Publisher: United Methodist Publishing House | Date published: 03/29/2002
Declaring himself an unabashed optimist, Lyle E. Schaller looks back at four decades of observing religious life in North America and concludes that the church has far more reason for hope than for worry as it charts its course into the next forty years.
Acknowledging that the roles of parish pastors and leaders have become increasingly complex, he also points out that these leaders can be far better equipped to contribute to congregational vitality and growth than were their predecessors 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 concludes that, armed with these tools, the lay and clergy leaders of congregations can be more faithful and more effective in leading their churches in the path God has chosen.