40 Resources for Changing Your Church

If you and I have ever talked for more than five minutes about the future of “mainline” Protestant churches, then you know that I think the vast majority of them need to experience significant transformation in order to have a future as part of God’s work in the world.

Keep Calm and Change NowBut in most parts of “church world” that I have inhabited the urgency and magnitude of the changes necessary have been downplayed or ignored.

Currently, my wife and I are serving a church where they have decided to wrestle directly with the need for change. We have a congregation that is not ready to “go quietly into the night,” our Session (governing board) has begun a lot of hard work in this area, and over the next 6-18 months we will be seeing some bold ideas turn into reality.

But here is my confession: I was never trained for this. 

In seminary we were taught how to do things in ways that used to serve the church very well, but no one instructed us how to help create the church of the present and future.  So over my twelve years of ministry I have had to educate myself, and have tried to do so in a variety of ways.

I thought it might be of interest to some people to see a collection of the resources I have found helpful.  Some come from the mainline Protestant world, some from business circles, and still others from a more evangelical mega-church context. While I may not embrace all of the theology found in every book I have found that there are things to be learned in unsuspected places.

I plan on updating this list as I come across new resources and would love to hear from others what they have found helpful.