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A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gap in your Church [Paperback]

By Bob Whitesel (Author), Kent R. Hunter (Author) & Church Change Consulting Inc (Author)
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Item description for A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gap in your Church by Bob Whitesel, Kent R. Hunter & Church Change Consulting Inc...

Generational differences are nothing new in church. There have always been groups and subgroups within a congregation, divided along lines with age. Yet with the possible exception of their educational programs, congregations have generally practiced a "one size fits all" approach to ministry and worship. Whichever group is dominant, generally the older members, although it can be the younger generations as well-sets the tone for musical styles, preaching emphases, and outreach focus.

Publishers Description

Generational differences are nothing new in church. There have always been groups and subgroups within a congregation, divided according to age. Yet with the possible exception of their educational programs, congregations have generally practiced a "one-size-fits-all" approach to ministry and worship. Whichever group is dominant--generally the older members, although it can be the younger--sets the tone for musical styles, preaching emphases, and outreach focus. Frequently the non-dominant groups grow restless and dissatisfied, leaving the church to find better opportunities of service and worship elsewhere. The result is often stagnation and decline. Bob Whitesel and Kent R. Hunter wrote this book to provide congregations with a clear understanding of the problems caused by generation gaps as well as to offer ideas for transforming the church into a healthy, growing, tri-generational structure.

Key Features: Author recognition; Addresses a very timely issue in a creative way; Offers a specific strategy for implementation in local churches

Key Benefits: Readers will gain an understanding of the major differences between the three major age/generational groups in most congregations; Readers will be offered a specific and practical seven step strategy for developing a healthy tri-generational church; Readers will find ways to not only live in peace within the household of faith, but to minister more effectively to community and world

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.55" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2001
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687091047  
ISBN13  9780687091041  

Availability  54 units.
Availability accurate as of May 30, 2017 03:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Bob Whitesel, Kent R. Hunter & Church Change Consulting Inc

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bob Whitesel is a speaker, professor and award-winning writer on the organic church, missional leadership and church growth; who has been called by a national magazine: the key spokesperson on change theory in the church today. He holds two doctorates (D.Min. and Ph.D.) from Fuller Theological Seminary where he was awarded the Donald McGavran Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Church Growth. The author of nine books, his book Inside the Organic Church, Learning from 12 Emerging Congregations (Abingdon Press) was chosen by Outreach Magazine as a finalist for Resource of the Year in Postmodern Outreach. He serves as Professor of Missional Leadership at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University ( ) and is a sought-after speaker and consultant ( ).

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Institutions & Organizations
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4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Religion

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Reviews - What do customers think about A House Divided: Bridging the Generation Gap in your Church?

Same Gospel, Different delivery  May 1, 2002
I understand how reviewer Rodboomboom arrived at his conclusions in his review above. However, I think he missed the point of the book entirely. Is a hymn holy and sacred because of its style or because of the words in it? If you answer that a hymn is sacred because of its style then you will agree with Rodboomboom's review of this book. However, if you understand a hymn to be sacred because of the words of the hymn, not the style, then you will understand the true value and meaning of this book.
Lets say that 5 composers decide to write a song using the exact same wording from John 3:16. Each of them uses a different style of music (hymn, country, classical, rock, and rap) but the wording is identical. Which version of John 3:16 would you listen to? Personally I would not listen to the rap version. That style of music is almost totally repulsive to me. So if someone were to try to present John 3:16 to me using the "rap" version I would not listen. Why? Because I reject the message of John 3:16? NO!!! I reject the form the message came to me. Put John 3:16 in a hymn, classical or rock version and I'm listening (like rap, I wouldn't listen to the country version either).
Am I wrong for not listening to John 3:16 in a country or rap version? Am I refusing to hear "sound doctrine" if I won't listen to it in these forms? The problem that many churches have today is that they offer John 3:16 only in the "rap" version (OK, not specifically but follow the illustration here). And the people often view my not coming to their church as my rejection of the gospel. They may also believe that the "rap" version of John 3:16 is God's version of 3:16. Let's be honest folks, how many times do you choose to listen to a radio station that plays music you don't like? Why do churches demand every generation to like the gospel packaged in a way that one generation has dictated as God's way? And I'm not talking about taking communion with soda and potato chips. The message of the Gospel can remain the same even though its delivery is different. I don't preach in the same language as the Apostles did. Am I compromising the message or not being "subservient to Christ's desires?" Am I not "under Christ's leadership" because I no longer use those languages? The form can and should change. The message should remain the same.
This book teaches how to present the unchanging Gospel in a way that people will want to listen and in a way they can understand (I don't understand what most rap songs are saying). It does not teach how to dilute the Gospel message so that those not wanting to listen will (2 Tim 4). It does teach us how to become all things to all people that we might save some (1 Cor. 9:22). It teaches us to be a church that is not biased to the ways and preferences of one generation (even though that generation may believe their way is the right way). This is a great book for those concerned about reaching all people (regardless of their generational differences) with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. And it is a book about how to offer "faithful preaching and teaching and pastoral leadership" that changes lives.
Still Marketing the Faith  Mar 21, 2002
Rather than resolve the authority divide among dissenting groups in this age when sound doctrine is the resisted way (2 Tim. 4), this work of two veteran church growth consultants suggests a famous marketing solution: General Motors.

If you don't like Chevy, there is Buick. If not Buick, then Pontiac, and so on. Here, applied to sociological categories of every 19 year grouping, if don't like Builder's way of doing the faith, try Boomer's. If not Boomer's, then Gen X. Put these all together under one roof, one modified name to make all happy and one leader, and you have their solution: TriGen Church.

Rather than bridge generation gaps which have always been around and were bridged with putting oneself and one's own desires and needs subservient to Christ's, this GM approach is offered to bring the Burger King "have it your way" church, but do it together to have economic and sociologic scale gains under one united, generation combining effort.

Sounds good enough to Builders, Boomers and GenXer's (who buy into what sociology and market research finds from trend and interview research), but is it Biblical?

This reviewer finds it terribly the opposite. Christ wants all to be one under His leadership. He gives undershepherds (pastors) Ephesians 4 to be His Servants of the Word to make this happen gathering around the precious means of grace, Word and Sacraments. This drives it all!

Why change what God wants done? Well, the answer comes back. The people, a sizeable number of them reject this. Of course, and His Word predicts an increasing number will as we near the end.

This book ignores the Biblical mandate for faithful preaching and teaching and pastoral leadership, and inherits worldly ways of coping with serious spiritual maladies.

A Bridge Over the Divide  May 7, 2001
Bob Whitesel and Kent Hunter in "A House Divided" have addressed the difficult issue that has divided the church for many years. They have taken the information we have known for some while about the three generations addressed in the book and applied that information in creative ways to bridge-building over the generational gaps. Their concept of the Tri-Generational Church as a holistic congregation offers much needed hope to the body of Christ in our time. They provide practical descriptions of the necessary leadership style and worship that will work in the Tri-Gen Church. This book is touching a nerve in the church and will make a positive thrust for the outreach and mission of the church. Wm. Leroy Wise, Pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church, Syracuse, IN

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