By Lyle E. Schaller
Written for either lay and ordained congregational leaders, this well timed ebook diagnoses the motives of church passivity, and formulates a mode for combatting the matter. Dr. Schaller classifies church buildings in keeping with their inner dynamics (rather than denomination or geographical location), and demonstrates what percentage have conquer the "twenty-year syndrome" - that awkward time while really new church buildings are inclined to lose their feel of path. He additionally indicates how church buildings could make a delicate transition from one pastor to a different, and the way new participants can be utilized in setting up an efficient church application.
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Additional info for Activating the Passive Church: Diagnosis and Treatment
In practice this is the least common of the six alternatives identified here, and it is most likely to occur before and/or during the vacancy period following the end of one pastorate. A fourth response, which is both very effective and also one of the most demanding on the pastor, is to engage in a systematic, broadly based, comprehensive, and carefully managed goal-setting effort. This is not easy! Setting and implementing goals in a voluntary association in which many of the members are not in agreement on purpose and priorities is very difficult.
The fifth response arises when external circumstances force a congregation to redefine its role. Examples of this include: the construction of a highway that forces a congregation to move to a new meeting place, the denominational merger whereby a congregation that was the only one of its denomination in the city becomes one of several congregations in the new denomination created by the merger, the influx of many new residents to what had always been a rural community, the sudden unavailability of off-street parking which a congregation had become dependent on but did not own, a radical change in the population characteristics of the residents of the neighborhood in which the meeting place is located, or the public availability of a service program, such as a weekday kindergarten, that had been the dominant element of the congregation's community image.
This was the situation Mary Kurtz described at Central Church, where preaching, the choir, and the youth program dominated the agenda. 6. The departure of the long-tenured pastor from the minister-centered church is often an obvious cause of passivity. It becomes especially difficult to counter when that condition is combined with the selection of a cadre of lay leaders who also carry a heavy workload in their profession or vocation and have limited time and energy left for their congregational responsibilities.
Activating the Passive Church: Diagnosis and Treatment by Lyle E. Schaller