Saturday, July 13, 2013

Books by Peter Steinke, Family Systems Theory, congregational health and mission: How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems

A Door Set Open: 
Grounding Change in Mission and Hope

We resist change less when we associate it with mission and fortify it with hope. So argues longtime congregational consultant Peter Steinke in his fourth book, A Door Set Open, as he explores the relationship between the challenges of change and our own responses to new ideas and experiences. Steinke builds on a seldom-explored principle posited by the late Rabbi Edwin Friedman: the 'hostility of the environment' is proportionate to the 'response of the organism.' The key, Steinke says, is not the number or strength of the stressors in the system--anxiety, poor conditions, deteriorating values--but the response of the individual or organization to 'what is there.' Drawing on Bowen system theory and a theology of hope, as well as his experience working with more than two hundred congregations, Steinke makes the case that the church has entered an era of great opportunity. Theologian and sociologist Ernst Troeltsch said the church had closed down the office of eschatology. Steinke reopens it and draws our attention to God's future, to a vision of hope for the people of God. The door is set open for exploration and new creation.

Part I: The Context 
1. There Once Was a World
2. Emotional Systems and the New Anxiety
3. So That You May Hope Again

Part II: The Mission  
4. The Challenge of Change
5. The Making of a Mission Culture
6. Joining God’s New Creation

Part III: The Response  
7. The People of the Way
8. Where to Touch the Elephant
9. A Different Future

Amazon Reviews

How Your Church Family Works: 
Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems 

Drawing on the work of the late Dr. Murray Bowen and Rabbi Edwin H. Friedman, and his own many years’ counseling experience, Steinke shows how to recognize and deal with the emotional roots of such issues as church conflict, leadership roles, congregational change, irresponsible behavior, and the effects of family of origin on current relationships. Discover why working relationships may be “stuck” in certain behaviors. Psychologically sound and theologically grounded, the book is practically illustrated with case studies.  Seminary professors will find a helpful treatment of the emotional systems into which their students will move.

Part I. Conceptualizing Emotional Processes
Chapter 1: The Concept of a System 
Chapter 2: Anxiety and Reactivity 
Chapter 3: Separateness and Closeness 
Chapter 4: Stability and Change 
Chapter 5: Clarity and Compassion 
Part II. The Congregation as an Emotional System
Chapter 6: Do Not Go Gently in That Glob of Glue 
Chapter 7: Being a Prophet Is Nice Work—If You Can Find a Job 
Chapter 8: What Shall It Profit a Parish If It Gets over the Hump but Falls into the Abyss? 
Chapter 9: Remembering the Future 
Chapter 10: Believing and Belonging 

Amazon Reviews
Goodreads reviews

Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: 
Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What 

Anxious times call for steady leadership. When tensions emerge in a congregation, its leaders cannot be as anxious as the people they serve. To remain effective, congregational leaders must control their own uneasiness. This takes self-awareness and confidence to manage relationships and influence behaviors. Knowing how to deal with anxiety and how to work throug complex challenges can lead a congregation to new insights, growth, and vitality. Anxious times hold not only the potential for loss but also for creation, important leanings  and changes that will strengthen the congregation. With this new book, internationally respected consultant Peter Steinke goes deeper into the requirements of effective congregational leadership. Born from the wisdom of Steinke's distinguished career, this new volume will both enlighten and embolden leaders. Steinke inspires courage in leaders to maintain the course, unearth secrets, resist sabotage, withstand fury, and overcome timidity or doubts. His insights, illustrations, and provocations will carry leaders through rough times, provide clarity during confusing times, and uplift them in joyous times.

Amazon Reviews

Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach

In this sequel to How Your Church Family Works, Peter Steinke takes readers into a deeper exploration of the congregation as an emotional system. He outlines the factors that put congregations at risk for anxiety and conflict. Learn ten principles of health, how congregations can adopt new ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, as well as how spiritually and emotionally healthy leaders influence the emotional system. Featuring a new preface and a fresh redesign, this book is a classic work by one of the most respected names in congregational consulting.


Amazon Reviews

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