- Paperback: 316 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; First Edition edition (November 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1566992869
- ISBN-13: 978-1566992862
- Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations First Edition Edition
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Frequently Bought Together
Holy Conversations is not just information; it’s wisdom. Alice Mann and Gil Rendle have created a wonderful handbook that should be in every congregation’s library. Rather than developing a one-size-fits-all guide, they extend an authentic invitation for congregations to have “holy conversations”—and they provide the tools to help you. Such conversations provide a pathway toward planning that is attentive to the Spirit and a congregation’s unique calling, both internally and in the context of community. (Hal Chorpenning, Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, Fort Collins, CO)
This is the kind of book for which I have been waiting 25 years: a resource for those seeking leadership and planning approaches that are theologically based and congregationally oriented rather than corporate management-based. Pastors, lay leaders, and judicatory staff will find this book helpful in providing leadership for congregational development and redevelopment, mission studies, and congregations in the midst of transition. Newcomers and experienced leaders alike will find useful the authors’ distinctions between strategic and other types of planning as well as their presentation of the elements, factors, roles, and processes necessary for developing approaches appropriate to different congregations. (Virstan B. Y. Choy, general presbyter, The Presbytery of San Francisco)
You have struck gold! This handbook brings together a wealth of practical tools and resources for every aspect of congregational planning. But even more important, it is a book that will lead you beyond strategic planning to a 'holy conversation' that has the potential to lead to lasting change. Rather than a one-size-fits-all planning program, you will find an approach that honors the rich and unique dynamics of your congregation. Gil and Alice write with deep wisdom about real life in real congregations, and with respect and empathy for their leaders. Today, many congregations are searching for help in understanding how to move into the future. This book will be a trusted resource for that journey. (Joanne Thomson, Associate Conference Minister, Wisconsin Conference, United Church of Christ)
About the Author
Gil Rendle is a senior consultant with the Alban Institute. A United Methodist clergyperson with 15 years of parish experience, he has extensive experience as a congregational and judicatory consultant, focusing on organizational development and systems theory. His other Alban publications include Leading Change in the Congregation (1998), Behavioral Covenants in Congregations (1999), The Multigenerational Congregation (2002), and the video resource Living into the New World (2001).
Alice Mann is a senior consultant with the Alban Institute. An Episcopal priest who has served six congregations, she is a nationally recognized consultant-trainer who has focused on growth strategies, leadership skills, strategic planning, spirituality, and congregational development. Her other Alban publications include The In-Between Church (1998), Can Our Church Live? (1999), Raising the Roof (2002), and the video resource What Size Should We Be? (2001).
Top Customer Reviews
Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann doesn't try to separate business approaches and spiritual discernment: it finds a unique way to combine them.
The main plea of the book is for church leaders to create on-going spiritual conversations about what is important to them, and what future they believe God is calling their church to. Many styles of spiritual discernment are explained: Ignatian, Methodist, African and Quaker.
But the book also covers what (besides number of bodies) makes different sized churches different from each other. It offers two creative ways to explore a church's history. Rendle and Mann talk about what really happens when a pastor asks a congregation to complete survey. Twenty-three appendices cover everything from "Types of Planning" to "A Short Guide to Lectio Divina."
This would be a wonderful book if you just wanted to explore deepening the Christian spirituality of groups. It would be a fine book if you just wanted to follow a sound strategic planning process. And it is gold for those who seek a spiritually grounded planning process.
One of the resources in the back describes why many mainline churches resist talking about numerical growth or being part of small groups.
The book contends that asking three questions (honestly asking them and asking others to help answer them) can be transforming for a congregation.
Who are we? Why are we here? Who is my neighbor?
The authors suggest that scriptural stories can be claimed to describe a particular church's situation. This story claimed can be liberating and transformative.
There are lots of diagrams to help the reader visualize the planning process, an exploration of mission and vision statements, and instructions on how to read the congregation's culture -- its way of looking at things. Our church was changing over to "policy governance," where the board turns over the day-to-day church decisions to a council of committees, and this book was a great help. I would especially recommend it for churches that are going through changes, conflict and growing pains.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very useful to the congregation I belong to and serve as chaplain for our 5 year planning processPublished 1 month ago by James G.Walker
It was assigned reading. I was not the target audience for this book.Published 5 months ago by Steven J. Lee
Excellent book I have used for many years. Just replacing a misplaced copy!Published 13 months ago by Bruce Naylor
Very informative. Lot of good materials for my group.Published on September 27, 2014 by Richard West
Simply love this book. Purchased it at the recommendation of a friend. I am planning a strategic planning session for the Board of Directors of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate... Read morePublished on May 7, 2012 by karen quanstrom
Book was like new and very gently used. There were no writing on the pages which was a happy surprise for me. I was very happy with the book.Published on March 12, 2012 by andre
The strength of this book is in this statement on page 13 of the introduction, "we want to talk about the opportunity of planning as discernment. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by James J. Kane