These resources have grown out of thirty years of consultation with churches of all kinds. I have worked across traditions: Mainline Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic, Easter Orthodox, and Pentecostal. And across cultures: Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian. And internationally: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Western Europe, and elsewhere. And across geographies: urban core, urban, exurban, suburban, small town, rural, and remote. And across church sizes: mega and micro; large, medium, and small churches.
My first book, and foundational to my thinking. The language of corporate addiction helps explain the situation of all church institutions I've encountered. No matter how vital they might be when they start, they soon develop self-destructive habits that leaders and members chronically deny. The recognition of these habits ... and learning how to change these habits ... and discovering what healthy and faithful habits look like ... is the challenge for the church in our time.
This is the groundbreaking book on systemic change that has literally birthed new congregations, rejuevenated tired leaders, and transformed declinging churches. It provides the big picture of thriving church life in the postmodern world.
Part of the "Church Transformation series with Coming Clean and Facing Reality
Moving Off the Map
Like any good "field guide", this is a practical book for Christian leaders in the midst of change. It demonstrates systems analysis, and helps leaders assess the current state of their church. It helps them build trust around shared core values, bedrock beliefs, motivating vision, and strategic mission that are the basic boundaries of congregational life. And it helps them draw a ministry map to guide them into the unknown, marking the topography of opportunity, benchmarks for excellence, contours of culture, and hidden hazards along the way.
Where do we begin? How do we go about change? These are the questions leaders ask in the bewildering world and changing communities that surround them. It may not be possible to make ten-year strategic plans anymore, but it is possible to build confidence and set out in the right direction.
"Tom Bandy is one of today's deepest thinkers and pratitioners in the field of congregational intervention. The world is richer now that he has strted writing for the public." - Bill Easum
Growing Spiritual Redwoods
Bill Easum and I wrote this book to describe the fluid (versus solid) system of the organic church. The metaphor of the Redwood tree helps leaders understand the true nature of vision, and the concept of "DNA" in congregational life as an internal connection between participants that share common values and convictions, all of which are the foundation for high accountability for leaders and members. We explore the cellular nature of true teams as opposed to hierarchies and committees; and how mission emerges "bottom up" for the vital spiritual lives of leaders. It's a jungle out there ... but this book helps leaders find their way to effective ministry.
"Every passage of this book contains spiritual nuggets of truth that can help your church to grow healthy and strong." - Rick Warren
"An epoch-marking - if not epoch-making 0 book. For a church living off of checks that reality won't cash, this book is like an acid-bath accounting from the bank examiners. There is no better audit of the collapse of the Christendom era, and no better audition for hotw to do ministry in the new world, than this one." - Leonard Sweet
"This may be the most sifnificant study book for congregational leaders published in this century". - Lyle Schaller
This book helps leaders build momentum for change, breaking down resistance and building up hope. It explores the nature of a true team and the goal of spiritual maturity, the importance team spirit and “unbalanced” leadership. Leaders understand the seven stages of control that resists change, and the strategies to overcome each one.
“Try to read everything Tom Bandy writes. He is always thought-provoking and helpful. This book is another winner!” – Rick Warren
“This book is a missional, organizational, personal, and social comparison of modern and postmodern life in the community of faith. You will struggle, argue, and fight with Bandy, and you will be stimulated, surprised, and moved to mission. Each chapter is a challenge and an opportunity, an occasion to disagree and to be called into action.” - Tex Sample, Saint Paul School of Theology
“Coaching will be the dominant congregational leadership style of affecting change in the 21st century. If 20-25% of congregational leadership move from a controlling to a coaching motif during the next five to ten years, it could revolutionize the leadership patters in North American congregations.” – George Bullard
95 Questions to Shape the Future of Your Church
Martin defined 95 theses to revolutionize the church. This book offers 95 questions to accomplish the same kind of church transformation. Like the theses, the questions may seem controversial. They force church leaders to look at the church honestly and think out of the box. There are 11 basic sub-systems to a thriving church: context and identity, leadership and organization, hospitality and worship, education and training, mission and outreach, resource development, and communication. Evaluate each system honestly, and then learn how to get positive results for spiritual growth and community impact.
Fragile Hope: Your Church in 2020
The fundamental question for the future of your church is this. With your first breath in the morning, and your last penny at night, will it be God's mission or "Me First"? The choice of God's mission is the fragile hope of the church, because it means the church must prioritize ministry for somebody other than themselves. It starts with a "Quo Vadis Moment", when church leaders suddenly realize where they are really going and decide on a U-turn to go somewhere else; and it finishes with "Quo Vadis Momentum" as church leaders stake everything (the property and the pension plan) on God's mission to bless the world.