Innovative spiritual practices that establish the foundation for durable, missional change
Many congregations recognize their need to bring about change in order to become or remain vital, both spiritually and organizationally. They have a sense of what they need, and what might keep them from changing. But they don’t know how to change.
How Change Comes to Your Church draws on the practical experience, stories, and examples from two experienced church leaders. Patrick Keifert and Wesley Granberg-Michaelson have helped scores of congregations as well as larger denominational organizations identify key elements that are a necessary part of transformational change.
Rather than a superficial approach with a simplistic formula, How Change Comes to Your Churchfocuses on the important work of changing church culture, with innovative spiritual practices that establish the foundation for durable, missional change.
Patrick Keifert is president and director of research of Church Innovations Institute. He has worked with hundreds of congregations and dozens of denominations on four continents is the Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary.
Wesley Granberg-Michaelson served as General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America for 17 years. He was an associate editor of Sojournersmagazine and has also worked with the World Council of Churches, the Global Christian Forum, and Christian Churches Together.
Paul Butler — Bishop of Durham “The wisdom of years observing, listening, and engaging in debate and reflection become distilled into why changing church is needed and how it can happen. In two dioceses I have seen the deep value of this work. Read it and be blessed.”
Jim Wallis — Sojourners “This book and its authors offer a wealth of wisdom and experience on what it takes to make a church, a community, and a denomination work. They highlight the intense hard work of cultivating and maintaining a community but show that true change comes from action-focused transformation. In formulating where we want our churches and our world to go, we must first reconsider the ways in which our communities need to reflect our truest beliefs and how to act on them. Wes Granberg-Michaelson and Pat Keifert offer a series of challenges that are at once inspiring, practical, provocative, actionable, and hopeful. This is a handbook for what is called the ‘missional church.’ It is a key resource for those pondering how they might actually put faith into action and contribute to communities that are radically transforming the world.” — Jim Wallis, Sojourners
John R. Franke — Gospel and Our Culture Network “While many of those who participate in North American churches agree that change is a necessary component of a vital and viable future, they are also perplexed with respect to identifying and bringing about the changes that are needed. In this very readable volume, two highly respected and seasoned leaders distill their years of wisdom in helping churches fruitfully navigate the challenges of change. An ideal volume for congregations seeking practical help in the quest for a more faithful and vibrant witness.”
Dana L. Robert — Boston University School of Theology “Keifert and Granberg-Michaelson channel a wealth of practical experience into guiding denominational and congregational change. Their recommendations offer deep wisdom to churches seeking missional transformation. In short, this book rings true. I recommend it very highly for pastors, denominational leaders, and church folks who seek guidance in this missional age.”
Bishop William Gafkjen — Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA “Drawing on more than four decades of work with congregations, denominations, and other expressions of the church across the world, Pat Keifert and Wes Granberg-Michaelson have provided a profoundly helpful handbook for church leaders of all sorts and settings. This book is focused on discernment over strategic plans, reaches beyond programs and techniques to address the deep culture of communities, is rooted in communal and public spiritual practices, and is eminently practical. It really ought to be in the hands of every leader who knows that the transformation of the church is a life-or-death matter but isn’t quite sure how to open the communities they serve to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.”
Dwight Zscheile — Luther Seminary “This book is full of hard-won wisdom from two leaders who have spent decades successfully leading change in the church. Their core learnings are distilled here in an accessible, practical form—learnings that explain why so many change efforts fail. This is a profoundly hopeful book, grounded in God’s mission and drawing on the best organizational thinking.”
Mike Harrison —Bishop of Dunwich “A prophetic call to reconsider processes of congregational and denominational transformation, rooted in cultural change, discernment, and creative, non-anxious leadership. Keifert and Granberg-Michaelson provide not only a convincing account of the life-or-death issues facing churches but also clear, accessible, simple practices and ways of being that address such issues. Their approach promises a deeper participation in God’s missional activity among the people of God and thus a reclaiming of those purposes which are at the heart of the church’s vocation. A wonderfully engaging, timely, and hopeful book.”
Rev. Canon Dr. Nigel Rooms — Church Mission Society “This isn’t just a book for churches in the USA! As someone who has been working with the theology and practices outlined in this book for nearly ten years in the UK, I can testify to the veracity of the authors’ claims about how churches change. I have watched it happen, without any sense of a ‘magic formula’ being applied, just the hard work of discerning what God is up to and joining in. This is also a book for denominational leaders as we hear how the systems that support local churches can also change—down to their very foundations. In fact, this book is highly applicable all over the world where churches face a changed world around them and have to find a godly way to respond. Read it, act on it, and be changed.”
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