Farming Church is

  • A Book
  • A Readiness Inventory
  • A Learning Experience
  • A Congregational Development Process

Farming Church

Cultivating Adaptive Change In Congregations

Leading congregations forward into significant, proactive, mission-congruent change is at the heart of effective pastoral and lay ministry in this Postmodern Era. We long for the day when our churches are agile and nimble, able to adjust quickly to contextual circumstances, while remaining faithful to the gospel. We want to lead congregations toward relevance in a cultural context of indifference. Our congregations themselves want to adapt to the world in which we find ourselves, extending Christ’s love while being authentic and genuine participants in God’s movement in our world.

Yet, when it comes to actual change, the church does not go their quickly or easily. Leaders often under-estimate the resistance to change in church systems. “A good rule of thumb in a major change effort: never underestimate the magnitude of the forces that reinforce complacency and that help maintain the status quo.” (John Kotter, Leading Change) There are so many clergy and church leaders who scratch their heads, wondering why their change effort was not received with open arms. Farming Church adopts the often-used farming metaphor of Jesus in the gospels to guide us into intentional, adaptive change. What leaders are doing long before the change is introduced is nearly determinative of how well the change itself will go. Farming Church describes the seven key cultivations for preparing the growing environment (congregation) for increased adaptive capacity


Farming Church: Cultivating Adaptive Change In Congregations, Mark E. Tidsworth, Pinnacle Leadership Press, Columbia, SC, 2017. Find Farming Church on Amazon. When ordering 5 copies or more, contact us directly at Pinnacle Leadership Press for lower cost than retail. 

Farming Church Content

  • One Copy of The Readiness Indicator - An inventory assessing your congregation's readiness for change
  • ​The Classic 21st Century Congregational Leadership Mistake
  • Description of high change capacity congregations
  • Four key concepts from Adaptive Change Theory and Practice
  • Biblical basis for cultivating congregational growth
  • Seven key cultivations for increasing adaptive capacity
  • Farming Church Ministry Plan

Readiness Indicator

How do we know how ready our congregations are for engaging adaptive change? Farming Church describes the indicators which are present in high change capacity congregations. This leads to helpful conversation among congregational leaders. Even more, the Readiness Inventory includes 49 questions, resulting in an assessment of readiness for change. Each book contains one inventory, while we are currently developing the online version. Currently congregations are field testing the online version. 

After years of leading churches, consulting, coaching clergy, and otherwise engaging the Christian Movement, Mark Tidsworth and the Pinnacle Team designed this Farming Church Congregational Development Process for helping congregations adapt to the world in which we now live. This is Mark's fifth book, integrating his experience on the front lines of change in congregations with healthy change process and practice.