Energizing the Congregation: Images That Shape Your Church’s Ministry

Dudley, Carl S. and Sally A. Johnson. Energizing the Congregation: Images That Shape Your Church’s Ministry. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993.

Energizing the Congregation, by Carl Dudley and Sally Johnson, presents five congregational self-images, drawn from findings in the Church and Community Project, which describe the way local churches are, predict the content and style of their programs, and inspire ministry commitments. The authors’ ten-year study of more than 100 Midwestern congregations representing 18 denominations serves as the basis for the book’s content. The images identified are: (1) the Pillar Church; (2) the Pilgrim Church; (3) the Survivor church; (4) the Prophet Church; and (5) the Servant church. Five particular congregational case studies illustrate the meaning of these images for congregational ministry. The authors contend that these images reflect biblical, historical and contemporary metaphors and experiences, and that they live in the stories and memories of the congregation’s members. The book closes with suggestions on how leaders can help congregations identify and claim their own self-images, and how these images affect the various areas of congregational ministry.