Do We Have What It Takes?


The Wizard of Oz characters were not seeking wealth or fame but the life-altering qualities of wisdom, heart and courage.  At the end of the story, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Woodman learn that the Wizard is not a wizard at all but “a common man.”1 How will they find brains, heart and courage?  The Wizard informs them that they already possess what they desire.  He points out the many ways the Scarecrow has been a thoughtful problem-solver, the Tin Woodman a compassionate friend, and the Lion a brave leader.  He helps them see who they already are.


We contend that congregations already have or can obtain everything they need to transform their futures, because God has already given it.  Like Dorothy who discovered she already had all the good life had to offer including loving people around her, we often don’t see the obvious.  Can we move beyond our mental maps to see the possibilities for our congregations by building on its strengths?

An excerpt taken from Beyond the Ordinary: 10 Strengths of U.S. Congregations. written by Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce: Westminster John Knox Press.


[1] Baum, The Wizard of Oz , 154