Behold I Do a New Thing: Transforming Communities of Faith

by C. K. Hadaway. Pilgrim Press, 2001.

"Churches are blamed for being oriented to the past. But they really are not. They are oriented to a past ideal, which they can never recreate." So says Kirk Hadaway in this book on congregational transformation. Challenging our concepts about congregational renewal, the author starts by posing the conundrum, "To change or stay the same?" He then asserts that a good church truly changes people, an assertion that drives the book. Hadaway presents a number of congregational typologies—including “club,” “charismatic leader and followers,” “corporation,” and (what he feels each congregation should aspire to) “incarnational community.” An incarnational community is one that involves "giving up control and remembering why churches exist." Exploring this typology further, he offers both a dynamic model and a description of what it means to provide leadership for transformation. There are also thoughts on sermons, a discussion of transforming worship, and views on formation and transformation in a faith community. Becoming fully alive and growing, Hadaway maintains, will lead the church out of its obsession with a "past ideal" and into the real work of changing people. Congregations committed to such real work will want to read and use this book.