If This Is the Way the World Works (Paperback)

Science, Congregations, and Leadership

By William O. Avery, Beth Ann Gaede

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 9781566993555, 173pp.

Publication Date: November 19, 2007

List Price: 25.00*
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In If This Is the Way the World Works William O. Avery and Beth Ann Gaede ask two primary questions: First, what principles from science are so broadly accepted that scientists themselves are willing to say, "This is the way the world works"? Second, how do congregations and their leaders behave when they operate in concert with these seemingly universal principles? Avery and Gaede explore five principles form the philosophy of science that suggest an alternative way to view congregational mission and leadership: openness to new information, complexity, diversity, interrelatedness, and process. Their premise is that when faith communities align themselves with the way the world--God's world--works, they more faithfully carry out their vocations as witnesses to God's reconciling work and as servants to one another. By following these basic scientific principles, Avery and Gaede argue, we arrive at a different view of leadership in the church. If this is truly the way the world works, leaders will find strength through relationships, hope in diversity, and above all trust in the love of God.

About the Author

William O. Avery is both Professor of Field Education and the Larson Professor of Stewardship and Parish Ministry at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He is also Executive Director of the Stewardship of Life Institute. Among his three previous books are Cooperating Congregations and Revitalizing Congregations. Beth Ann Gaede is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and an editorial consultant to the Alban Institute. Alban publications she has edited include Ending with Hope: A resource for Closing Congregations and When a Congregation Is Betrayed: Responding to Clergy Misconduct.