Core Competencies

Four Core Competencies of Christian Congregations

I am reposting the Four Core Competencies of Christian Congregations that Taylor Burton-Edwards has developed. Taylor has a nice one-page .pdf version of this that you can find here.

One feature I like about the list is that nearly all of them are written in ways that allow me to assess my congregation against them. Not all are easily converted to numbers, but you can still have a useful discussion about how well your congregation stacks up on these four competencies.

Core Competency 1: Offering Public Worship

Public— open and inviting to everyone in a particular place

Excellent— meets or exceeds local public standards for speaking, musical performance, and engaging the bodies and minds of participants

Accessible— to persons of varying levels of knowledge and ability

Recognizable— as being worship in the Christian tradition

Locally adapted— uses the wide variety of gifts and reflects the cultures of participants

Core Competency 2: Teaching Basic Doctrine

Confessing the faith— worship regularly confesses core elements of the faith that are remembered by participants

Living the faith— worshipers’ lives resemble what is taught and confessed in worship and other teaching venues

Articulating the faith— participants can accurately describe the core elements of the faith in their own words

Sharing the faith— participants share what they have learned with people outside the congregation

Passing on the faith— multiple systems ensure that the congregation forms newcomers and new generations in the basic teaching of the faith

Core Competency 3: Caring for Members and Participants

Physical Care— support for the physical needs of participants (financial, food, health, accessibility, transportation)

Ongoing Communities of Care— every participant is quickly and effectively connected with others who provide a community of basic caring and prayer

Emergency Care— systems of communication ensure that persons in emergency situations receive appropriate and timely care

Transitional Care— intensive communities of caring for persons walking through significant transitions

Core Competency 4: Being a Reliable Institutional Player in the Local Community

Fiscal accountability — the congregation manages financial resources transparently and responsibly

Active — the congregation has or creates a history of forming effective partnerships that release the missional capacity of the local community

Capacity — the congregation acts based on its programmatic, leadership and relational strengths

Trusted — the congregation has a good reputation among persons and other institutions in the local community


Taylor has also developed (or begun to develop) a set of competencies of disciple-making communities. A link to that is here.

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