Provocative Hope: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Reclaim God’s Dream for your Church

October 14, 2019

Course Design and Facilitation: Rev. Steve James, a WNC clergy member. He has served growing churches in rural, urban and suburban settings and for the last six years has served a full-time coaching ministry with church leaders across the US through Griffith Coaching, GoSeeLove, and Passion in Partnership.


Tuesday Cohort – 9:30 am to 11:00 am (ET) Third Tuesday of the month January 21 – May 19, 2020

Thursday Cohort – 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm (ET) Third Thursday of the month January 16 – May 21, 2020. (Exception - April 23 to avoid the week after Easter)

Brief description: 
  • A 15-week course to develop leaders’ capacity to use an Appreciative Inquiry process so that their churches would reclaim God’s dream for their congregation and begin to live into that dream. This is a course designed to help leaders to continuously conform their ministry, planning and accountability system with the vision to which God is calling
    your church. 
  • Each course session consists of a cohort of 8 persons (lay and/or clergy) – one person per church. 
  • Course text would include: Appreciative Inquiry, A Positive Revolution in Change, as well as accompanying manuscripts rooting Appreciative Inquiry in scripture and Wesleyan theology.
  • Course participant would join the other cohort members for 5 – 90-minute video sessions
  • In addition to cohort video sessions, course participants will meet five times in pairs to work on the Appreciative practices and hold one another mutually accountable.
  • Course participants would work with a partner or team from their local church to apply the Appreciative practices to begin the process of reclaiming God’s dream for their local church.
  • Communication and resource sharing in the cohort(s) would be through Slack.
  • Daily access to course resources and interaction with one another and facilitator (via Slack)

Expected Outcomes: Course participants will 
  • begin to practice appreciative inquiry in existing groups within their church
  • identify and celebrate the ways God is still active in and through their church
  • imagine the hopeful future that incarnates God’s dream for their church
  • design contextually relevant ways for constituents of the church from 9 to 90+ years of age to more fully participate in God’s dream
  • begin implementation of God’s dream in and through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • develop fluency with Appreciative Inquiry practices in the church
  • cultivate a mutually accountable relationship for practicing Appreciative Inquiry with at least one other course participant that will extend beyond the course
  • develop the capacity to lead virtual groups and form resource sharing virtual communities
  • have access to shared course resources as long as needed

Registration Cost – $495
For Western North Carolina Conference participants: the WNCC LEAD team generously provides a $445 scholarship for your participation. Your out of pocket cost is $50.00.
Leadership Leadership Development