Augsburg Fortress

Spiritual Maturity: Preserving Congregational Health and Balance

Spiritual Maturity: Preserving Congregational Health and Balance

Like all human bodies, the body of Christ that we call "church" needs to attend to its health or it may become ill. Renowned pastor, preacher, and teacher Frank Thomas believes that many congregations exhibit a number of dysfunctional habits in conducting business that lead to rifts, divides, and even congregational splits. Often they are caused by leadership styles that are ineffective and controlling. Thomas examines how poor congregational leadership is often the result of personality conflicts among leaders and how many key leaders—both clergy and lay— participate in keeping unhealthy methods alive.

Thomas's book will help lay and clergy leaders improve the health of their congregation by taking a close look at the styles of church leadership, methods of information flow, and levels of participation that exist within the body. Thomas offers a holistic solution based on a model of spiritual maturity for creating and preserving a healthy congregation.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800630867
  • eBook ISBN 9781451408003
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 112
  • Publication Date April 22, 2002


"We welcome Frank Thomas' fresh, workable, and expertly detailed approach to victorious Christian living and leadership. This is more than mere slogans about spiritual growth and fulfillment. This book offers a delightfully realistic prescription for the habitual attitudes and actions so commonly known to rob pastors, and laity of the power and joy of service together."
— Drs. Ella P. and Henry H. Mitchell
Authors of Together for Good: Lessons from Fifty-five Years of Marriage (1999)

Table of Contents

  1. Preface

    Module 1
    The Call to the Victorian Christian Life
    Lesson 1: The Call to the VCL
    Lesson 2: The Few, the Proud, the Victorious
    Lesson 3: Overcoming the Fear of Freedom

    Module 2
    The Mature Self
    Lesson 1: The Sin of Playing Victim
    Lesson 2: The Sin of Playing Savior
    Lesson 3: The Dance of Immaturity
    Lesson 4: Walk into the Storm

    Module 3
    The Mature Church Member
    Lesson 1: The Privilege of Participation
    Lesson 2: Love and the Privilege of Participation
    Lesson 3: Abuse by Secrets
    Lesson 4: Abuse by Scapegoating
    Lesson 5: The Illusion of Participation
    Lesson 6: Separation Anxiety
    Lesson 7: Mobilizing by Initiative

    Module 4:
    The Mature Church Leader
    The Story
    Lesson 1: Prayer as the Vehicle to Clarity
    Lesson 2: Decisiveness Is Faith at Work
    Lesson 3: The Courage to Lead
    The Mature Leader