The following resources reflect those personally known to the ECBF staff. The list is not exhaustive; you are invited to send a list of your favorites to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHANGE: PERSONAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL
A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey, Brian McLaren, 2008.
This stirring fable captures a new spirit of Christianity--where personal, daily interaction with God is more important than institutional church structures, where faith is more about a way of life than a system of belief, where being authentically good is more important than being doctrinally "right," and where one's direction is more important than one's present location.
Self-Appraisal the Local Church, Lyle Schaller, 1984.
This is an easy read and good introduction to congregational size and behavior.
A Field Guide to Changing the Congregation, Thomas Bandy, 1998.
To answer the questions "Where do we begin?" and "Exactly how do we change?” this book provides practical tools for identifying a congregation’s strengths, weaknesses, and addictions.
How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath, 2010.
This story-driven narrative, from decades of counterintuitive research, sheds new light on how we can effect transformative change. Successful changes follow a pattern. Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?
Dr. William Bridges, 2009.
A management tool for leading through change. Organizational transitions affect people, who then must embrace a new situation and carry out the corresponding change. This happens best when we understand the purpose, plan, and our role to play. (Also *TRANSITIONS: Making Sense of Life's Changes, addresses change from a personal rather than organizational perspective).
THE EMERGING, 21ST CENTURY CHURCH
Welcome to the Twenty-First Century, Paul Nixon and Beth Ann Estock, 2016.
This book is a wake-up call for those who still think church revitalization is simply a matter of doing better the things that used to come so easily. It is a must-read for anybody who is designing Christian ministry for the new world that is rapidly emerging around us.
The Structure of Belonging, Peter Block, 2009.
We know what healthy communities look like. Block explores the ways community can emerge from fragmentation, how community is built, how the transformation occurs, and the fundamental shifts involved.
Renewing the Episcopal Identity, Dwight J. Zscheile, 2012. There is a renewed conversation about identity and mission in American Anglicanism today, based on the recognition that the church’s context in the U.S. has dramatically changed. If the Episcopal Church is no longer the Church of the Establishment and the benefactor model of church is dead, what is the heart of Episcopal mission and identity. Zscheile engages readers in re-envisioning what it means to be Anglican in America today and sends readers out to build new relationships within their local contexts.
Six Tough Questions for the Church, Reggie McNeal, 2009.
Church leaders must address these realities: 1) recapture the spirit of Christianity and replace "church growth" with a wider vision of kingdom growth; 2) develop disciples instead of church members; 3) foster the rise of a new apostolic leadership; 4) focus on spiritual formation rather than church programs; 5) shift from prediction and planning to preparation for the challenges of an uncertain world, and 6) change the questions to frame the core issues and approach the future with new eyes, purpose, and ideas.
How Christianity Is Changing and Why, Phyllis Tickle, 2008.
Every 500 years or so the church goes through a ‘great' transformation: the Reformation, the Great Schism, and the Dark Ages. Today, the church is in the throes of the Great Emergence, shaped also by the cultural, technological, and sociological context of the 21st Century.
Vintage Christianity for New Generations, Dan Kimball, 2003.
Twenty-first century life is challenging those used to a traditional approach to doing church. There is no one right way, no model for us all to emulate, but there is something better. Kimball calls it “Vintage Christianity”: a refreshing return to an unapologetically historical, and Jesus-focused missional ministry. Old things still have their place, but not in their old place.
by the Rt. Rev. Claude Payne and Hamilton Beazley, 2000.
The authors present a model for transforming denominations and congregations.
by Brian McLaren, 2008.
McLaren has found more and more Christians are finding that none of the current strains of Christianity fully describes his own faith. He explores the changing nature of Christianity in a postmodern world. If you are searching for a deeper life with God -- one that moves beyond the rhetoric of denominational and theological categories-- this delightful and inspiring fictional tale will provide a picture of what it could mean to recapture a joyful spiritual life.
by William Easum & Thomas Bandy, 1997.
The authors provide metaphors for change to help congregations break out of outmoded attitudes and assumptions; Describes the nature of spiritual leadership necessary to grow spiritual giants that will change the face of the cultural forest.
How the culture-controlled church neutered the gospel, Brian McLaren and Tony Campolo, 2006.
Explores how the institutional aspect of the Church and her teachings has interfered with the natural interaction between the Gospel and the culture.
The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems, Cesar Millan, 2006.
It may be about leading dogs, but it relates beautifully to leading congregations. To minimize conflict, the leader must be a non-anxious presence.
The Power of Everyday Conversations. Brian McLaren, 2002.
It contains a simple idea of evangelism through friendship first. OUT: Evangelism as sales pitch, as argument, as something you should do. IN: Disciple-making as conversation, as opportunity, as dance, as something you get to do.
Accessing Your Inner Wisdom, Kurt Wright, 2010.
Wright demonstrates a way of asking questions that is stunning in its simplicity, and yet virtually unlimited in its ability to access the inner wisdom of individuals and groups.
COMMUNITY BUILDING, EVANGELISM, AND REACHING OUT
Go to Love and Serve, Demi Prentiss and J. Fletcher Lowe, 2015.
As congregations explore their emerging visions, they need support in equipping the saints for their day-to-day lives and ministries beyond the doors of the building. The Dismissal “go in peace, to love and serve the Lord” becomes as important as the Eucharist in feeding the people for the journey. This book focuses on how the baptized become goers, providing practical and tested ways of fulfilling that calling for lay and ordained church leaders and adult formation groups. Each chapter is followed by discussion questions for use with small groups or for personal reflection.
Developing a Ministry Plan that Makes Sense, Rev. Dr. Rick Morse, 2010.
Dr. Mores helps congregations see that their context of ministry is no longer within their church's four walls, but the world around. A congregation has to look at ministry opportunities in their community through new lenses of understanding. By looking at the changes in culture towards congregations and with the tools to interpret their community, congregations will see new ways in which they can begin engaging others in a vital faith community. From Our Doorsteps ends with a specific format by which church leaders can develop a ministry plan, and gain its adoption by the Congregation so it can succeed in a transformational process of redevelopment that makes sense for the context.
Making the Connections That Build Healthy Congregations, Harold Percy, 2003.
The people any congregation should engage: 1) current members, 2) those who walk in, 3) friends and family of members, 4) those who live in the neighborhood are living in a post-Christian world. The culture no longer attends to this for us; we now need to provide Biblical teaching and a path for discipleship.
Reactivating the Missional Church, Alan Hirsch, 2009.
Hirsch sees a vision of the future growth of the church coming about by harnessing the power of the early church -- a movement which grew from as few as 25,000 adherents in AD 100 to up to 20 million 200 years later. This book proposes the concept of Apostolic Genius as a way to understand what caused the church to experience exponential growth and impact at various times in history, interpreting it for use in our own time and place. Hirsch takes the reader through a dynamic mixture of passion, prayer, and incarnational practice to rediscover the dormant potential of the modern church in the West.
The Recovery of Apostolic Ministry and Evangelism, George Hunter, 2003.
The author shines his light on those few special congregations that actually grow by reaching people outside the mainstream.
by George Hunter, 1996.
Though published in 1996 this book should still be on the mandatory reading list for a course in evangelism. Hunter focuses in on the culture barriers that are both an invitation to some for church growth and which serve as a barrier for all the rest.
Michael Slaughter, 2002.
When a church is intentional about its growth, and when it actually happens, chances are the leadership has been through a complete relearning process.
A Self-Discovery Guide for Your Spiritual Quest, Brian McLaren, 2000.
A look on the process by which people are invited to discover faith and live that out in their parish community. (Also see, FINDING FAITH: A Search for What is Real and FINDING FAITH: A Search for What Makes Sense, 2007)
First Century Passion for the 21st Century World, Leonard Sweet, 2000.
Explores what people are seeking as they pursue a relationship with a church in this post-modern world.
Rediscovering a Life of Faith, by Marcus Borg, 2004.
"Must reading" for anyone venturing forth into Church Growth.
THE BUILDING - WORSHIP SPACE
A Statement on Worship Space for the Episcopal Church, Robert Allen for the Episcopal Church Building Fund, 2010.
Provides theological as well as pragmatic insights for developing the space where we celebrate our faith as the people of God. Download from Church Publishing Group.
The NY Conservancy addresses the inspection and maintenance of the roof, walls, and drainage systems; provides guidelines for organizing records and implementing a maintenance program. Available from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, 141 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010 (212-995-5260).
Making Church Mergers Work, Jim Tomberlin and Warren Bird, 2012.
Mergers work best not with two struggling churches but with a vital, momentum-filled lead church partnering with a joining church.
How Christianity Can Reach the West, George Hunter, 2000.
In this small book Hunter uncovers a special part of missionary church history that Anglicans can appreciate.
The Seven Deadly Sins, the Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, 2004.
Provides worship outlines, DVD, and multimedia resources for creating multi-sensory worship services.
Electronic Culture and the Gathered People of God, the Rev. Dr. Tex Sample, 1998.
If we hope to reach the generations that have grown up with TV and electronic media as daily parts of their lives, we must understand the electronic culture, and think about how the church's worship can adapt to it using images, sound as beat, and visualization worship. The church can share the good news in the ways electronic generations think, feel, engage life, form relationships, and make commitments.
LESSONS FOR CHURCHES FROM THE BUSINESS WORLD
Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions, John Kotter, 2006.
Eight steps to clarify the urgency to change and to communicate the vision.
Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins. 2001.
Learn how good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness.
David Kelley and Tom Kelley, 2013.
IDEO founder and David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner and the author of the bestselling The Art of Innovation, have written a powerful and compelling book on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us. David and Tom identify the principles and strategies that will allow us to tap into our creative potential in our work lives, and in our personal lives, and allow us to innovate in terms of how we approach and solve problems. It is a book that will help each of us be more productive and successful in our lives and in our careers.
150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change, Jeremy Gutsche, 2009.
The hottest trend spotter in North America reveals powerful strategies for thriving in any economic climate. Did you know that Hewlett Packard, Disney, Hyatt, MTV, CNN, Microsoft, Burger King, and GE all started during periods of economic recession? Periods of uncertainty fuel tremendous opportunity, but the deck gets reshuffled and the rules of the game get changed. Topics include: Sparking a Revolution, Trend: Hunting, Adaptive Innovation and Infectious Messaging.
Sensing the Future to Compete in the Present, Bob Johansen, 2007.
Nobody can predict the future, but you still have to make sense of it to be successful. Leaders are facing a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity--a world laced with dilemmas. This book shows how to sense the future to provoke new ways of understanding the present. It can help leaders resolve the constant tension between judging too soon (the classic mistake of the problem solver) and deciding too late (the classic mistake of the academic).
Sam Kaner, 2014.
Kaner’s mission is to support groups to do their best thinking. This book demonstrates that meetings can be much more than merely an occasion for solving a problem or creating a plan. Every well-facilitated meeting is also an opportunity to stretch and develop the perspectives of the individual members, thereby building the strength and capacity of the group as a whole.
Why Design Thinking is the next competitive advantage, Roger L. Martin, 2009.
To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another—from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated).