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Church Turned Inside Out: A Guide for Designers, Refiners, and Re-Aligners

ISBN: 978-0-470-38317-9
240 pages
October 2009, Jossey-Bass
Church Turned Inside Out: A Guide for Designers, Refiners, and Re-Aligners (0470383178) cover image


A design-thinking book for planting or redesigning churches and incubating a new generation of leaders.

Written by Linda Bergquist and Allan Karr, two experienced church planters and mentors, the book is full of wisdom, practical advice, and creative counsel. Instead of a business-model-as-usual approach, the authors challenge readers to begin with the raw materials of beliefs, values, individuals, teams, and culture, and to then move outwards to draw from a rich palette of real and potential church paradigms. This book is meant to provoke church leaders to think outside of the box and to imagine how their churches might better reflect the image and the mission of God in the world. 

  • Contains a wealth of illustrative examples, charts, and other visual aides
  • Offers a creative practical perspective and a multi-disciplinary approach to establishing a new church or leading an existing one
  • Shows how to honor a church's purpose while embracing its unique culture
  • Includes important lessons for nurturing church leadership skills
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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables.

About Leadership Network.

Foreword (Alan Hirsch).


1 The Once and Future Church.

2 Acknowledging Self.

3 Cultivating Community.

4 Patterns That Honor God.

5 Designing Around Beliefs.

6 Releasing Communitas.

7 Designing in Culture.

8 Embracing Culture.

9 A Palette of Models.

10 Discovering Congruency.

11 Organizing by Design

12 Organizing as Living Systems.



About the Authors.


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Author Information

Linda Bergquist has been a church planter and church planting teacher for twenty-five years. She also has experience in the area of church consultations and urban ministry to the poor and assists her husband, who is a ministry center director in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco.

Allan Karr is currently an associate professor of missional/church planting at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and a practitioner of church planting and community development. Allan has also served for ten years as a national missionary of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.


The mission of Leadership Network identifies and connects innovative church leaders, providing them with resources in the form of new ideas, people, and tools. Contact Leadership Network atwww.leadnet.org.

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Press Release

October 21, 2009
CHURCH TURNED INSIDE OUT: A Guide for Designers, Refiners, and Re-Aligners

One size fits all churches aren’t working – not for their members, and not for their leaders. Whether a network of home churches or a teeming megachurch, church leaders and church planters need to shed their attachments to existing models of success and explore the unique factors that comprise their current ministry endeavor.

Transformation, not innovation, is the main goal according to authors Linda Bergquist and Allan Karr in the new Leadership Network book, CHURCH TURNED INSIDE OUT: A Guide for Designers, Refiners, and Re-Aligners (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley imprint; November 2009; $24.95; Cloth; ISBN: 978-0-470-38317-8). Before churches can even begin to envision external design considerations, Bergquist and Karr advise that they ask substantive internal questions about who they are, what God is calling them to, and for whom their work is necessary. Chapters of the book flow from the work of self-awareness to that of community reflection and onward to organizational conception.

Whatever the path, CHURCH TURNED INSIDE OUT will help leaders and church planters to  develop flexible, out-of-the box approaches that enable God's purposes to be accomplished in a variety of contexts, cultures, and communities.

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Church Turned Inside Out: A Guide for Designers, Refiners, and Re-Aligners (US $24.95)

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