Dr. Warren Langer, Jr.
LEADING CONGREGATIONAL CHANGE
A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey
Jim Herrington, Mike Bonem and James H. Furr
This book should be required in every local church pastor’s study. It is the harvest of working with over 500 Baptist churches in the Houston, Texas metropolitan area. It’s not a book of theories developed in the safety of the academic world or the privacy of an office. The information shared is from 10 years of transformational change in a large variety of local churches of all sizes and ethnic makeup.
Unlike many books and articles that challenge pastors and local churches to change without being honest about the price to be paid, the authors of this book hide nothing. They teach not only from their successes but also from their failures. It is an honest portrayal of transformational struggle including the fights and conflicts as well as the victories.
The authors write in a very easy to read style. Their step by step process lays out the master plan for transformation in a very clear and precise way. Throughout the book they remind us we must have patience. Constructive transformation requires a lengthy process of discerning God’s will, building an initial team, and getting those in the stands to join.
The book is a great resource of scriptural references and bibliography of other books, studies, and literature on the subject. I would definitely use this book to develop a master plan for transformation. The authors remind us that one does not start building a large building with a hammer and nails. It first takes a lot of planning, coordination preparation and the development of blueprints. The same is true with transformation of a church. Too many are ready to jump in before doing the required preparation and the results are disastrous.
The authors’ references to the business community make this book one that laity would easily identify with and could sink their teeth into. The honesty of the book would prepare the lay leadership for what they will encounter on the journey.
The authors divide the work into three phases: preparation, implementation, and follow-up. Before transformation begins the seeds of spiritual and relational vitality must be planted. The authors begin with the pastor and small group. They share many important insights on how to share the vision with the entire faith community. They remind us that the process is never ending and on-going.