Appreciative Inquiry is a process which enables churches to awaken and articulate the missional vision which is part of their “DNA,” and then move in positive, non-confrontational, life-giving ways toward the on-going realization of that vision. Through the cultivation of focused conversations, whole congregations gain a better understand how God has formed and led them in the past, and how they can more fully participate in God’s life and work now and in the future. There are generally four phases to the overall process:
- Understand the current reality/culture of our congregation and our context: how it came to be this way, and what it signifies. What we do, why we do it, what it communicates
- Explore what God is already doing and how he desires us to participate in it
- Understand the difference between managing continuous change and transitioning / transforming through discontinuous change
- Explore what is meant by the missional nature and calling of the church
- What is the present (and the past) telling us about where God is leading us for the future?
- Shaping positive, respectful, constructive ways to build together on the present (and past) in order to be and do what God is calling us to in the future.
Praxis (applying what is learned, and learning through doing):
- implementing and continually learning from the emerging forms and processes