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- Foreword by Peter Steinke - Magnum opus of leading figure in application of family systems theory to congregations - Widely used in seminary and continuing education since 2007 first publication - Revised 10th anniversary edition of best-seller Ten years after his death, Edwin Friedman's best-selling A Failure of Nerve continues to offer insights into leadership that are more urgently needed than ever, and this revised, anniversary edition is essential reading for all leaders, be they parents or presidents, corporate executives or educators, religious superiors or coaches, healers or generals, managers or clergy. Friedman was the first to tell us that all organizations have personalities, like families, and to apply the insights of family therapy to churches and synagogues, rectors and rabbis, politicians and teachers. His understandings about our regressed, "seatbelt society," oriented toward safety rather than adventure, help explain the sabotage that leaders constantly face today. Suspicious of the "quick fixes" and instant solutions that sweep through our culture only to give way to the next fad, he argued for strength and self-differentiation as the marks of true leadership. His formula for success is more maturity, not more data; stamina, not technique; and personal responsibility, not empathy A Failure of Nerve was unfinished at the time of Friedman's death and originally published in a limited edition. This new edition cleans up some oversights in the original and brings his life-changing insights and challenges to a new generation of readers. "Reading this book is like discovering an unpublished Beethoven sonata or a missing play of Shakespeare. Ed Friedman was one of our most brilliant, original, and provocative thinkers across the fields of therapy, ministry, and organizational leadership." --Professor William J. Doherty, Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, University of Minnesota Audience: Clergy, vestries, other lay leaders. Those interested in how they can adapt to the change they see coming while retaining core identity. Seminary, continuing education, CPE, small groups. Broad reach to all leaders, not just those of congregations.
Church today isn’t the same as it was fifty years ago—or even ten years ago. In spite of the powerful stories of turn-around churches with skyrocketing memberships, the difficult reality is that most congregations are getting smaller. Jeffrey D. Jones asks brave questions for congregations facing this reality—what if membership growth isn’t the primary goal for a church? How can churches remain vital, even with declining attendance? Facing Decline, Finding Hope is an essential resource to help congregations confront their shrinking size while looking towards the hopeful reality that God is calling them to greater faithfulness. The book draws on biblical and theological resources, as well as contemporary leadership studies, to help leaders—both clergy and laity—set aside a survival mentality and ask new questions to shape ministry more attuned to today’s world. Facing Decline, Finding Hope is a powerful book for leaders who want to honestly assess the size of their church and plan for faithful, invigorating service regardless of whether membership numbers are up or down.
• Provocative readings of biblical stories, with thoughts on what they are saying to the church • Listens for critique rather than support, encouraging us to hear Jesus fresh Inside the Church, we are constantly and consistently reading the gospels through the lens of supporting our own institution and structure. This prevents us from hearing the critique Jesus offered in his own day and his emphatic and persistent call to be and do differently now (Matthew 23:1–12). Stories that will be covered include Widow’s Mite, Rich Young Ruler, Destruction of the Temple, Searching for the Lost Coin, Sower of the Seeds, Transfiguration, and the Great Commission. This book will flip the script of many Bible stories, allowing us to hear Jesus’ call to change as one that is directed at us rather than as one we should direct toward others.
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Yeah, right. Sabbath-keeping seems quaint in our 24/7, twenty-first century world. Life often feels impossibly full, what with work, to-do lists, kid activities, chores, and errands. And laundry... always and forever laundry. But the Sabbath isn't just one of the ten commandments; it is a delight that can transform the other six days of the week. Join one family's quest to take Sabbath to heart and change their frenetic way of living by keeping a Sabbath day each week for one year. With lively and compelling prose, MaryAnn McKibben Dana documents their experiment with holy time as a guide for families of all shapes and sizes. Tips are included in each chapter to help make your own Sabbath experiment successful.

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