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The Soul of the Congregation: An Invitation to Congregational Reflection [Paperback]

By Thomas E Frank (Author)
Our Price $ 18.69  
Retail Value $ 21.99  
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Item Number 152135  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   198
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.58" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.56 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2000
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687087171  
EAN  9780687087174  


Availability  143 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 01:00.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Overview
Thomas Edward Frank points out that the dominant paradigm of many comtemporary books about church administration reflects an underlying "theology of progress," a distilling of the gospel into self-worth, a conflation of basilea with market growth. According to Frank, good fortune and blessing are confused; praise and good feeling are identified. The paradigm of success and progress, however, fails to account adequately for the vision of the believers' presence in the world as ecclesia. "The soul of the congregation," argues Frank, is a way of being and being-in-the-world, and not didactic or productive.

Publishers Description

Thomas Edward Frank points out that the dominant paradigm of many contemporary books about church administration reflects an underlying theology of progress, a distilling of the gospel into self-worth, a conflation of basilea with market growth. According to Frank, good fortune and blessing are confused; praise and good feeling are identified. This paradigm of success and progress, however, fails to account adequately for the vision of the believers presence in the world as ecclesia. The soul of the congregation, argues Frank, is a way of being and being-in-the-world, and not didactic or productive.

Every congregation is a unique culture comprising the artifacts, practices, values, outlooks, symbols, stories, language, ritual, and collective character that makes it particularly itself. This culture--or soul--is an outgrowth of the life together of a particular mix of individuals, families, ethnic and community forms that have connected in a certain place over time. By carefully observing congregational culture, leaders and participants can deepen understanding and appreciation for the congregation as it has endured, and recognize possibilities for ministry derived from the congregation's values and strengths.

In a series of delightful letters and engrossing reflections, Frank invites us to practice this art of discernment, of seeing, listening, paying attention, and spinning webs of connection with experiences, memories, traditions, and ideas that have gone before. Rather than reach for some newfangled church marketing or growth paradigm that does not feed the soul, he urges us to lean on what we already have among us. In so doing, we will rediscover the soul of the congregation of which we are already a part. "

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Connecting the Pastor's Heart with the Congregation's Soul  Nov 29, 2000
In a sea of books focusing on church growth to megachurch proportions, "The Soul of the Congregation" reminds us of the human element - the individual - that is an integral part of all churches. Dr. Frank presents episodes of real life congregations to which all pastors can relate. He provides a model for pastors and church leaders to connect their stories with those of the congregation - thus finding the soul. The pastoral voice of the book can renew disilliusioned young ministers as well as revive persons who have served many years of ministry.
 
More personality and less soul  Oct 13, 2000
Frank's book is interesting, insightful and even helpful for those who find their vocation in the church. However, the title of his work is very misleading. Rather than writing about the soul of the congregation, he spends his energy discussing a congregation's history and personality...which is still helpful, but not a discussion of the soul. For those looking for a book to dig more deeply into what makes their local churches tick, this volume will provide a good resource. However, those seeking a discussion of the corporate soul (as in Acts 4) should look elsewhere.
 

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