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Creating a Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership and Congregational Life (Creative Pastoral Care & Counseling)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  146 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Ronald W. Richardson helps us to understand how congregations function emotionally. Without being simplistic, he gives clear directions on how to improve their quality of life together and function more effectively in achieving mission goals. This book offers: A theory about human behavior that will aid understanding of how things can get out of control in the human commun ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Augsburg Fortress Publishing
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Ken Garrett
Jun 22, 2015 Ken Garrett rated it it was amazing
This is my second time through this book. I highly recommend it for leaders of organizations, esp. pastors, who want to explore the ways that anxiety, emotional immaturity, and unhealthy church systems might be damaging to themselves and their churches. The book present great examples of the author's arguments, and great direction for building a healthier presence as a leader in the church.
L
Ronald W. Richardson helps us to understand how congregations function emotionally. Without being simplistic, he gives clear directions on how to improve their quality of life together and function more effectively in achieving mission goals. This book offers: A theory about human behavior that will aid understanding of how things can get out of control in the human community of the church; A practical set of leadership ideas and behaviors; Guidelines for how to behave in the midst of upsetting ...more
Daphne Stevens
Sep 29, 2015 Daphne Stevens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This will be a help to church leaders and parishioners to understand the dynamics of congregations, both healthy and dysfunctional. It's based on family systems theory, a rather complex approach to human behavior, and the book is helpful in clarifying the concepts to make it useful to readers interested in becoming more creative and empathic when faced with difficult situations.

That said, I would highly recommend Edwin Friedman's Generation to Generation. It's quite readable and far more profoun
...more
Jared Braun
Apr 03, 2016 Jared Braun rated it really liked it
Very practical way to look at church life and leadership in the church through the lens of Family Systems Theory. This should be a handbook for all pastors and lay leaders.
Valerie
Feb 24, 2014 Valerie rated it it was amazing
I suggest this book for anyone who wishes to understand church life and how to help people navigate conflict in the church.
Scott Carter
Oct 01, 2015 Scott Carter rated it liked it
Nice introduction to family systems, and I like the integration with the church. However, I think it is lacking and while I would recommend, I would also suggest further reading and studying in this area of systems theory.

3.5/5
Luke Evans
Family systems theory is revolutionary for me. Can't get enough.
Dustin Bagby
Mar 21, 2013 Dustin Bagby rated it really liked it
Great introduction to how family systems theory relates to relationships and leadership in the life of the church. If you're not familiar with Bowen or haven't read Friedman or Herrington (The Leaders Journey), this would be a good starting point in understanding the theory. If you're in ministry and are not familiar with any of the above authors or systems, it is a good time to orient yourself. I have found this incredibly important to relationships and how I function as a pastor.
Stephen
Jul 24, 2011 Stephen rated it liked it
READ NOV 2010

Good application of family theory to organizational life. While the focus was on congregations, this would apply to other organizations as well.

Best quote, "you become a leader by becoming more fully yourself, and by managing yourself (not others), within the context of your [organization]" (p. 172) and "Understanding people is more important than trying to do something to people, to 'fix' them in some way" (p. 175).
Rachel
Aug 11, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, theology
This book helped me a lot to think of people in general, not just congregational life, and how relationships are formed and affected. I think I will be a much better pastor, friend, daughter, etc., because of it, and I am sure to turn back to it often. The basic idea is to try to understand rather than be understood.
Donna
Aug 22, 2009 Donna rated it really liked it
This book is geared toward how to make you a healthier leader in a church which in turn will influence those around you to be healthier. The explanation of family systems theory was very helpful. I have found it helpful information to apply to my workplace as well.
Chuck Denison
Mar 21, 2008 Chuck Denison rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Pastors
A primer on family systems (Bowen theory) applied to church. A useful summary if you don't want to read Friedman. A lot of time spent on actual family stuff, which was helpful. An easy to read review.
Stephanie
May 31, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Applies family systesm theory to the congregation. The concepts were helpful. I could have used more examples of how it all applied.
Eric Black
Sep 24, 2014 Eric Black rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology, church
A dry application of family systems theory to congregational life
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