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In The Hidden Life of Trees, author Peter Wohlleben’s observations about the underground system with which trees use to communicate offer valuable insights into how human groups – such as congregations – function. Like the hidden life of trees, the connections in congregations are deep, with many relationships, associations, and loyalties operating under the surface. A congregation acts as an organism with developing and changing interconnections. Clergy leaders are often transplanted into the ongoing life of congregations. Usually there is a predecessor, a known and unknown history, alongside forces at work within and without. How is one to live and lead with these unseen influences at work?

This conference day will explore the ministry leaders and the life of congregations through the lens of Bowen theory. We will look at the lives of congregations over time, the functioning of the ministry leader, and finally the functioning of the congregation and clergy as an emotional system. The trees are more than metaphor.

Attend in-person or online.

A maximum of 5 CEU/CEs are available.

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About the Faith Leadership Conference

The Faith Leadership Conference is an annual event exploring the challenges and possibilities faced by leaders of faith communities. Each year the conference has a specific focus, and includes presentations on Bowen theory, case studies, and discussion.