thinking about a planning process or still in the early stages, I not only recommend the book, but the upcoming Center workshop led by Kennon Callahan. Workshop information and on-line registration can be found by clicking this link.

Tim Shapiro
President