Revitalizing Congregations: Refocusing and Healing through Pastoral Transitions
William O. Avery
Are congregations inevitably stuck during a change of pastoral leadership? Or are there ways they can take advantage of this interim to grow and set new directions? Researcher and seminary professor William Avery tells us the stories of six congregations—from different denominations, regions of the country, settings, sizes, and ethnic and racial makeup—that attempted to revitalize their mission during this critical time of change and transition.
As Loren Mead explains in the foreword, however, Avery does not tell congregational leaders “the way” to transformation through an interim. Rather, he offers detailed snapshots of congregations and their leaders trying to work their way through this potentially difficult time. He also shows how a trained interim pastor can make a difference in the ensuing effectiveness of the congregation. “These are stories about how faithful congregations have attempted to build toward and discover a leadership model that works for them,” Mead says, “These are stories from which your congregation can learn much.” Foreword by Loren B. Mead.
Praise for the Book
“At last, someone has written about the value of intentional interim ministry! Over the past ten years, I have witnessed the powerful impact that ministry has had in hundreds of congregations. Thank you, Dr. Avery, for gathering the stories of six congregations from across the American Protestant landscape, from different denominations and diverse theological perspectives.” —David L. Odom
“William Avery's well-documented stories are a delight to read and offer deep insight into the value of intentional interim ministry. This is a must-read for anyone interested in leading or being a member of a healthy, mission-focused faith community. It is also a great gift for any judicatory official who finds himself or herself caring for clergy and churches in transition. Maybe the greatest gift for me personally was to find a resource that truly affirms me in the tough and often very lonely vocation of 'sojourning in the wilderness of change.'” —Ineke K. Mitchell
About the AuthorWilliam O. Avery is Professor of Stewardship and Parish Ministry and Director of the Stewardship of Life Institute at Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Alban No. AL257
paper, 152 pages
($12.80 for members)