Good pastoral leadership is not a "by the numbers" proposition.
It is a matter of heart and soul, of devoting the whole self to the
vision God gives for the congregation in which one serves. Yet
neither is it purely intuitive; it requires hard, careful thinking
about the directions and details of the path down which God calls.
When Adam Hamilton became pastor of the United Methodist Church of
the Resurrection, its membership consisted of himself and his
family. Ten years later the church averages between five and six
thousand worshipers per weekend. Throughout this remarkable period,
Hamiltonlearned many serious lessons about both the broad visions
and the specific details of pastoral leadership.
Bringing a depth of analytical skills often lacking in visionary
leaders, in this book he goes beyond simply telling the story of
Church of the Resurrection. He shares the questions that he learned
to ask about the largely unchurched population to which Church of
the Resurrection has reached out. Further, he demonstrates what he
learned by listening to the answers to these questions, and how
doing so has made possible a number of strategically crucial
decisions the church has made. One of those crucial decisions was
to make more traditional forms of worship and praise the center of
the congregation's life. The result is that the example of Church
of the Resurrection offers pastors and church leaders (especially
those inmainline denominations) the realization that they need not
completely change their liturgical and theological identity in
order to reach out to the unchurched.
Drawing on his own experience, as well as the detailed research
on the characteristics of highly successful congregations he
undertook during a sabbatical leave, Hamilton offers pastors and
other church leaders solid, substantive thinking on steps that
congregations can take to become centers of vibrant outreach and
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