Beyond the Ordinary: Ten Strengths of U.S. Congregations

Overview

Results from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, the largest project of its type ever conducted in the United States, have prompted this second book from Westminster John Knox Press authors Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce. Their original work, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why, explores the practices and activities of worshipers in more than 2,000 U.S. congregations, encompassing more than 300,000 worshipers across a representative sample of denominations and faith groups. This ...

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Overview

Results from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, the largest project of its type ever conducted in the United States, have prompted this second book from Westminster John Knox Press authors Cynthia Woolever and Deborah Bruce. Their original work, A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why, explores the practices and activities of worshipers in more than 2,000 U.S. congregations, encompassing more than 300,000 worshipers across a representative sample of denominations and faith groups. This book describes the qualities that are evident in strong congregations and develops congregational applications from those findings. Like the first book, it is helpfully illustrated with charts, graphs, and cartoons.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664226930
  • Publisher: Presbyterian Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Woolever is Professor of Sociology of Religious Organizations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. As a sociologist and consultant, she has over twenty years of experience working with congregations, judicatories, and seminaries. She is coauthor of A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations and Beyond the Ordinary: 10 Strengths of U.S. Congregations, both published by WJK.

Deborah Bruce is Associate Research Manager in the Research Services office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She has co-authored articles published in Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion and the Journal of Beliefs and Values.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Ordinary or Extraordinary? 1
1 Strength 1: Growing Spiritually 13
2 Strength 2: Meaningful Worship 27
3 Strength 3: Participating in the Congregation 37
4 Strength 4: Having a Sense of Belonging 47
5 Strength 5: Caring for Children and Youth 55
6 Strength 6: Focusing on the Community 65
7 Strength 7: Sharing Faith 75
8 Strength 8: Welcoming New People 85
9 Strength 9: Empowering Leadership 93
10 Strength 10: Looking to the Future 101
Conclusion: Strength by Strength 109
App. 1 U.S. Congregational Life Survey Methodology 123
App. 2 Questions and Answers 125
App. 3 Denominational Families 132
App. 4 Strengths by Congregational Size 135
App. 5 Strengths by Denominational Family 136
App. 6 Strengths by Average Age in the Congregation 137
App. 7 The International Congregational Life Survey 138
Notes 140
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