Church leaders must fundamentally change the way they view leadership, governance, and management in their organizations if they are to take seriously the need to listen to God’s desires before acting. In Leadership and Listening, readers will find encouragement and specific suggestions for re-imagining church governance and management. Through research with more than one hundred church leaders, Zimmer learned that the church and the business community possess many insights and resources that can help boards shift toward a focus on seeking first the desires of God’s heart and then responding effectively. By drawing on the guidance Zimmer offers, a church board can transform itself from a group that manages the day-to-day affairs of the church to one that makes listening, prayer, worship, reflection, and community the first priority.
Both new and veteran preachers alike find the annual stewardship sermon a challenge and are eager for encouraging, practical advice. In Preaching and Stewardship, Craig Satterlee offers a nuts-and-bolts handbook on preaching stewardship, raising issues preachers need to consider when preparing stewardship sermons and offering advice on how to address them. Satterlee argues that stewardship preaching must include a bold and concrete proclamation of God’s love, will, and justice, as well as an invitation to grow as stewards in response to this proclamation. He illustrates the premise of each chapter with anecdotes from congregational life. Preachers who desire examples of stewardship sermons will especially appreciate stewardship sermons he shares from various preachers to illustrate points in the main text
The Spirit’s Tether: Eight Lives in Ministry
AL415 | $18.00
The Spirit’s Tether: Eight Lives in Ministry tells the stories of eight men and women from their days as students at Union Theological Seminary in New York through their work today as pastors in local congregations over thirty years later. Since 1976 when they entered Union, Malcolm L. Warford has documented their experiences, first in theological education and then through their ministries. Finally, he has asked them to reflect on their vocational journeys and express what their calling has meant to them personally and professionally. The book reveals eight richly textured narratives full of the insight, heartache, and delight that go hand in hand with the practice of ministry—unvarnished truths from eight who have been formed by this work and calling.
Leading through the Water
AL413 | $17.00
In Leading through the Water, Paul Galbreath demonstrates one way of linking baptismal practice to daily life as congregations provide an alternative witness to the cultural voices around us. At the same time, it expands the vision of baptism from a single occasion to a distinctive way of life within a community of faith and a primary metaphor for Christian discipleship. In concert with Leading from the Table, Galbreath continues to explore how the sacraments of baptism and communion connect with the world around us. He is concerned that we too often separate church life from daily life, marginalizing the gospel and the good news that God is with us at all times and places in our lives. This book will prompt conversations in congregations and classrooms about the ways that our distinct communities of faith can embody the gospel in the world and point to God’s faithful presence.
Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All
AL412 | $17.00
An “open source church,” is one in which the basic functions of mission and ministry are open to anyone. Members feel free to pursue their callings from God that are consistent with what God has called the congregation to be and do. In Open Source Church: Making Room for the Wisdom of All, Landon Whitsitt argues that Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that anyone can see and edit, might be the most instructive model available to help congregations develop leaders and structures that can meet the challenges presented by our changing world. Its success depends, he demonstrates, not on the views of select experts but on the collective wisdom of crowds. Then, turning to the work of James Surowiecki in The Wisdom of Crowds, he explores the idea that the body of Christ itself—when it is intentionally diverse, encourages independence of thought, values decentralization, and effectively captures and aggregates the group’s collective wisdom—is an open source church. Together, these phenomena show us what an “open source church” looks like. It is the body of Christ at its best.