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The Hidden Lives of Congregations: Discerning Church Dynamics Paperback – November 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566993075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566993074
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #456,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Galindo has made a significant contribution to the literature on church and system theory...." -- Peter L. Steinke

"Galindo offers a resource to clergy and lay leaders that is both practical and theological." -- Margaret J. Marcuson

"To read this book is to see your congregation in a new way—and new perspectives provide new opportunities." -- Gilbert R. Rendle

About the Author

Israel Galindo is a professor at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia. He also serves as faculty for Leadership in Ministry Workshops, a clergy leadership training program, and is executive director of Educational Consultants. He is the author of several books and is a frequent seminar and workshop leader.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By John R. Dizon on November 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Israel Galindo's "Hidden Lives of Congregations" affords an excellent overview of the Christian church and its followers, diagnosing the cause and effect of the life, growth and attrition of churches in America. Its in-depth analysis of the mindsets of the average churchgoer, the clergy and the infrastructure of the church provides us with an essential profile of the movers and shakers that make the modern church the cornerstone of American society it is today. Yet we are introduced to the paradox as to how conformity to industrial paradigms result in the failed mission of the church in its purest form. This social phenomenon is explored in an informative and comprehensive dialogue that makes this a worthy addition to any Christian library.

The author leads us through an exploratory narrative as we trace the paths of ministers and their congregations who begin on the home church level, evolving into storefront ministries, growing into the need for their own church building, and finally expanding into property development to suit their advancing requirements. Only we find that the transition results in the church morphing into a mirror image of the secular corporation, requiring a board of directors to supercede the elders of the church in ministering to its greater needs. The pastor grows more detached from his teeming congregation, his leaders forced to spend more time administering to the needs of its members than pursuing its evangelical and community goals. As a result, the monolithic superchurch achieves corporate success as its profits soar, but ultimately becomes a failure to God and man.

"Hidden Lives" can be seen as an indictment of the consumer-friendly megachurch system that dominates the American religious scene today.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Molluska on December 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After 20 years in pastoral ministry, preparing for retirement, I wish I were back in seminary, with Galindo's book. He has given me a hugely helpful way to understand what goes on in churches. I'm buying a copy for my district superintendent, and my friend who's just starting seminary.

I do have a question: if a pastor canot "cast a vision" for a church until she's been there five years, how does that work for us United Methodists and our brief-tenure itinerant system? And I wish Galindo had used a few more examples, real-people illustratons of his oobservations. Other than that, I'm unequivocaly enthusiastioc - and I do plan to start over, reading the book again!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great book. Clear and insightful. Helpful to pastors in understanding what members need at certain stages of church growth. Members are not being "unchristian" but have high anxiety and are not having their needs met.
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By Jacob Landis on June 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book that looks at many dimensions of Congregational life. It works well when used with other books for comparison.
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