Appreciative Inquiry for Congregations

Appreciative Inquiry is a way of thinking and acting for purposeful change in an organization. It is based on the assumption that whatever you want more of, already exists in all organizations. Appreciative Inquiry’s approach is to build on what is positive and life-giving to the system, rather than focusing on what causes the problems. David Cooperrider, the founder of Appreciative Inquiry, describes it this way:

“More than a method or technique, the appreciative mode of inquiry is a means of living with, being with and directly participating in the life of a human system in a way that compels one to inquire into the deeper life-generating essentials and potentials of organizational existence.”

The basic processes in AI can be captured in a 4-I model:appreciative inquiry

  1. Initiate: Choose the positive as the focus of inquiry.
  2. Inquiry: Inquire into stories of life-giving forces. Locate themes that appear in the stories and select topics for further inquiry
  3. Imagine: Create shared images for a preferred future.
  4. Innovate: Find innovative ways to create that future.

This workshop is designed to be attended by small groups from several churches. It will introduce the theoretical background of AI and describe how it can be applied in congregations. There will be time to craft interview questions and experience how to conduct an AI interview. Each church group will plan the use of AI for their congregation and discover the application of these principles.