Change and Conflict in Your Congregation (Even If You Hate Both) | How to Implement Conscious Choices, Manage Emotions and Build a Thriving Christian Community (Bradshaw)

Change and Conflict in Your Congregation (Even If You Hate Both) | How to Implement Conscious Choices, Manage Emotions and Build a Thriving Christian Community (Bradshaw)

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With a positive theology of change, we can live as Christians known not for disagreements or self-interest, but for our love through difficulty.

"When congregations can move forward from conflict, weather change well and allow ourselves to move beyond old and outdated stories, then we are able to create a new story for our future.... Do we dare to ask God to lead us to a new place?"
    —from the Benediction

Change and conflict are often feared in churches—but they don't need to be. When we learn to see these difficulties as normal, healthy parts of being a community, it is much easier to navigate them with a minimum of anxiety and bad behavior. We are able to let go of our fears and face change and conflict as catalysts for moving forward in the mission of showing God's love and justice to the world. In fact, there is no way to move forward in mission without change and conflict.

This warmhearted guidebook will help your church navigate change and channel conflict into deeper understanding and a stronger sense of community. Lay leaders, pastors and church staff will be empowered by creative, easy-to-implement strategies to:

  •     Establish appropriate congregational behavior and communication
  •     Practice nonanxious leadership in the midst of upheaval
  •     Foster productive community discussion and discernment
  •     Manage a community's tendency to polarize disagreements
  •     Encourage imaginative thinking and creative responses to difficult situations
  •     Replace a congregation’s discouraging self-image with an empowering vision for ministry 

“Prepares congregational leaders with the faithful courage required for today’s church.”—Rev. David Schoen, minister and team leader, Congregational Assessment, Support and Advancement, United Church of Christ 

“Thoughtful and well researched.... Articulates a hope-filled vision for congregational transformation.”—Rev. Cameron Trimble, executive director and CEO, Center for Progressive Renewal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anita L. Bradshaw, a theologian and consultant, helps congregations across the denominational spectrum grow through change and find healthy resolution to conflict. She has taught at universities and seminaries across the United States, including Yale Divinity School, Augsburg College, and Hartford Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, she has also served as a parish pastor, interim pastor, and interim denominational executive.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: SkyLight Paths, 2015
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces

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