Congregations in Transition: A Guide for Analyzing, Assessing, and Adapting in Changing Communities

by Carl S. Dudley, Nancy T. Ammerman. Jossey-Bass, 2002.

Carl Dudley and Nancy Ammerman worked intensively with some twenty congregations to ground this workbook in the real changes and challenges of congregational life. Change is a constant: congregational members and leaders make transitions over time, and people differ in their perceptions and responses. Dudley and Ammerman remind us that learning to understand and manage difference is crucial. Here are practical exercises that will enable a congregation to notice its perceptions about what is and what may be. Here also is guidance from which a congregation may gather data with which to inform, if not alter, its perceptions and feelings. The work of change is in stages: understanding the congregation's roles and tasks in its community; understanding the history and meaning of people, resources, and processes; experimenting with reactions to options; and exploring the results of proposed actions. The authors offer role-plays and skits as avenues for learning and springboards for action. This is a book for congregational leaders who know that change is upon them and are willing to do the work necessary for making real choices.