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From Geography to Affinity

Paperback|May 2003
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$37.99

Changes in denominational life in North America have left congregations with two difficult choices. Underlying these choices, Lyle E. Schaller shows the flux in the relationship between national denominations and their member congregations over the last 40 years.


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Changes in denominational life in North America have left congregations with two difficult choices. Underlying these choices, Lyle E. Schaller shows the flux in the relationship between national denominations and their member congregations over the last 40 years.
-Publisher


Changes in denominational life in North America have left congregations with two difficult choices. On one hand, they can choose to act as though their ministries and programs can still best be established by national denominational offices. On the other hand, they can choose to act as though their denominational identity is completely irrelevant to their mission.


Underlying these difficult choices, writes Lyle E. Schaller, is the tremendous flux in the relationship between national denominations and their member congregations over the last forty years. The fact that relatively few visitors choose to affiliate with a congregation on the basis of denominational identity leads some to conclude (incorrectly) that the interdependence and cooperation between congregations of similar heritage and background is unimportant. At the same time, others conclude (also incorrectly) that there is nothing wrong with current denominational structures and that congregations need simply to align themselves with their denomination's directions more thoroughly.


To these bad choices, Schaller proposes an alternative. He observes that many congregations already seek to extend their mission and make their ministries more effective by participating in affinity networks--groups of congregations that share particular goals and visions. Schaller suggests the establishment of such networks within, rather than outside of, denominations. He argues that they should be established on the judicatory level. Rather than making state or regional boundaries the organizing principle by which congregations within a denomination align themselves, why not form judicatories around a particular sense of mission, or distinctive theological stands?


Schaller concludes that allowing and encouraging the formation of such affinity networks will recognize the differences between congregations within a denominations as the strength it truly is, and will, foster a greater unity of purpose between the denomination's churches.


-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 209271
  • Product Code 0687022665
  • EAN 9780687022663
  • Pages 240
  • Department Academic
  • Category Church
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Abingdon Press
  • Publication Date May 2003
  • Dimensions 215 x 139 x 12mm
  • Weight 0.283kg

Lyle E Schaller

Lyle E. Schaller is the most widely read and respected writer on congregational life today. He is the author of dozens of books on congregational life and vitality. He live in Naperville, Illinois.

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