Empty Houses: A Pastoral Approach to Congregational Closures


book
by Michael K. Jones. Global Book Publisher Canada, 2005.

Written from the front lines of declining mainline congregations that are coming to the conclusion that it is time to close their doors, Michael K. Jones’ Empty Houses is an eminently practical resource that covers both the logistical and pastoral steps to end the life of a church. Beginning with how to diagnose a church’s status, he then moves through the decision making process and into planning the steps of the closure. Chapters on ministering to grief and conflict add a helpful pastoral element, followed by suggestions for ritual and liturgy to provide spiritual and emotional closure for the process. Concluding with a reflection on hopes and new beginnings reminds the reader that the church is after all in the business of resurrection, and God calls a closing church to open a new chapter of ministry.

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