If citizens' organizations can be effective and powerful, welcoming and relational, why aren't some of the religious institutions that make them up always that way? The answer is they can be, if they learn to use some of the tools that are taught and exercised in the organizations connected to the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF).
In this short booklet, Michael Gecan, who wrote Going Public and helps direct Metro IAF with colleague Arnie Graf, gives a quick analysis of the tools of organizing that can be taught and mastered by the clergy and lay leaders of religious congregations of all faiths and denominations:
- The art and craft of the individual meeting.
- How to run effective public meetings.
- How to design actions and reduce creating new "groups" or "structures."
- How to create a set of focused campaigns and avoid scores of de-entergizing tasks.
- How to do a power analysis of a social or institutional environment before trying to act.
- How to identify and align with new allies.
- How to create and sustain a relational organization and limit bureaucratic demands on leaders.
Also included are short case studies of five religious institutions--Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim and Catholic--that have used this training to "dis-organize" and "re-organize" their congregations.