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Supporting Congregational Well-Being

Congregations are home, not just for worship, but also well-being.

As societal pressures intensified, we knew congregations were navigating challenging topics around mental health and wellness. As a ready source of encouragement, engagement, and practical help for congregations, this year was marked with exploring new ideas, sharing solutions, and nurturing thinking to better our congregations and communities.

In 2023, the Center for Congregations launched the Mental Health Initiative to assist congregations with addressing mental health and well-being amongst its members and the intersection between spiritual wellness.

Tim Shapiro


Focusing on Congregations and Well-Being

We all know it is true.  We ask one another, “How are you?” but it isn’t a true question; it is more of a pattern of speech that is another version of “hello.”

Yet in 2023, the Center did want to know from congregational leaders “How are you?” As a rural pastor replied, “Well, let’s just say we’re getting better all the time, and all the time, we still have a way to go.”

Last year, the Center prioritized well-being in its engagement with congregations, recognizing their vital role in addressing community health.  While various entities promote well-being, congregational leaders acknowledge their congregation’s crucial contribution to holistic health.

Gallup’s study two years ago found a correlation between church attendance and health, with 62% of attendees reporting high life satisfaction and 92% expressing satisfaction.

While not every congregation can guarantee happiness, the data represents congregations’ potential regarding well-being.  Utilizing a strengths-based approach, the Center recognizes congregations as assets for individual, congregational, and community well-being.

Our Mental Health Initiative, launched in 2023, addressed crucial access, cost, and stigma issues.  Presenters, books, podcasts, videos, counselors, and consultants acknowledged that mental illness doesn’t have to be the overarching story of a person’s life.  The congregation can support others toward positive feelings, resulting in meaning and purpose.   As a result of the Initiative we awarded 29 grants.

I invite you to listen to our highly recommended podcast, Wholeness Through Brokenness.

One urban clergy observed, “Brokenness doesn’t have to be a way of life.  Healthy people make for a healthy congregation, and a healthy congregation makes for healthy people.”

Well-being was the reality in 2023. Furthermore, as we have always done, the Center for Congregations addressed many challenges and opportunities with congregations:  building issues, fundraising, strategic planning, board leadership, food pantries, spirituality, and more.

In 2023, we served 893 congregations via grants, educational events resource consulting, not counting listeners to our podcast or those who use the plentiful guide:  the Congregational Resource Guide (www.thecrg.org).

We mean it when we ask, “How are you?” We exist because of your honest answers.

We hope to see you in 2024.

After all, your congregation is home not just for worship but also for well-being.  May well-being flourish within your congregation and among your congregants.

Tim Shapiro
President, Center for Congregations

Number of MHI Grants
Total Amount of MHI Grant Dollars
Number of Registrants for MHI Education Events

2023 Education By the Numbers


Total Education Workshops (Virtual and In-Person)


Workshop Attendees


First Time Workshop Attendees


Percentage of BIPOC Workshop Presenters and Podcast Guests


Number of New Podcast Episodes Released in 2023


Percentage of Participants Who Rated an Education Event Valuable

2023 Grants By the Numbers


Total Number of Grants Awarded


Total Amount of Dollars Awarded


Total Number of Equity Grants


Total Number of Resource Grants

The Center for Congregations helps Indiana congregations through no cost consulting, educational events, grants, and additional resources.

  • We listen to congregations about their needs.
  • We provide information and options without telling congregations what to do.
  • We help congregations find vendors, consultants and organizations.
  • We give congregations the space and time to work through the information.
  • And we offer grants to help congregations fund these things.

You’re invited to connect with us.