Leading Beyond the Walls by Adam Hamilton
Developing Congregations with a Heart for the Unchurched

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Synopsis

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, Hamilton learned 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 in mainline 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 mission.

 

About Adam Hamilton

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Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country.The Church Report named Hamilton's congregation the most influential mainline church in America, and PBS s Religion and Ethics Newsweekly identified him as one of the top Ten People to Watch. Hamilton is the best-selling and award-winningauthor of Why? Making Sense of God's Will, 24 Hours that Changed the World, Enough, When Christians Get It Wrong, Confronting the Controversies, Making Love Last a Lifetime, Unleashing the Word, Leading Beyond the Walls, Selling Swimsuits in the Arctic, Christianity and World Religions, Christianity's Family Tree and Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, all published by Abingdon Press. Lyle E. Schaller is the most widely read and respected writer on congregational life today. He is the author of dozens of books on congregational life and vitality. He live in Naperville, Illinois.
 
Published August 1, 2008 by Abingdon Press. 220 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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