Though it has a musical and ethnic ring, the term Congogram actually comes from the words “congregation” and “genogram” not conga drums and The Congo. Like the genogram, the Congogram is a tool to build and revitalize relationships. However, the Congogram is designed for congregations of all faiths and sizes, rather than for families.
Congogram can breathe fresh life into the rhythms of leadership and member interactions in your congregation in a way that embraces and affirms your organization’s faith, culture and organizational structure.
Congogram includes both a visual diagramming tool and a counseling or consulting process. This innovative tool can help your congregation move into a vibrant and healthy future by addressing and overcoming a variety of challenges including transition, conflict and trauma.
A counselor or consultant uses the Congogram to guide a congregation in building up its strengths and addressing key weaknesses which inhibit health and progress. It begins with a set of diagrams to identify patterns.
As a visual diagramming tool, a Congogram maps the past in order to understand the present and create a vital future. The tool uses the same principles as the family systems tool called a geneogram, however since congregations are more complex than families, the diagrams include multiple pages and a set of symbols specific to religious organizations. A Congogram can be enhanced by using it in conjunction with genograms of key leaders.
The diagrams map the ways in which people involved in a particular church or congregation have interacted and responded to each other and to events (emotional systems), through multiple generations. Patterns emerge showing both strengths and challenges.
In order to create the diagrams and prepare participants to design transformative goals for a specific congregation, a counselor or outside consultant uses a six-step process which takes place over approximately six months. It culminates in creation of a detailed Relational Revitalization Plan with short and long term goals, including specific steps to achieving these goals.
The Congogram process guides the entire congregational community in gaining fresh perspectives and getting unstuck from difficult problems or challenging situations. The process can also be engaged by a leadership team without involving an entire organization, or by a denominational headquarters interested in examining its own emotional systems patterns.