Your Church in RhythmThe Forgotten Dimensions of Seasons and Cycles
Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series, Band 52 1. Aufl.
A gentle new way for church leader’s to survive stress and burnout Bruce Miller debunks the idea of balance—basically trying to have it all, all the time. Most churches and their pastors try to do everything at once and feel guilty if any one aspect (worship, ministries, outreach, etc.) is neglected. He replaces the exhausting concept of balance with the idea of rhythm: churches, like people, need to give attention to different programs and ministries at different times, basically by attending to their seasons and cycles. Offers an innovative new model for church leaders Miller has been influential in the formation and promotion of “Church-Based Training” as in international movement Offers a proven method for avoiding burnout for church leaders and members by doing the right things at the right time The author offers much-need help to overwhelmed leaders and shows them how to apply Miller’s seasonal/cyclical approach to church life.
About the Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series ix Foreword by Will Mancini xi Preface xiii Acknowledgments xv Introduction Time: Th e Forgotten Dimension xvii PART ONE Identifying What Time It Is in Your Church 1 1 Why Do Church in Rhythm? 3 2 Kairos and Chronos Rhythms 17 3 Discerning Your Organizational Stage 27 4 Recognizing Your Ministry Seasons 45 PART TWO Kairos Rhythm Strategies 57 5 Release Expectations 59 6 Seize Opportunities 73 7 Anticipate What's Next 91 PART THREE Chronos Rhythm Strategies 107 8 Pace Your Church 109 9 Build Mission-Enhancing Rituals 123 10 Oscillate Intensity and Renewal 139 Conclusion Rhythm Solution Process for Your Church 155 Discussion Questions 165 Rhythm Overview 169 Notes 171 References 177 The Author 181 Index 183
Bruce B. Miller is the founding and senior pastor of Christ Fellowship, formerly named McKinney Fellowship Bible Church, near Dallas, Texas. He also founded the Center for Church Based Training (CCBT) where he served for eleven years as the chairman of the board of directors. He speaks at conferences and seminars in the United States and other countries, including Mexico, China, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Leadership Network, a division of OneHundredX, seeks to accelerate the impact of 100X leaders. Since 1996, Leadership Network Publications has presented thoroughly researched and practical concepts from leading thinkers, practitioners, and pioneering churches. www.leadnet.org
I n this groundbreaking book, Bruce B. Miller introduces the concept of rhythm as a powerful approach to church life. Every ministry flows in rhythms in the stages of a church's life cycle and in regular cycles annually, monthly, weekly, but how can leaders maximize the God-given rhythms of life? Miller challenges the idea of a balanced church—trying to have it all, all the time. Typically church leaders try to have every ministry moving full speed ahead at every point in time and inevitably feel guilty if any one aspect (worship, ministries, or outreach) is neglected. In place of the elusive search for balance, Miller proposes rhythm: flowing in seasons and cycles. Churches, like people, need to give priority to different purposes and ministries at different times. A healthy church will find ways to harmonize with created and providential rhythms. Churches, as all organisms and organiza-tions, develop through stages, experience seasons, and live in the cycles of creation (days and years). Your Church in Rhythm unfolds six rhythm strategies built on the concepts of chronos and kairos. Chronos is measured time, such as on a watch or a calendar. Kairos is experienced as the right or opportune time, and is measured in stages and seasons. Kairos rhythm strategies enable church leaders to release expectations that don't fit a particular time. They empower churches to seize opportunities unique to this stage of their church's life and to anticipate what's next, creating hope. Chronos rhythm strategies empower leaders to pace their church well in life's cycles, to establish life-giving habits and value-building traditions, and to oscillate intensity and renewal in each cycle. Leading a church in rhythm with the seasons and cycles of life will increase impact, reduce stress, and multiply joy for the leadership and the congregation.
Praise for Your Church in Rhythm "One of the hardest places to find God's rhythm for life is in the church. It shouldn't be that way, but it is?Bruce Miller has some ideas that can make the difference. For all those of you who have grown weary in well-doing, you can't afford not to read this important work." —Randy Frazee, senior minister, Oak Hills Church, San Antonio, Texas, and author, Making Room for Life "How do you view a church as a living, dynamic organism? How do you discern and diagnose where it is in the 'life cycle' and how to treat it accordingly? Your Church in Rhythm is a look at how to see the church in a new way and wrestle with what to do given where it is." —Darrell Bock, research professor, New Testament, and professor of spiritual development and culture, Dallas Theological Seminary "Your Church In Rhythm is a fresh approach to managing the competing demands on your church's resources. It's a must read for all church leaders." —Steve Stroope, senior pastor, Lakepointe Church "Bruce Miller is a skilled practitioner who gives us a new way of talking about our challenges as church leaders. Seeing our churches through the lenses of various rhythms helps us to clarify issues and see our way forward with greater intentionality and effectiveness. Your Church in Rhythm provides a synthesis of brilliant insights into the life cycles of organizations." —Reggie McNeal, missional leadership specialist, Leadership Network, and author, The Present Future and Missional Renaissance "Most pastors and church leaders stay up late many nights worrying about things they can't control. This book will let them sleep easier and lead their churches with a clear understanding of the natural ebb and flow of church attendance, staff motivation, and leadership maturity." —Brad Smith, president, Bakke Graduate University
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