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Congregations in Transition: A Guide for Analyzing, Assessing, and Adapting in Changing Communities

Congregations in Transition: A Guide for Analyzing, Assessing, and Adapting in Changing Communities

Carl S. Dudley, Nancy T. Ammerman

ISBN: 978-0-787-95422-2

Feb 2002, Jossey-Bass

208 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock



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.
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.

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

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