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Leading Congregational Change : A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0787947651
ISBN-10: 0787947652
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Editorial Reviews


"Leading a church to change from being tradition- or program-driven to being purpose-driven is a task filled with all kinds of potentially explosive and divisive issues. This is a book you ought to read before you change anything." (Rick Warren, author, The Purpose-Driven Church)

"This is a landmark book for churches and change. Effecting change is never easy in congregations. Leading Congregational Change is a practical guide for congregational leaders that includes spiritual wisdom and its application from the best thinkers of our day." (Bob Buford, founding chairman, Leadership Network)

"This book spotlights the universal principles for navigating the rapids of change between chaplaincy and mission. Identifying the simplicity-within the complexity-of this challenging leadership role, pastors and leaders learn how to go from hopeful to possible." (Herb Miller, editor, The Parish Paper)

"A creative and helpful guide for assisting congregations through the necessary process of change by weaving together firm biblical foundations, the best of what's available from the social sciences, and insightful examples from the years of experience the authors have had in working with churches." (Craig Van Gelder, professor of congregational mission, Luther Seminary, ELCA)

"Leaders will appreciate the insight of these three writers." (The Clergy Journal, 1/02)

From the Inside Flap

When two-thirds of this nation's congregations are witnessing flat or declining membership rates, something has to change. But bound by tradition we often resist the very change our congregations need to thrive. Our challenge: revitalize our congregations and create a new center, one that will give church leaders a solid foundation for growing and reinvigorating congregations in the joyful spirit of Christianity. Written by three distinguished church consultants, Leading Congregational Change offers proven processes and tools for accomplishing this goal and revitalizing churches of any size and across the broad spectrum of denominations.With this much-needed handbook, the authors brilliantly combine their experience guiding dozens of churches through the change process with both the study of Christian disciplines and the sophisticated understanding of such important business thinkers as John Kotter on leading change and Peter Senge on learning organizations. In this eminently readable book the authors have distilled their insights and practices into simple but powerful concepts for leading congregations, whether long established or recently formed, through profound change.The central component of their original change model is for congregations to first nurture spiritual and relational vitality-that is, the creative power that faithful people experience together as they passionately pursue God's vision for their lives. Then, drawing examples from thriving churches, the authors offer long-term support for building upon this kind of vitality through eight well-considered stages. These include personally preparing for change, creating a sense of energy and urgency, and establishing a "vision community"-a diverse group of key members who work together to collaboratively discern and shape the church vision, share it with the broader congregation, and implement it through specific action plans.Recognizing that individual and church transformation go hand in h

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787947652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787947651
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the General Supervisor of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the United States, I am constantly looking for leading edge thinking to resource our 5,000 licensed ministers. The authors of LEADING CONGREGATIONAL CHANGE are much more than just brilliant theorists or students of change theory. They are practitioners who have successfully piloted their recommended change process and offer this excellent book to help leaders in congregations seeking true and lasting change.
LEADING CONGREGATIONAL CHANGE recognizes the complexities and difficulties in bringing real change to established congregations. No quick fix or limited approach produces the fundamental changes needed to position many established congregations for future vitality. The authors apply current change theory to the local church in a sequential and understandable way.
I purchased multiple copies of this book and distributed them to Foursquare District Supervisors across the U.S., recommending that they encourage pastors in their regions to use this excellent resource.
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Format: Hardcover
Jim Herrington and co-authors Mike Bonem and James Furr have written an absolutely stellar book entitled, "Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey."
Jim has previously written about the three levels at which transformation must occur, "What is needed is a radical transformation of individual believers and local congregations in order that we might begin to see transformation in the city." (See City-Reaching: The Road to Community Transformation)
He asserts that individuals, local congregations and the City Church as a whole must be transformed in order to transform the city. The terrible reality is that in nearly every city in America we find 70% - 80% of local congregations so unhealthy as to be incapable of sustaining community impact. The local congregation is in dire need of revitalization.
The authors present a Congregational Transformation Model that integrates three interactive and interdependent components; spiritual and relational vitality, an eight-stage process for change, and four essential learning disciplines.
The authors write, "Spiritual and relational vitality forms the heart of the transformation process. Congregations without and adequate level of vitality will not be able to sustain significant change. A congregation that is not committed to following God or that is experiencing significant discord within the body will find it virtually impossible to follow the difficult path of transformation.
"The eight-stage change process is the sequential component of the model that gives form and direction to the transformation. It is not enough to know that change is needed, or even to have a clear image of the church's future.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does not offer simplistic answers to a complex issue. Instead, it provides tested, seasoned directions, discussions, and examples for leading congregations to a "preferred future". It's a must read for every church leader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent answer to the question, "how do we transform declining congregations into Christ-like bodies that display the power of the Gospel in our communities?" [page 1]
Jim Herrington and James Furr of this author triad are great friends of mine in ministry. Readers should take time to abosorb the spiritual and strategic wisdom of these two guys along with the third author, Mike Bonem.
For congregational leaders and congregational champions who are looking for a solid change process that has been well tested by practitioners, this is a good book to add to your collection.
Judicatory leaders will especially want this book as it was written from the perspective of reinventing how a local denominational organization helps its congregations to transform.
For congregational leaders and congregational champions who feel they already know the process they like to use for change and transition, this is a book that at least they must reference. Too many processes do not adequately address the spiritual and relationship vitality that is so well addressed by this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey
Herrington, Jim and Bonem, Mike and Furr, James
Jossey-Bass, 2000
186 pages.

The authors quickly set the stage for the focus of the book--"Many Christian Congregations in American today need to experience life-giving transformation." The background of the book is not someone doctoral or master's thesis or some seminarian or bible college student's weekend project. The result of the book through processed hindsight is the end (but continuing) analysis of congregational transformation, both organizational and local levels, within the Union Bible Association (Houston, Texas). The authors became part of a team that sought to impact its denominational association by transformation its present state of ministry engagement to fuse into a renewed vision that matched to the Mission of the Church as established by Jesus Christ.

As stated in their intent, "This book presents the model and principles for congregational transformation that emerged from their journey. In sharing the lessons from our experience, we hope to encourage other congregations and to help them navigate their own tumultuous environments."

What was unique (in the reviews understanding) about this process as set out by this leadership team was its approach. Rather than developing an entirely new system of evaluation, analysis, and tools to accomplish such a diverse transition, the team integrated current research, programs, paradigms, etc. into a system that embraced transformation from the inside out--structure and people.
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