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From Geography to Affinity: How Congregations Can Learn From One Another [Paperback]

By Lyle E Schaller (Author)
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Item Number 152849  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.51"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2003
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687022665  
EAN  9780687022663  


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Item Description...
Overview
Changes in denominational life in North America have left congregations with two difficult choices: On the one hand, they can choose to act as though their ministries and programs can still best be established by national denominational offices. On the other hand, they can choose to act as though their denominational identity is completely irrelevant to their distinctive identity and mission. To these choices Schaller poses an alternative. He observes that many congrations already seek to extend their mission and make their ministries more effective by participating in affinity networks-groups of congregations that share particular goals and visions. Schaller suggests the establishment of such networks within rather outside of denominstions. He argues that they should be established on the judicatory level. Rather than making state or regional boundaries the organizing principal whereby congregations within a denomination align themselves with one another, why not form judicatories around a particular sense of mission, or a distinctive theological stand? Schaller concludes that allowing and encouraging the formation of such affinity networks will recognize the differences between congregations within a denomination as the strength it truly is, and will, in the end, faster a greater unity of purpose between the denomination's churches.

Publishers Description

Changes in denominational life in North America have left congregations with two difficult choices. On one hand, they can choose to act as though their ministries and programs can still best be established by national denominational offices. On the other hand, they can choose to act as though their denominational identity is completely irrelevant to their mission.

Underlying these difficult choices, writes Lyle E. Schaller, is the tremendous flux in the relationship between national denominations and their member congregations over the last forty years. The fact that relatively few visitors choose to affiliate with a congregation on the basis of denominational identity leads some to conclude (incorrectly) that the interdependence and cooperation between congregations of similar heritage and background is unimportant. At the same time, others conclude (also incorrectly) that there is nothing wrong with current denominational structures and that congregations need simply to align themselves with their denomination's directions more thoroughly.

To these bad choices, Schaller proposes an alternative. He observes that many congregations already seek to extend their mission and make their ministries more effective by participating in affinity networks--groups of congregations that share particular goals and visions. Schaller suggests the establishment of such networks within, rather than outside of, denominations. He argues that they should be established on the judicatory level. Rather than making state or regional boundaries the organizing principle by which congregations within a denomination align themselves, why not form judicatories around a particular sense of mission, or distinctive theological stands?

Schaller concludes that allowing and encouraging the formation of such affinity networks will recognize the differences between congregations within a denominations as the strength it truly is, and will, foster a greater unity of purpose between the denomination's churches.

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More About Lyle E Schaller

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lyle E. Schaller is the country's leading interpreter of congregational systems and their vitality. He is the author of dozens of books, including From
Geography to Affinity, also published by Abingdon Press. He lives in Naperville, Illinois.

Lyle E. Schaller currently resides in Naperville, in the state of Illinois.

Lyle E. Schaller has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ministry for the Third Millennium


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