Publisher: United Methodist Publishing House | Date published: 03/04/2002
Thomas Edward Frank points out that the dominant paradigm of many contemporary books about church administration reflects an underlying "theology of progress," a distilling of the gospel into self-worth, a conflation of basilea with market growth.
According to Frank, good fortune and blessing are confused; praise and good feeling are identified. This paradigm of success and progress, however, fails to account adequately for the vision of the believers' presence in the world as ecclesia. "The soul of the congregation," argues Frank, is a way of being and being-in-the-world, and not didactic or productive.
Rather than reach for some newfangled church marketing or growth paradigm that does not feed the soul, Frank urges us to lean on what we already have among us. In so doing, we will rediscover the soul of the congregation of which we are already a part.