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To Dream Again : How to Help Your Church Come Alive Paperback – December 27, 2004

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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  • To Dream Again : How to Help Your Church Come Alive
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Dale, formerly a teacher at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is Director of the Center for Creative Church Leadership Development, Virginia Baptist General Board, Richmond, Virginia. He has written fourteen books, including Pastoral Leadership and Leading Edge, plus more than two hundred articles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (December 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597520306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597520300
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Robert D. Dale. To Dream Again: How to Help Your Church Come Alive. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2004. 154 pp. $19.00.

Robert Dale (Ph.D., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) teaches at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina as a professor of pastoral leadership. He has written numerous books in the field of church leadership.

In Part I, Dr. Dale states, “There are four ways to revitalize a church...Change policy. Change people. Change programs...but the approach I suggest is the most basic of all--clarify purpose” (5). Paraphrasing Lyle Schaller, Dale claims, “What is our mission? is the most fundamental question a volunteer organization can ask itself” (23). Yet, most churches are vague, if not negligent, in defining their mission. Often, over time congregations which were founded with an outward-focus become inward-focused. Again Dale writes, “A constant tension faced by any church is to balance service (external ministry) and ‘serve-us’ (internal ministry)” (23). Besides the issue of defining mission, Dale concludes there are three other vital questions a church must answer satisfactorily. They are: (1) What do we pay our volunteers? (2) How is our church unique? (3) Are we a healthy church?

Part II helps church leaders begin to define their ‘dream’ with insightful information and Action Exercise questions. Throughout the book, our author repeatedly refers to what he calls the health cycle model. The chart is a visual aid that pictures how churches are founded on a dream, they grow, and eventually begin to decline into nostalgia and dropout if the church neglects to dream anew. An example of how this occurs is found in how churches set goals.
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I was expecting an exposition of Scripture, and then application for church leadership. Instead, this book contains wise business ideas that apply to church, with some support from Scripture. It was somewhat helpful, but not my favorite book on vision for leadership.
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Robert Dale's book "To Dream Again" is a classic on understanding the life cycle of a church. It is especially useful to any pastor or leader that is looking for understanding on bringing new life and renewal to a declining or dying church. Highly recommended.
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Great book with several editions! This latest edition is a mildly edited version of a great older book on church renewal. New dreams are part and parcile for church revitalization and renewal. If you are a student of church revitalization and renewal, you need this book!

Tom Cheyney, Founder & Directional Leader
Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference
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