By Lyle E. Schaller
Written for either lay and ordained congregational leaders, this well timed booklet diagnoses the factors of church passivity, and formulates a style for combatting the matter. Dr. Schaller classifies church buildings in accordance with their inner dynamics (rather than denomination or geographical location), and demonstrates what number have conquer the "twenty-year syndrome" - that awkward time whilst fairly new church buildings are likely to lose their feel of path. He additionally exhibits how church buildings could make a soft transition from one pastor to a different, and the way new participants can be utilized in developing a good church software.
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Extra info for Activating the Passive Church: Diagnosis and Treatment
9. One of the most complex sources of passivity in a congregation can be traced back to a decline in the numerical size of the church. There are at least four common dimensions to this condition. First, the declining church usually is receiving and assimilating a comparatively small number of new members. Since new members often constitute the major source of new ideas, enthusiasm, a strong and optimistic view of the future, creative and productive workers for new ventures, and support for the current minister, lack of a flood of new members often creaks a favorable climate for passivity.
There is a very low level of concern for saying thank you to lay volunteer workers, especially those with responsibilities of limited visibility. (5) 15. The minister now sees his or her career as almost completely in the past rather than in the future. (8) 16. " (10) 17. The leaders are unusually critical about what is or is not happening. (7) 18. One aggressive, domineering, and intimidating lay leader is allowed to exert a disproportionately large amount of power within the congregation. (8) 19.
The Twenty-Year Syndrome "This congregation began back in 1956 and my wife and I joined two years later," commented a layman from Bethany Church as he attempted to describe the present state of affairs in that 650-member congregation. "We met in a school for nearly three years and then moved into our first unit. About 1966 we completed the sanctuary and moved out of the fellowship hall where we had worshiped for seven years. I believe the enthusiasm was at its height during the 1960s. In 1969 we added an eight-room church school and office wing, and we finally got our last mortgage paid off in 1977.