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To Dream Again : How to Help Your Church Come Alive Paperback – December 27, 2004
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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.Read more ›
Tom Cheyney, Founder & Directional Leader
Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference