Denominational leader and former pastor Jeffrey Jones offers both “hard truths” and hope to congregations who desire vibrant and healthy faith communities despite declining attendance and resources. Part I contrasts a provocative interpretation of Ezra-Nehemiah and the Temple culture with the prophetic and priestly traditions. Jones encourages congregations to affirm the prophetic tradition and face two typical obstacles: denial of reality and protection of the institution at nearly any cost. Part II is a conversation involving five “old and new questions,” covering topics such as maintenance versus mission and congregational versus clergy leadership. Part III identifies the challenges that will occur when a congregation decides to redefine itself for a new age. Along the way, Jones explores related issues, such as anxiety, leadership, and adaptive change. This resource is a must-read that is appropriate for a variety of clergy and lay-leaders from different Christian traditions.
Curated by Janet Hoover