Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book: Leading change in a congregation

Many books have been written about leadership and change, but until now none has focused on the kind of change that tears at a community's very fabric. Alban senior consultant Gil Rendle provides a respectful context for understanding change, especially the experiences and resistances that people feel. Rendle pulls together theory, research, and his work with churches facing change to provide leaders with practical diagnostic models and tools. In a time when change is the norm, this book helps to "lead change" in a spiritual and healthy way.

This new resource is a result of Gil Rendle’s continuing passion and well developed body of knowledge to carry out his calling to empower leaders of Spirit based organizations to find ‘the Way’ through change, and the inextricably bound character of conflict. He invites the reader to a new level of transformation that travels beyond the pages into a process of continual life.
By unabashedly naming and demythologizing the fear of change and converting its power into new found faith, he provides a pathway through ‘the wilderness’ with skill, compassion, and power for the journey God is unfolding for ministry. I highly recommend it as a ‘must read’ to begin the new journey. (Alfred Johnson, Resident Bishop, New Jersey Area, The United Methodist Church)

Gil Rendle writes just like he speaks; intelligently, coherently, credibly, and provocatively. In this book, he addresses questions of leadership and change with which every congregation eventually must grapple…and better sooner than later. Indeed, the church or synagogue that does not grasp the importance of congregational change and transformation will find itself among those described by the sad comment, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!’ Gil Rendle challenges us to get ‘unstuck’ and reflect on how congregational leaders can be agents of change and transformation; more power to him! (Lennard R. Thal, Vice President, Union of American Hebrew Congregations)

This volume is a goldmine of ideas for helping congregational leaders face or initiate change. The book synthesizes the best and most recent thinking about change and churches, presenting it in useful bite-sized increments that can be used by a group planning to help their congregation be more adaptive to the world changing around it.
Rendle is an excellent writer. His prose is clear and precise; best of all, he tells great stories and gives useful examples. The examples make it believable that what he is proposing can, indeed, be implemented in a real situation.
His theory and the clear processes he recommends are simple enough to remember when you are working with a group, yet complex enough to be useful.
This book could be by a study group in the church wanting to develop its skills and understanding about change in any environment, or it could be used as the manual a committee uses to introduce change in a congregation related to worship, program, outreach, or generating understanding of current social issues. (Speed B. Leas, congregational consultant, author of "Discover Your Conflict Management Style")

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