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The In-Between Church: Navigating Size Transitions in Congregations
Alban Senior Consultant Mann draws on her lengthy experience in helping congregations deal with the hurdles and anxieties of expansion or contraction in size. Often, congregations experiencing size change do not recognize the need to change culture and form as part of the successful adaptation process. Mann details the adjustments in attitude--as well as practice--that are ...more
Paperback, 118 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
(first published January 1st 1998)
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This is a classic, of course, a must-read for any congregation bumping against the limits of its size (and recall that "size transitions" can include a congregation that is growing smaller, not just bigger). Mann provides wonderfully concrete information, particularly for ministers who need to assess what size congregation they are best suited to serve. This is an accessible read, a great resource for any Board and minister. ...more
This book falls within the curious genre of "church growth" for mainline churches. This is a well-written book exploring the transitions involved in moving from one size of local church to the next considering four size/types of church. My favorite line in the book is actually a quote from another book: "Mainstream churches deaden religious experience among their members because they give it no visible expression. They relativize it; they rationalize it; they bury it in rote tradition. . . .The ...more
Discussing this book at church. Author makes the point that if your church begins to grow (or shrink), there will be some changes in dynamics when certain size points are reached. Whether your church is currently a family size, pastoral size, program size, or corporate size, be aware that size transitions can bring unexpected frustrations. Faithful hints and possible solutions are discussed.
This is not a well-written book -- kind of like a term paper. And it was written wiht main-line churches in mind. But it is instructive. We need to think about how to constructively change. The good news from the book is -- we've done a lot of the right things as we envision and conspire to enter the future. ...more
So many churches do not understand themselves and I believe this is a great book for churches of all sizes who need help with such understanding. The author paints the picture of so many congregations and their pastors who need to recognize how their size affects their growth and culture. It is already a great help in understanding the congregation in which I currently attend.
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