Bowen Family Systems Theory
Rev. George Brookover
I have fifty-five years of pastoral experience. As an ordained Lutheran (ELCA), I served Holy Comforter Lutheran/Kingwood, Texas for three decades. This encompassed be church planter to leading a staff of nine ordained and lay leaders. From 1996-2014 I served my ELCA jurisdiction as an Intentional Interim Pastor. In 1997 Brookover Leadership was established for training and leading clergy and laity in several denominations.
Understanding how systems do or do not function is vital for clergy and lay leaders. Bowen Theory assists all leaders to be alert to the toxic outcomes of troubled and troubling individuals and small groups bogging down faithful and fruitful mission plans and endeavors. Creating a system that is immune to the effects of toxicity is vital.
Rev. Mike Johnson
After receiving his M.Div. from a seminary in Michigan, Mike moved to the Houston area to plant a church. After 32 years in the Houston area, you could now say Texas is Mike’s home state. After over a decade of pastoring, Mike received his D. Min. from Fuller seminary in adult discipleship and leadership development and began a Christian non-profit called Ascending Leaders. As founder and president of Ascending Leaders, Mike works along with colleagues to equip churches for Christ-centered discipleship. Measurable results. Eternal outcomes. As a coach, Mike is known for his passion for the local church and its pastor, creativity, design, emphasis on implementation and results, loyalty, vision, management, and effectiveness. Mike is married to Gina with two adult children who are married, living, and serving in the Houston area and three granddaughters.
Mike has read about and practiced Bowen family systems theory in the context of ministry. He has also published on the topic. www.ascendingleaders.org
Rev. Bonnie Osteen
Rev. Bonnie Osteen, an ordained Elder of the Texas Annual Conference, began serving as the Coordinator of Transitional Interim Ministry for the Texas Annual Conference in July 2015.
Rev. Osteen is a national trainer for ‘Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Training’ with the United Methodist Church. She has also served several churches as an Interim pastor. This calling is one which she approaches with passion. “God uses me in a particular way at each of these churches and I am thankful for the time on the journey with each congregation.”
In 2014, Rev. Osteen received the national recognition of Approval status from General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) as an Intentional Interim Minister. She currently serves on the national Board of Directors -Transitional/Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association (TIIMSA) and serves as the registrar for the National Gathering of TIIMSA
Rev. Osteen received her Master of Divinity from SMU - Perkins School of Theology in 2003. She received her teaching certification and Bachelor of Science, Education from Stephen F. Austin University in 1990.
As a student of Bowen and Freidman family systems for 11 years, Bonnie offers ways to discover more about a church system from the ‘balcony’ view. Seeing the system as past, present, and future enables a perspective of where God is calling the local church to be in ministry.
Rev. Dr. Steve Stutz
The Rev. Dr. Steve Stutz is an ordained Lutheran minister who has served rural/small town congregations in west Texas, as well suburban/inner city congregations in the metro Houston area. He has worked extensively with clergy and congregations of the Texas Annual Conference in a wide variety of consulting roles since 2014. He is a certified church consultant through the Society for Church Consulting and teaches at the Houston Graduate School of Theology.
Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the unit’s complex interactions. Churches are aggregates of smaller units and function together as system comprised of the pastor, the existing family systems of all of the members, and the congregation itself within a greater whole. There are eight concepts of Bowen Family Systems Theory that come into play when analyzing why your congregation is a hot mess and provide ways of interrupting the process and doing something different. Dr. Stutz can help you better understand your church family and to help build a healthier congregation.