church institutions


inspiring agents for change, finding the new path

Calling the people in the pew to action | In an increasingly secular society churches are confronted with diminishing resources – fewer people in the pew mean fewer volunteers and threateningly lower contributions. Confronted with the way things are, churches too often focus on the way things were, instead of the way things could be. They look back, not forward. “Where there is no vision the people will perish.”

Successful and thriving churches embrace change and see themselves as missionary outposts in a world in great need of changing. Their focus is outside the four walls of the church, not inside. People in the pew – and the pulpit – want new vision, a new path forward. They want to change lives. But in traditional church hierarchies the path to change is likely to be the path no one wants to use anymore.

Leading the clergy and laity through change is not easy. Great church leaders understand that vision is not articulated by a few, it is forged out of the needs and aspirations of many. True church leadership is organic; it is inspired from the bottom up, not dictated from the top down. Church leaders can shape, mold, form, and inspire, but true change has to be embraced and driven by those in the pew who ultimately will be the agents for change.

And true agents for change will give generously.

we help the church embrace change

The most successful volunteer initiatives are those owned by the volunteers – pioneered and launched by volunteers with passion, drive, and focus. Ownership brings decisive action, effective management and accountability for success.
But people in the pew don’t know what they don’t know. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, “How do people know they want an iPad if they don’t know what an IPad is?” Dollhopf Associates can provide your church members with new ideas through:

Strategic planning and visioning | complex and sophisticated challenges have to be met with sophisticated solutions. Traditional weekend or short-term planning “retreats” are not sufficient. Planning must be long term, broad in implications, far-reaching in diversity of talent, and scaled appropriate to the needs of individual churches as well as dioceses, conferences and synods.

Fundraising and stewardship strategies that are of the 21st century, not the 19th | Churches too often beg for money that is needed rather than inspire people who have a need to give. The church – once the largest recipient of charitable giving but no longer – must regain its inspirational role with strategies that are relationship based, not need based.

Identifying “positive deviants” | the best ideas are already being practiced by people in the pew who don’t realize they could be adapting their valuable skills and experience to meaningful new initiatives for the church.
Bringing ideas from design to action | developing the organizational structure and finding the necessary human and financial resources to make it work.