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This case study raises a critical question: How does a pastor help his or her congregation through an identity crisis without blowing apart the church?
Harderwyk Church in Holland, Michigan, had to rediscover its identity when two styles of worship began to compete. This case explains why the crisis came to the fore and how Harderwyk and its council and pastor, Wayne Brouwer, tried to resolve it.
Your church's size, polity, or leadership style may be different, but we felt the underlying issues of finding congregational identity were important for any church's health. As you read the case, consider how you would approach a similar dilemma.
—The Editors

Founded by poor, immigrant Dutch farmers in the last half of the nineteenth century, Harderwyk Church never grew beyond neighborhood size during its first fifty years. The three main clans intermingled until nearly everybody was at least a second cousin to every other member of the congregation.

But after World War II, prosperity steamrolled ...

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