Activating the Passive Church: Diagnosis and Treatment by Lyle E. Schaller

By Lyle E. Schaller

Written for either lay and ordained congregational leaders, this well timed e-book diagnoses the reasons of church passivity, and formulates a style for combatting the matter. Dr. Schaller classifies church buildings in line with their inner dynamics (rather than denomination or geographical location), and demonstrates what percentage have conquer the "twenty-year syndrome" - that awkward time while particularly new church buildings are likely to lose their feel of path. He additionally exhibits how church buildings could make a soft transition from one pastor to a different, and the way new individuals can be utilized in constructing a good church software.

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The parent who begins to feel anxious and rejected when the seventeenyear-old son begins to make daily references to how many days remain before high school graduation and the day he is free to leave home, regains some degree of self-esteem after discovering that the parents of other high school seniors also are being subjected to similar countdowns! The congregational leader, who has become convinced this particular congregation is suffering from a unique, and probably fatal case of passivity, may be relieved to discover that the problem is so widespread that it can be identified as a common pattern--and there are at least twenty-seven different varieties of the problem!

What once was a strong family-oriented church has reluctantly become an adult congregation. While very few of the members have thought about this internal inconsistency, most of the day-to-day decisions are made in a manner that reinforces the adult orientation. These include the priorities on the use of the rooms in the building, the Sunday morning schedule, the choice of hymns, the expectations the members place on the pastor, the priorities used in the assignment of lay volunteers, the allocation of financial resources, the age and value system of the minister, the role expected of children on Sunday morning, the organization and schedule of the women's group, the age of the policy makers, and the expectations placed on younger new members by the old-timers.

There is a lack of anything resembling evangelical fervor. 7. Today's congregation is smaller than it was at its peak. (4) 8. " (7) 9. A comparatively large proportion of today's members are relatively inactive. (8) 10. The focus of the program is largely on music, children and youth, therefore most of the adults remain in a relatively passive role. (9) 11. When the leaders discuss priorities in the allocation of resources, there is a widespread tendency to emphasize the conservation of time, energy, money, and physical facilities and to talk in terms of either-or rather than both-and.

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