The church needs effective leaders."We must be more missional."Better organization is required."Such sentiments are commonplace among Christians concerned with the health and sustainability of their local church as well as the church universal. Over the past thirty years, the desire for more efficiently run, effectively led, and organizationally sound churches has contributed to an approach to thinking about the church in terms uncritically assumed from the business and management sector. This has given rise to treating the church as if it were just another social body in need of better organization. The question is, what happens when we apply the logic of management techniques to an organization that identifies as the body of Christ? Drawing on organizational theory, theological anthropology, and sacramental theology, this book navigates a path for Christians that avoids reducing the church to just another organization, while providing a vision for the church as the social body where all are invited to connect and be made members of Christ and each other. Such a vision provides an alternative to the social categorization that would define the church by its organizational character rather than its eschatological destiny.
About the Author
Lyndon Shakespeare is an Episcopal Priest and chair of the Society of Scholar-Priests.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations xii
1 The Problem of Decline 19
2 "We are All Managers Now": The Church and Management 38
3 The Shape of Management or What Kind of Body Is a Managed Organization? 77
4 What Difference Does a Body Make? A Holistic Alternative According to a Thomistic Theological Anthropology 119
5 What Difference Does a Social Body Make? A Unifying Alternative According to a Thomistic Sacramental Theology 145
6 To What End? Organizing the Ecclesial Body 179