Item description for How to Get Along With Your Church: Creating Cultural Capital for Doing Ministry by George B. Thompson, Jr. & David L. Wallace...
Author George B.Thompson sat among a group of pastors who were three years into their vocations, sharing stories of their work with churches. Some of the pastors were deeply hurt and unhappy. Others were energized and enthusiastic. He asked himself what made the difference. This book incorporates Thompson's research and observations on pastoring a church. He finds that the pastors who are most successful in engaging their parishioners are the ones who develop "cultural capital" within their congregations, meaning that the invest themselves deeply into how their church does its work and ministries.
This book is ideal for pastors in solo settings, but pastors at churches with staff and other clergy will also find helpful ideas.
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More About George B. Thompson, Jr. & David L. Wallace
George B. Thompson, Jr. is Associate Professor of Church Administration at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He holds a Ph.D. from the Chicago Theological Seminary and other doctoral degrees from San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Claremont School of Theology. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister and the author of several books, including Alligators in the Swamp: Power, Leadership and Ministry.
Reviews - What do customers think about How to Get Along With Your Church: Creating Cultural Capital for Doing Ministry?
Church Leadership Informed by Cultural Anthropology Jan 6, 2004
Don't be put off by the title. This book isn't just about "how to get along with your church," which might seem to assume that ministers and congregations are naturally antagonistic. The subtitle is much more informative. This is a book that uses insights from cultural anthropology to help ministers be better leaders.
The central thesis is that ministers must develop "cultural capital." In order to lead, a minister must deeply understand her or his congregation--its traditions, values, informal structures, etc. A minister must also be attentive to the slow process through which a community (i.e. the church) adopts a newcomer (i.e. the minister) into its fold. Only through such cultural processes can a minister earn the capacity to lead.
Thompson describes leadership as a form of cultural change and provides advice for the conflicts such change can evoke. He also helps a minister consider when it may be time to move on to a new church.
The text is rich combination of cultural analysis, insights from church leadership literature, and examples from both Biblical and contemporary sources. The book is well-written and well-organized.
I would highly recommend this book to any minister or other religious professional. Similar works include Lovett Weems' Church Leadership, Tex Sample's Ministry in an Oral Culture, and Richard Lischer's Open Secrets. If you've enjoyed any of these books than you will certainly find How to Get Along With Your Church helpful, if not essential to your ministry. And, if you haven't read these books, you absolutely need this one.
Table of Contents: Preface 1. Land Mines: How Well Do You Know What You're Getting Into? 2. "Welcome to the Family!" Have You Been Adopted Yet? 3. Making It Count: How Does "Busyness" Turn into Ministry? 4. Effective Delivery: Who Can Carry Bad News? 5. Ahead of the Troops: How Do Pastors Become Leaders? 6. Handling Conflict: What If Things Go Sour? 7. Saying Goodbye: When Is It Time to Move On? Appendix: For Denominational Officials