By Lyle E. Schaller
Written for either lay and ordained congregational leaders, this well timed publication diagnoses the factors of church passivity, and formulates a style for combatting the matter. Dr. Schaller classifies church buildings in line with their inner dynamics (rather than denomination or geographical location), and demonstrates what number have triumph over the "twenty-year syndrome" - that awkward time while fairly new church buildings are inclined to lose their experience of path. He additionally indicates how church buildings could make a gentle transition from one pastor to a different, and the way new participants can be utilized in developing a good church application.
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Additional resources for Activating the Passive Church: Diagnosis and Treatment
Some have moved away, but a large core remains to reminisce about the good old days when there were 200, 300 or 400 children in the Sunday school. The Sunday school church of yesterday has become the adult church of today. While there continues to be a very strong desire to attract young families, the homogeneous unit principle means that most of the new adult members are drawn from the same generation as the old-timers. What once was a strong family-oriented church has reluctantly become an adult congregation.
If and when that new role is defined, what is now a mature congregation will be able to formulate future-oriented operational goals for the fulfillment of that new role, and the congregation will be able to grow both spiritually and numerically. If a new role is not delineated, that church probably will begin to drift in an aimless manner and either decline in size or remain on a plateau. The End of a Long Pastorate "For twenty-eight years Dr. Harrison was the pastor here, and he was a very strong, forceful, and persuasive leader," explained a long-time member of Trinity Church.
Each one needs to concentrate on redefining its role. These four examples also illustrate another fundamental concept in planning and goal-setting. The definition of role takes precedence over goals! In one of the most influential books to be published in the past quarter century, William Glasser made three statements that have a remarkable degree of relevance to the leaders of this type of congregation. I found that people needed involvement as a prerequisite to change . . involvement (is) also a prerequisite to a successful role or identity .
Activating the Passive Church: Diagnosis and Treatment by Lyle E. Schaller