Faith Communities and Learning Organizations LO21901

Dennis Campbell (
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 18:58:47 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO21827 --

I just finished a doctoral dissertation applying learning organization
theory to congregational development, so I couldn't help but respond to
this. With the decline of most mainline Christian denominations the
reality that a congregation, or a denomination, has got to become a
flexible, fluid, lean, learning organization is clearly apparent. We used
to talk about redeveloping congregations as if it should happen every ten
years or so and then we could sit back and relax. Congregations that are
thriving on the edge of the millineum are those that are willing to
transform from year to year, month to month, day to day. I'm sure this is
probably true for other organizations as well. One of the things that has
interested me in learning organizations is that in many ways the
organizations that are truely striving toward learning are often
exhibiting values that are more consistent with Christianity that the
institutional Church is. Anyone interested in kicking this topic around
would be welcome to email me directly. In response to the books that were

The Innovative Church : Seven Steps to Positive Change in Your
Congregation (Merton P. Strommen)
Very good and based on some good research by an place called Search Institute.

* Healthy Congregations : A Systems Approach (Peter L. Steinke)
Steinke does a good job with this book. He springboarded off of Ed
Friedman's earlier work in applying family systems theory to congregations.
It does not utilize systems dynamics or the wealth of tools and materials
from systems thinking.

* The Spectacle of Worship in a Wired World : Electronic Culture and the
Gathered People of God (Tex Sample )
Tex is a wonderful writer, theologian, and speaker. I've read all of his
other stuff and have this ordered. He rarely dissappoints me and his work
might speak beyond faith communities to other organizations.

* Ten Strategies for Preaching in a Multimedia Culture (Thomas H. Troeger)
thomas troeger is the only person I know in the field of homiletics
(preaching) that addresses the imagination.

Some other books I'd recommend are:

Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burger, by Bill Easum
Dancing with Dinasaurs, bill easum
Quantum Spirituality, by Len Sweet
Soultsunami, by Len Sweet

Dennis Campbell
Director of Congregational Development
The School of Theology
Programs Center
The University of the South
Sewanee, TN 37375


Dennis Campbell <>

[Host's Note: In association with, these links...

Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers : Ministry Anytime, Anywhere by Anyone by William M. Easum

Dancing With Dinosaurs : Ministry in a Hostile and Hurting World by William M. Easum

Quantum Spirituality : A Postmodern Apologetic by Leonard I. Sweet

SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture by Leonard Ira Sweet


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