Strategic Leadership for a Change: Facing Our Losses, Finding Our Future
Kenneth J. McFayden
Strategic Leadership for a Change is a valuable resource for congregations as significant change occurs both within and beyond their walls. When this happens, congregations yearn for leadership, yet they also often resist it since it tends to call upon them to change. Drawing upon attachment theory, leadership studies, and biblical and theological resources, Ken McFayden provides congregational leaders with insights and tools for understanding the relationships among change, attachment, loss, and grief. He also helps facilitate the congregation’s process of grieving, their re-understanding of the processes of change as processes of fulfillment, and the alignment of their vision with God’s.
Know Your Story and Lead with It: The Power of Narrative in Clergy Leadership
Richard L. Hester and Kelli Walker-Jones
Knowing your story is an essential component of effective leadership, but finding your story among the myriad narratives that fill your life isn’t a simple task. Richard Hester and Kelli Walker-Jones offer a path to finding your own story amid the powerful family and cultural narratives that may be obscuring your vision. They then show leaders how to explore their story of reality, tell it to other group members, and consider how it can be used as a resource for leadership. This narrative perspective holds that because there is always more than one story about a situation, we have choices about which story we will embrace.
Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry
Bruce G. and Katherine Gould Epperly
Practicing God’s presence in the ordinary tasks of ministry inspires wholeness, spiritual transformation, vision, imagination, endurance, and healthy self-differentiation in ministry. In Tending to the Holy, authors Bruce and Kate Epperly utilize a variety of spiritual disciplines—especially Benedictine, Celtic, Ignatian, Rhineland, and process spiritualities—to provide a framework for helping clergy nurture the awareness of God, creative imagination, and personal well-being in every aspect of their ministerial lives.
The Turnaround Church: Inspiration and Tools for Life-Sustaining Change
Mary Louise Gifford
The Turnaround Church is the story of Wollaston Congregational Church (UCC), a once-thriving church that had slowly declined and was considering closing its doors. The remaining members knew they had to change, but they did not know how. With their dwindling resources, they hired Mary Louise Gifford, a new seminary graduate, to be their full-time minister. Wollaston is now a vibrant, Spirit-filled faith community—a turnaround church. Changes in worship, stewardship, and priorities, combined with the congregation’s resilience and Gifford’s optimistic leadership, have transformed this church. Gifford tells us how, showing church leaders they have options and reason for hope, and offering tools and resources to help them guide needed change.
The Wisdom of the Seasons: How the Church Year Helps Us Understand Our Congregational Stories
Charles M. Olsen
The church year is often seen as a framework for church programs, but Charles Olsen shows how it can be a prism through which congregations more deeply understand their own stories. By weaving together our narratives and those of Christian tradition, he contends, a congregation can clarify its identity, grow in wisdom, and discover a new vision and ministry. Through real stories from congregational life and ministry—each rooted in and illuminated by a season of the church year—Olsen shows how we can claim the treasure of the seasons for communal spiritual formation, church leadership, and governance.