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

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  9 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 FORTRESS PRESS
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I suggest this book for anyone who wishes to understand church life and how to help people navigate conflict in the church.
Luke Evans
Family systems theory is revolutionary for me. Can't get enough.
Dustin Bagby
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.

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).
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.
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 2 of 5 stars
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.
Applies family systesm theory to the congregation. The concepts were helpful. I could have used more examples of how it all applied.
Eric Black
A dry application of family systems theory to congregational life
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