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Paperback Can Our Church Live?: Redeveloping Congregations in Decline Book

ISBN: 1566992265

ISBN13: 9781566992268

Can Our Church Live?: Redeveloping Congregations in Decline

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Book Overview

Nothing on earth lives forever--not even congregations. Alban Institute senior consultant Alice Mann explains how the natural life cycle of a congregation, as well as other internal and external factors, can produce a congregation that is in real trouble. She then offers hope for congregations that want to change. Practical options for congregations, leadership challenges for laity and clergy, and ways to work with denominations are detailed and engaging...

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Can Our Church Live? Looks at Congregation Life Cycle

Nothing on earth lives forever-not even congregations. Can Our Church Live?-the latest book from Alban Institute best-selling author, Alice Mann-explains how the natural life cycle plus other factors can produce a congregation that is in real trouble. Drawing on her years as a pastor and consultant, Mann offers real-life survival stories and details practical options for congregations, leadership challenges for laity and clergy, ways to work with denominations and discussion questions for use in congregational planning.In the foreword of Can Our Church Live?, Anthony G. Pappas, author of Entering the World of the Small Church: A Guide for Leaders, discusses Mann's approach to congregational spirituality and how its affects the health of the church. "She asserts the radical idea that each congregation has a divine vocation," explains Pappas. "Without this sense of God's purpose, all efforts at redeveloping congregations will amount to little more than managerial tinkering. But with a sense of this unrefusable divine invitation, congregations can astound themselves and be transformed."According to Claire Schenot Burkat, Director, Mission and Resource Development, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Can Our Church Live? is useful and essential for the one in every three Protestant churches today struggling to survive. "Alice Mann has written a wonderful handbook for lay leaders, pastors, and denominational staff who love the congregations they serve and are willing to plan honestly for the coming decades," notes Burkat."One of Alice Mann's gifts is to take many theories about society and church from the public domain and then to organize, condense, simplify, and present them in such a way that they can be used by pastors, lay leaders, and denominational staff," asserts H. Alan Elmore, General Presbyter, Presbytery of Charlotte (NC), Presbyterian Church (USA). "Mann's emphasis here is on radical redevelopment. Pastors and their church boards can study this book together, using it as a workbook and stimulus for creative ideas that will help them turn decline into a new phase of formation in their congregations.""One of the strengths of this book is that it begins with the fundamental question, `How do we connect our deepest faith-identity with the realities of our context today?'" says Sheryl A. Kujawa, Director, Congregational Studies, Episcopal Divinity School. "The systemic and coordinated response of any congregation to this question has a great deal to do with its future as a faith community with integrity." "Leaders of struggling congregations will find in this book a complete resource for discernment and planning," says Arlin J. Rothauge, Executive Director, Seabury Institute, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. "Alice Mann's latest contribution should be required reading in all seminaries and on the desk of every informed church leader." An Episcopal priest,
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