Erling Birkedal
MF Norwegian School of Theology

  Introduction – the context
The context is the Church of Norway, a folk Church where more than 80 percent of the population is member. Norwegian School of Theology runs a three year congregational development project, in cooperation with ten congregations in two different dioceses and in partnership with the diocesan staff. The congregations are different in many ways, but all are folk church parishes, most of them with several thousand baptised members.

The project aims are:
a) to analyze theological and social scientific premises for congregational development in folk church parishes
b) develop tools for analysis of folk church parishes
c) examine how a congregational analysis may function as a starting point for a developing process in the congregation

In this paper I will introduce the theoretical perspectives underlying the project, as a developing process in a folk church. I will give some glimpses of how the project is planned and going on, and some experiences so far. First I will try to involve us into the folk church context.

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