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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 "Reading this book is like discovering an unpublished Beethoven sonata or a missing play of Shakespeare.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.
A Convergent Model of Renewal addresses a perceived crisis for faith traditions. How do we continue to value tradition while allowing for innovative and contextual expressions of faith to emerge? How do we foster deeper participation and decentralization of power rather than entrenched institutionalism? Drawing on insights from contemporary philosophy, contextual theology, and participatory culture, C. Wess Daniels calls for a revitalization of faith traditions. In A Convergent Model of Renewal he proposes a model that holds together both tradition and innovation in ways that foster participatory change. This convergent model of renewal is then applied to two case studies based in the Quaker tradition: one from the early part of the tradition and the second from an innovative community today. The model, however, is capable of being implemented and adapted by communities with various faith backgrounds.
Faced with crisis, lack of direction, or just plain "stuckness," many congregations and their leaders are content to deal only with surface issues and symptoms—only to discover that the same problems keep recurring, often in different, and more serious, ways. In The Hidden Lives of Congregations, Christian educator and consultant Israel Galindo takes leaders below the surface of congregational life to provide a comprehensive, holistic look at the corporate nature of church relationships and the invisible dynamics at play. Informed by family systems theory and grounded in a wide-ranging ecclesiological understanding, Galindo unpacks clearly the factors of congregational lifespan, size, spirituality, and identity and shows how these work together to form the congregation’s hidden life. He provides useful tools for diagnosing and understanding how one’s congregation fits into the various categories he names and suggests what leadership skills are necessary to get beyond the impasse of surface issues and help the congregation achieve its mission. The Hidden Lives of Congregations provides one of the most far-reaching looks into the invisible nature of faith communities written in recent years. For seminaries and divinity schools, it provides a standard text for getting a solid start in congregational practices; for experienced pastors, it provides support for renewing ministry; for lay leaders and committees, it offers insight to deepening mutual ministry. Israel Galindo has written an indispensable manual that leaders will return to repeatedly for new wisdom and guidance
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.

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