Pillars of Faith: American Congregations and Their Partners

by Nancy Tatom Ammerman. University of California Press, 2005.

Nancy Ammerman’s qualitative study of American congregations and their varied partnerships has much to offer congregations that are concerned with their public ministry and impact. While this book is not a how-to guide for ministry outside the walls of the church, it does offer a thorough picture of the ways in which congregations leverage the strength of partnership in order to fulfill their missions. Examining the relationship of congregations to their denominations or other associations, as well as ecumenical or community partners, Ammerman highlights the ways that vitality is achieved by building and nurturing a public ministry, including service and networks for social change. This book is useful for leaders and small groups that wish to learn about the wide variety of congregational practices, and it offers up a hopeful view of what is possible for congregations in a diverse world.