There is a great deal of interest in churches across the UK, US and Europe about applying ideas from the world of leadership and management to Christian ministry. There are those who wish to apply (sometimes quite uncritically) mechanistic approaches which they hope will enable churches to be run in a more 'business-like' manner. There are also those who argue that insights from organizational studies have no place whatsoever in churches.
This innovative and original book builds on qualitative thinking about organizational narrative and argues that it can provide significant insights into how churches function, which is much more in keeping with their ethos and history. As well as analysing how stories and storytelling work in churches it also provides practical ideas for how they can be used to improve church leadership. Taking the work of organizational thinkers and researchers and bringing it into conversation with biblical scholars, theologians, and church historians, the authors establish a conversation across these disciplines and explore how story and narrative work through and within churches.
Table of Contents:
1. What Is Leadership?
2. Leading the Stories and Storying the Leading
3. Stories and Identities: Story, Character and Becoming
4. Living in Multiple Stories
5. Who Owns the Story?
6. Church Narratives: Interpretive Stories
7. Church Narratives: Identity Stories
8. Church Narratives: Improvised Stories
9. Curating Congregational Stories in a Tick Box Church?
Conclusion: Ten Ideas for Leading By Story in Churches