Not Trying Too Hard: New Basics for Sustainable Congregations

Bob Sitze
What is a congregation for? What are members for? What are pastors for? Bob Sitze, an evocative and sometimes whimsical writer and workshop leader, offers a new vision for congregations and their leaders—a vision that releases us from the growing burden of trying harder to invent and implement "better" worship, evangelism, stewardship, small groups, long-range planning, mission statements, and the like. Sitze argues instead that as congregations apply the insights of "simpler lifestyles" to their life together, they will find joy and fulfillment by more closely matching their expectations for ministry with personal and corporate assets. Recognizing that most congregations will not be able to carry out a complete transformation of their communities, Sitze advocates a "small-step approach" to change and provides readers with the necessary tools to engage what is possible without trying too hard. He points readers toward the congregation of the future and assures them that they have the capacity to reimagine their own congregation. A design for a simple, experiential workshop that can also be used in other adult education settings provides a method for sharing Sitze’s vision with an array of members. Foreword by Janet O. Hagberg, Director of the Silent Witness National Initiative.

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