Declaring himself an unabashed optimist, Lyle E. Schaller looks back atfour decades of observing religious life in North America and concludes that thechurch has far more reason for hope than for worry as it charts its course into thenext forty years. Acknowledging that the roles of parish pastors and leaders havebecome increasingly complex, he also points out that these leaders can be far betterequipped to contribute to congregational vitality and growth than were theirpredecessors a generation ago.
Schaller draws on his own work, as well as that of others, to point to crucial lessons learned in evangelism, multiculturalism, stewardship, worship, communication, and other areas. He concludesthat, armed with these tools, the lay and clergy leaders of congregations can bemore faithful and more effective in leading their churches in the path God haschosen.
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