Daniel P. Smith, Mary K. Sellon
No pastor can lead a congregation to renewal alone. It requires a change of heart for the whole congregation. Congregational renewal occurs only when people reorient their very understanding of the nature and purpose of their church. This goes far beyond a simple retooling of the mission statement or addition of a few programs. Authors Mary Sellon and Daniel Smith lead congregations through this process of renewal, breaking down into understandable components what is happening in the people themselves that makes renewal efforts successful.
Pathway to Renewal offers pastors and congregational leaders a framework for understanding and addressing the deep cultural shift facing the people of a congregation during congregational renewal. This book will help leaders make sense of where their congregation could get stuck and guide them in thinking through what needs to be addressed next as a congregation seeks renewal. The realigning of a congregation’s heart and sense of purpose can be a long process, but one that ultimately all congregations must experience in order to fully live out the world-transforming mission that God has given them to do.
“If you want a faithful, practical, down on the ground set of concrete steps for moving toward the renewal of a congregation, this is it. Pathway to Renewal is faithful without being narrow, practical without being mechanical, down on the ground without being one-dimensional, and provides concrete steps while remembering that renewal is a journey.” —Tex Sample, Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society, Saint Paul School of Theology
“Congregations don't do change easily, but change in your congregation is possible! Daniel Smith and Mary Sellon's prescription is based on their experience consulting with numerous churches moving toward renewal. They describe each state, how to do it well, and how to avoid doing it poorly!” —Anthony Pappas, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts, and author of Entering the World of the Small Church
“This book is like a GPS guidance system for congregations on an arduous wilderness journey to the most beautiful spot on earth. It keeps our eyes on the destination of congregational renewal, shows us ways around very real obstacles, shares the experience of others who have traveled this way, and reminds us that the journey is always worth it. Highly recommended!” —Nan Cressman, Director, Concilitation Services Canada, Desbarats, Ontario
“Realistic, comprehensive, practical, wise, and well-balanced between process and flexibility, this book is designed to be used by real congregations—especially those curious to stick their toes into the waters of renewal but apprehensive about the journey. These authors know how to get a church prepared, spiritually and communally.” —George B. Thompson, Jr., Associate Professor, Leadership and Ministry Practice. The Interdenominational Theological Center, and author of Church on the Edge of Somewhere: Ministry, Marginality, and the Future
“Pathway to Renewal carefully distinguishes three phases of the wilderness journey: building the readiness of leaders to lead, developing a vision, and aligning the congregation's life with the vision it has discerned. In their descriptions of these phases, the authors integrate wisdom from many sources into a coherent stream of guidance.” —Alice Mann, Senior Consultant, Alban Institute
Daniel P. Smith, a United Methodist minister, has served as a pastor, a district superintendent, a judicatory executive, and currently as a coach and consultant.
Mary K. Sellon (Huycke) is a United Methodist minister who has pastored in new church start and redevelopment settings as well as worked with leader development regionally and nationally. She is a workshop leader and coach who helps clergy and congregational teams find effectiveness and fulfullment in their work. Together they coauthored Practicing Right Relationship: Skills for Deepening Purpose, Finding Fulfillment, and Increasing Effectiveness in Your Congregation (Alban Institute, 2005).
Alban No. AL371
paper, 184 pages
($13.60 for members)