The Hidden Lives of Congregations: Discerning Church Dynamics

by Israel Galindo. Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.
Large the hidden lives of congregations

Israel Galindo, congregational consultant and dean of Baptist Theological Seminary, Richmond, is a leader in applying Bowen Systems theory to congregational life. He takes leaders below the surface to provide a comprehensive, holistic look at the corporate nature of the church relationships and the invisible dynamics at play. Informed by family systems theory and grounded in a wide-ranging ecclesiological understanding, Galindo unpacks clearly the factors of congregational lifespan, size, spirituality, and identity. He follows this with a careful understanding of the functions of congregational leaders, how clergy leaders lead from their sense of self, and suggests the importance “focus” plays in congregational life. He shows how these work together to form the congregation's "hidden life" and suggests how leaders can use that knowledge to help the congregation fulfill its vision. This work would be particularly helpful for small to medium sized congregations. Galindo makes the argument that the larger congregations become, the more they take on the characteristics of secular businesses which can threaten the Biblical dynamics of congregational life.

Reviewed by Brian Witwer

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