Building Effective Ministry: Theory and Practice in the Local Church

Dudley, Carl S., ed. Building Effective Ministry: Theory and Practice in the Local Church. New York: Harper & Row, 1983.

Building Effective Ministry approached congregational studies from a variety of disciplines in order to emphasize both the local church’s value in its larger community, and the internal congregation resources overlooked. The project contained four parts: first, it opened with a detailed description of the “Wiltshire” church—a factual retelling of an actual congregation with names and locations changed to preserve anonymity. Second, contributors analyzed the congregation’s problems through the lenses of recognized theoretical disciplines (psychology, anthropology, sociology, literary symbol, and theology. Third, church-related consultants, who are likely already members of congregations, offered further analyses. Finally, contributors suggested three means of assimilating the approaches: 1) through the practice of ministry; 2) through the practical theology; and 3) through the potential external assistance of congregational studies.(MG)