Church Leadership Strategies, Easum and Bandy Diagnostic

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Part of the Ministry Resource Guide on Strategies for Congregational Renewal: Diagnostic/Prescriptive

Example of Diagnostic/Prescriptive: Easum and Bandy’s Eleven Subsystems of a Thriving Congregation


Bill Easum and Thom Bandy champion the idea of creating permission-giving, servant empowering congregational cultures that equip members to freely and responsibly exercise their gifts toward fulfilling Christ-honoring mission in the new pre-Christian era.

The Easum/Bandy philosophy is popular among church leaders, especially those who follow a Church Growth philosophy. Regardless of one’s orientation, their works have value, but the relationship between each volume can get confusing. This section tries to show how each book fits within the Easum-Bandy system.

The Eleven Key Subystems


William M. Easum and Thomas G. Bandy, Growing Spiritual Redwoods – addresses Easum and Bandy’s three foundational subsystems: congregational identity, mission, and organization. This book also presents a portrait of what a church may look like when it has truly broken out of institutionalization.


Thomas G. Bandy, Kicking Habits: Welcome Relief for Addicted Churches, Upgrade Edition – Provides the “big picture” of Easum and Bandy’s five stages of congregational renewal and transformation: shared vision, congregational spirituality, redefining leadership roles, streamlining the organization, birthing the new system. The companion volume is Coming Clean: The Study Guide to Kicking Habits.


This includes: congregational property, funding, and communication. No one volume is dedicated to these three subsystems, but questions for evaluating them appear in Moving Off the Map,and a shortened version, 95 Questions to Shape the Future of the Church.

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Assessments for each of the eleven key subsystems

Leadership belief systems and structures for the eleven key subsystems

Easum and Bandy are strong on the idea that a congregation’s leadership belief systems and structures must be empowering and permission-giving. Each has written extensively on this.

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