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Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practices [Paperback]

By Paul Wilkes (Author)
Our Price $ 21.25  
Retail Value $ 25.00  
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Item Number 154705  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   272
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.04" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   0.73 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2004
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  066422329X  
EAN  9780664223298  


Availability  99 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 22, 2017 11:40.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Overview
Though it is popular for individuals to seek a variety of spiritual practices and approaches, the local congregation still remains the place where most Christians turn for religious education, nurture, ritual, and a sense of community. With the influx of new faces in the pews, many congregations are struggling to respond to their spiritual needs. In Excellent Protestant Congregations, respected religion journalist Paul Wilkes profiles nine dynamic, geographically and denominationally diverse congregations that have the ability to create a vibrant community of workshop. Wilkes draws out the "points of excellence" that lie beneath each congregation's success and vitality. From hosting luncheons after funerals to organizing powerful life-changing retreats, from developing a capital campaign to getting volunteers to cheerfully do work for the church, Excellent Protestant Congregations provides real-world insights that are both inspiring and applicable in a local congregation. The geographic listing of over 300 excellent Protestant congregations and an index guiding readers to specific topics, such as stewardship, bereavement, and how to reach Gen Xers, make Excellent Protestant Congregations an invaluable resource for church life.

1. Lutheran Ministries Of Southwest Oklahoma 2. Seekers Church 3. Mountain Top Community Church 4. All Saints Episcopal Church 5. Riverside Baptist Church 6. First United Methodist Church 7. Chinese Christian Union Church 8. Full Gospel Church Of God In Christ 9. Warehouse 242

Publishers Description

While many individuals might seek out an assortment of spiritual practices and approaches, the local congregation still remains the place where most Christians turn for religious education, nurture, ritual, and a sense of community. Yet many congregations struggle to respond to the spiritual needs of new faces in their pews. In "Excellent Protestant Congregations," respected religion journalist Paul Wilkes profiles nine dynamic, geographically and denominationally diverse congregations that have the ability to create a vibrant community of worship. The result is a book that provides real-world insights that are both inspiring and applicable in a local congregation.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Protestant   [967  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration   [1756  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry   [4391  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > General   [754  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Ecclesiology   [1097  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Brings out the feel of each church  Nov 13, 2005
_Excellent Protestant Congregations_ is a collection of essays about nine different American Protestant churches that have, in one way or another, been exceptional in their ministry, growth, and development. It follows on the heels of a similar volume about excellent Catholic congregations, but this volume is more various - reflecting the larger variety in American Protestantism. The congregations surveyed range from an urban black Pentecostal church in New Orleans, to a collection of rural Lutheran churches in Southwestern Oklahoma, to a new Generation X church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The book concludes with a list of common traits among excellent congregations, and an index of resources.

Good: The author does a good job of bringing out the various aspects of success in each church. He relates the transitions in the church to the experiences in the lives of people that the congregations have touched. The inclusion of testimonies of changed lives is especially helpful for understanding the "excellence" in each church. The book is also not overly-theoretical. It is easy to understand.

Bad: The author seems to acknowledge that it's harder to do a one-size-fits-all volume for Protestants, since Protestant congregations can be so different. The odds are, therefore, that a large portion of the content will have only minimal relevance for many Protestant churchmen and women. That said, it is still interesting reading.

Overall: This is a very good book and in spite of the weakness it is well worth the read. The list of common traits at the end is particularly helpful material for pastors and church leaders interested in helping their churches develop ministries and grow.

Favorite quote: "Scripture has the power to instruct, guide, and inspire. Excellent churches have not lost confidence in the bedrock of God's word. They go to it like the thirsty go to a well. This quality pervades both the churches known for their biblically based approach as well as those not known for this emphasis. These churches are introducing the Bible to a new generation of seekers for whom scripture was not part of their upbringing, showing them that this is the kind of wisdom needed for every part of life."

Rating: 4 stars
 
An Excellent Travel Guide to Mentoring Congregations  Sep 14, 2001
Buy the book! The Index of Excellent Congregations contained in the book is worth the price. It provides an excellent beginning point for discovering mentoring congregations throughout the United States.

Beg congregational leaders to study the best practices represented by these congregations. Urge congregational leaders to at least visit the web sites of some of the congregations. Organize a journey to visit one or more of these congregations.

Paul Wilkes, with the sponsorship of a Lilly Endowment grant, has been looking for excellent Catholic and Protestant congregations in the United States. He found 300 Catholic parishes and 300 Protestant congregations. A book entitled, Excellent Catholic Parishes, profiles eight parishes, and this book profiles nine congregations.

The research team was looking for Protestant churches that impact the lives of people and make a difference in their communities. These congregations are beacons of hope and guidance and examples of what it really means to be a practicing Christian today.

Another key point is that they were looking for reproducible models of excellence that would act as a travel guide for the spiritual strategic journey of other congregations. They found many of them!

 
Rating a Protestant Congregation  Apr 25, 2001
As a member of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, I must admit that I have been anxiously awaiting this book since January. The Lilly Endowment funded Paul Wilkes, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, to study the attributes of Protestant congregations or Roman Catholic Parishes that lead to excellence. One result was this guidebook to 300 Protestant congregations. His criteria does seem to define what I couldn't have put into words myself. As I have moved around the country, I have noted that some congregations cause the Holy Spirit to stir within you as soon as you meet your first member. This book describes what these unique congregations do to reach out to others and share this knowledge of the Lord. He describes the joy the members experience as they live out their Christian lives as members of these dynamic communities. This would be a great resource for anyone looking to either find a congregation to call home or to get ideas for their current congregation.
 

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