“Owl Sight: Evidence-Based Discernment and the Promise of Organizational Intelligence for Ministry”

by J. Russell Crabtree
Publication Date: August 1, 2012

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The church in the 21st century can be a bewildering experience as tried and true programs fail. Even ministry approaches that have proven fruitful in other church settings often yield disappointing results. Both leaders and members are left scratching their heads and wrestling with the feeling that they are missing something important.

Consultant J. Russell Crabtree identifies this missing component and names it organizational intelligence. In spite of the fact that leaders and members may be immersed in the life of their church, they typically have little clarity regarding how people are experiencing the church overall, their hopes for the future, or the patterns of thinking and behavior, unique to their congregation, that must be addressed to realize their vision.

Owls survive and thrive by seeing what other creatures do not see. The effective church in the 21st century will be one that invests in the kinds of information that are enabling other organizations to be effective in the world today. As churches move beyond simply counting attendance and dollars, and pay equal attention to the quality of the experience that members are offered, a whole new landscape opens that was previously invisible.