Avery, Revitalizing Congregations


William O. Avery, Revitalizing Congregations: Refocusing and Healing through Pastoral Transitions. Alban Institute, 2002.

Referenced in: Ministry Transitions and Interim Ministry Summary

This is not a how-to manual, but a detailed retelling of the story of six congregations of different geographies, sizes and ethnicities working through very conflict-ridden pastoral transitions. Avery, a seminary professor, elevates the role of intentional interim ministry to help congregations capitalize on the growth opportunities afforded by transitions.

From the Publisher

Are congregations inevitably stuck during a change of pastoral leadership? Or are there ways they can take advantage of this interim to grow and set new directions? Researcher and seminary professor William Avery tells us the stories of six congregations (from different denominations, regions of the country, settings, sizes, and ethnic and racial makeup) that attempted to revitalize their mission during this critical time of change and transition.

As Loren Mead explains in the foreword, however, Avery does not tell congregational leaders “the way” to transformation through an interim. Rather, he offers detailed snapshots of congregations and their leaders trying to work their way through this potentially difficult time. He also shows how a trained interim pastor can make a difference in the ensuing effectiveness of the congregation. “These are stories about how faithful congregations have attempted to build toward and discover a leadership model that works for them,” Mead says, “These are stories from which your congregation can learn much.” Foreword by Loren B. Mead.

About the Author

William O. Avery is both Professor of Field Education and the Larson Professor of Stewardship and Parish Ministry at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He is also Executive Director of the Stewardship of Life Institute. Among his three previous books are Cooperating Congregations and Revitalizing Congregations.

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