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Congregations in Transition : A Guide for Analyzing, Assessing, and Adapting in Changing Communities - Carl S. Dudley

Congregations in Transition

A Guide for Analyzing, Assessing, and Adapting in Changing Communities

Paperback Published: 11th February 2002
ISBN: 9780787954222
Number Of Pages: 208

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This hands-on guide helps congregations meet the reality and challenges of today's constantly changing urban and suburban church communities. Congregations in Transition, written in an easy-to-follow workbook format, is designed to help communities of faith focus on the changing needs of their members and explore the opportunities and options open to them.

Industry Reviews

"...a digestible marriage of keen analysis and practical exercises..." (Christianity and Renewal, June 2002)

"..it is a worthwhile book, easy to read, with good directions and clear to follow.."(Christian Research)

"A wonderful, useful book. Here is a chance to take an honest look at what your church was, is, and could be. But be aware: if you just want to tinker with your dysfunctional parts, go elsewhere for advice. Instead, this book provides a sure, compassionate, comprehensive road map for churches willing to plunge into the exciting wilderness that is American life today-a wilderness, by the way, that is teeming with grace and possibilities." -Paul Wilkes, author, Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practices and Excellent Catholic Parishes: The Guide to Best Places and Practices

"Carl Dudley and Nancy Ammerman probably know more, and care more, about the vitality of local congregations than any other scholars in the country. Here they translate decades of astute observations into a clear, user-friendly, and practical set of planning strategies certain to help congregational leaders discern the most faithful and effective futures for their ministries." -John P. Kretzmann, codirector, the Asset Based Community Development Institute

"An excellent guide to developing the conversations that leaders of congregations need to be having. This is an important book for boards and planning committees making the difficult shift from business as usual to discerning new futures." -Gil Rendle, director of consulting and education, the Alban Institute

"This book is timely, challenging, and practical! Carl Dudley and Nancy Ammerman skillfully guide the pastor and church leaders through the journey of change toward greater effectiveness in ministry. A must-read for every pastor or church leader who desires to keep their congregation's ministry to the community on the cutting edge." -Efraim Espinoza, Commission on Discipleship-We Build People General Council of the Assemblies of God

Figures, Tables, and Working Notes.

Foreword by Loren B. Mead.


1. Introduction: Invitation to a Journey.

Who Needs to Change?

What Does Change Look Like?

How Does Change Happen?

The Journey Ahead.

Getting Organized.

Companions for the Journey.

Doing the Work.

2. Getting the Lay of the Land.

The Place Map: Define Your Boundaries.

The People Map: Naming and Knowing Your Neighbors.

Conversations with Community People.

The Institutional Map: Recognizing Historical Resources.

Summary Exercise: Windshield Survey.


3. Sizing Up Your Tabernacle.

Basic Timeline: An Orientation Exercise.

Timeline of Buildings and Facilities.

Timeline of Leadership and Decision Making.

Timeline of Resources: People, Money, and Spiritual Presence.

Timeline of Worship and Music.

Summary Celebration: Creating a Comprehensive Timeline.

Summarizing Your Work.

4. Looking for Pillars of Fire.

Encountering the Wilderness.

Wilderness Exercise 1: Testing Your Choices.

Wilderness Exercise 2: Discerning Directions.

Wilderness Exercise 3: Naming the Pillar of Fire.

Imagining Life Across the Jordan.

Imagination Exercise 1: When Strangers Become Neighbors.

Imagination Exercise 2: When Neighbors Become Partners.

Imagination Exercise 3: Testing the Waters.

Coda for the Congregation: A Time for Celebration.

Across the Jordan: Settling in the Promised Land.

Launching a New Ministry: Crossing the Jordan.

New Habits of Ministry.

Sharing Kitchen Tables.

Sharing Tables, Chairs, and Schedules.

Sharing Boardroom Tables.

Sharing Sacred Tables.


The Authors.


ISBN: 9780787954222
ISBN-10: 0787954225
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 11th February 2002
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 27.8 x 21.75  x 1.51
Weight (kg): 0.65
Edition Number: 1