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Discontinuity and Hope: Radical Change and the Path to the Future

Overview

Change: Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? That depends, says Lyle E. Schaller, on your viewpoint and values. Any given change can be threatening if all your values are wedded to the way things are now, if you can only view the future through the lens of the past. Or it can be exciting, if your viewpoint is geared toward the new possibilities that will arise from this change. By looking at several examples of large-scale, discontinuous change that have occurred over the last ten to thirty years, Schaller ...

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Overview

Change: Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? That depends, says Lyle E. Schaller, on your viewpoint and values. Any given change can be threatening if all your values are wedded to the way things are now, if you can only view the future through the lens of the past. Or it can be exciting, if your viewpoint is geared toward the new possibilities that will arise from this change. By looking at several examples of large-scale, discontinuous change that have occurred over the last ten to thirty years, Schaller prepares church leaders to orient themselves to the new challenges and opportunities for ministry that will result from the accelerated transition going on around us.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687085392
  • Publisher: United Methodist Publishing House
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
1 Continuity to Discontinuity 15
The Dumb Answer 15
Six Big Surprises 18
The Ecumenical Movement 18
The Erosion of the Western European Religious Heritage 22
The Fourth Great Awakening 29
From Cooperation to Competition 40
From Doctrine to Polity 42
From Low to High Expectations 45
The Ministry of the Laity Has Arrived 48
The Redefinition of Women's Ministries 51
From 30 Percent to 1 Percent 57
From Lover to Leader 61
The New Sources of Resources 63
The Endangered Species List 66
2 The Big Seven 71
From Deflation to Inflation 72
From Neighborhood to Region 74
From Community to Marketplace 78
From Small to Large Scale 81
From the Old South to the New 83
From Relationships to Competition 85
From Producer to Consumer 88
3 New Generations Bring a New Context 93
From Racial Integration to Ethnic Separation 93
From Minority to Majority 99
From Vertical to Horizontal 102
From Institutions to Individuals 104
From Superstar to Teams 109
From Generalist to Specialist 115
From Full-time to Part-time 116
From Movements to Networks 119
From Family to Peers 123
From Passive to Active 128
From Improvement to Entertainment 130
From Survival to Choices 135
From Enemy to Ally 140
From Verbal to Visual 144
From Neighborhood, Church, and School to Laundromats, Bars, and the Workplace 146
From Too Young to Too Late 150
From Sympathy to Intervention 153
From Talk Therapy to Drugs to the Internet 156
4 Seven Neglected Changes 159
From Service to Challenge 159
From Toys to Experiences 161
From Belief to Unbelief 164
From the Center to the Margins 166
From Unifying to Divisive 170
From Higher to Wider 172
From One Site to Many 174
The Big Omission 179
5 What are the Consequences? 187
A Congregational Perspective 187
A Ministerial Perspective 193
A Parishioner's Perspective 198
A Call Committtee's Perspective 201
A Denominational Perspective 205
A Theological School Perspective 216
What Next? 225
Notes 227
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