Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: September 01, 1999
Number of Pages: 336
In his previous books—Kicking Habits, Growing Spiritual Redwoods, and Moving Off the Map—Thomas Bandy has drawn a compelling contrast between two kinds of congregational systems: the thriving church system, whose focus on hands-on ministry and shared core values propels it toward the future into which God’s Spirit is leading; and the declining church system, whose focus on control and hierarchical structures leaves it bound to the past.
In this book, Bandy argues that the organization of a congregation—its boards and committees—will be directed toward one of these two kinds of systems. In other words, the means by which a church makes decisions and conducts its corporate life will determine the kind of church it will become. Drawing on a helpful contrast between prescriptive and proscriptive thinking, Bandy argues that congregational organization should focus on setting the larger boundaries within which its programs and ministries should operate. This frees leaders and members to express their God-given creativity in ministry, rather than forcing them to follow a prescribed set of functions and tasks laid out for them in advance.
The book concludes with a compelling call for “turning the laity loose” through cell-group ministry, unleashing the Spirit-driven Christian chaos by which a congregation can thrive in the challenging days ahead.