Transitions: Leading Churches through Change
(Westminster, 2011) Edited by David N. Mosser
The Facts: The book is divided into four parts. Part 1 (The Clergy in Chaos) addresses transitions in the pastor's life, including passing the torch to your replacement, preaching in a new setting, exegeting a new congregation, and introducing a female pastor. Part 2 (The Congregants in Adaptation) focuses on walking parishioners through transitions, including aging and marriage and divorce, as well as on preaching in transition periods. Part 3 (The Congregation in Crisis) discusses the pastor's role in leading the congregation through crises. Part 4 (The Community in Transition) is a more theoretical look at the value and process of corporate transitions.
The slant: This is a thoughtful collection of relatively short essays. With the way it's organized, you can read the essays that appeal to you and leave the others for later. The contributors hail from multiple denominations and backgrounds, though most are scholars with ministry experience in local churches. About a third of the contributors are women. It ranges widely-from systems analysis to emotional care to pastoral wisdom to exegetical and homiletical advice. -Brandon O'Brien
Give Them Christ: Preaching His Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension and return
(IVP, 2012) By Stephen Seamands
The Facts: The subtitle tips you off to the book's contents. Seamands opens with a chapter on the state of the American church. American Christians, Seamands suspects, have as anemic a view of Jesus as our non-Christian neighbors. And pastors regularly domesticate the radical person and message of Jesus. The author wants us to recover the Reformation value of "Christ alone" in our ...