But the church’s work is under threat as resources are likely to reduce significantly in the future. In response the church needs to start thinking more like an organisation in the private sector.

The Church of Sweden – with 6.3 million members – faces major challenges as the large cohorts of members born in the 1940s die and rural areas become depopulated as people are attracted to the larger conurbations. When the number of members decreases, the available resources decrease, both nationally and locally, but the Church of Sweden needs to continue to be there for people in all parts of the country. So new ways of working are required.

”As in all organisations, our resources are limited and we must constantly find ways to work more efficiently and to lead people in striving together towards the goals,” says Helen Ottosson Löven, the General Secretary.

In the light of these challenges, the General Secretary contacted SSE Executive Education for a customized development program for the leaders of the 13 dioceses, which are made up of the 1364 parishes in Sweden and abroad. The program has now been delivered.

”SSE Executive Education has helped us to build our team and has provided new perspectives on our challenges by bringing the latest research to bear on our situation. We now have tools to use, together and as individual leaders,” says Helen Ottosson Löven.

“SSE Executive Education’s program became a springboard for our future work together and the group is meeting again to continue from where the program ended. “We are using what we have learned to continue to change our approach. I am full of confidence and expectation for the future,” she said.