David R. Brubaker
Congregations cannot exist without finances, priorities, leadership, worship, and decision making, yet these five aspects of congregational life breed the most conflict between church members and clergy. These conflicts unfortunately tend to bring about the most negative consequences: drops in giving, resignation of leaders, and perhaps most pointedly loss of members. The importance of congregations and their effect on our lives is clear, yet what is less clear is what makes conflicts in faith communities inevitable.
InPromise and Peril: Understanding and Managing Change and Conflict in Congregations, David Brubaker brings the tools of organizational theory and research to the task of understanding the deeper dynamics of congregational conflict. With a doctorate in sociology and more than twenty years working with congregational conflicts, Brubaker helps to explore the causes and effects of conflicts on a wide range of congregations.
This book will help congregations avoid the pitfalls of conflict and instead head toward a healthy relationship between and among church staff and members.
“Church conflict hurts. Conflict can be mean-spirited and devastating. But it doesn’t have to be. David Brubaker demonstrates that conflict can be redeemed and even bring positive growth. He gives insight into understanding the nature of conflict, explains how to manage it, and provides strategies for preventing it from becoming destructive. All church leaders should read this book!” —Rick Lemberg, Pastor, Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, Oakhurst, California
“Does change lead to conflict in congregations? David Brubaker uses creative, original research to explore this question, and his answer is surprising: change matters, but not all kinds of change. Which kinds of change matter most? You will have to read Promise and Peril to find out, and those who want to better understand congregational conflict will be glad they did.” —Mark Chaves, Professor of Sociology, Religion, and Divinity, Duke University, and author of Congregations in America
“Change need not cause conflict! This book helps us understand their dynamic relationship in congregations. Through the careful research and compelling examples David Brubaker offers, readers can relate to their own situation without being given a one-solution-fits-all technique. Read this book to discover the importance of decision-making structures and insightful leadership!” —Norma Cook Everist, Professor of Church and Ministry, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa
Alban No. AL382
paper, 169 pages
($14.40 for members)