Augsburg Fortress

Reviving the Congregation: Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Context

Reviving the Congregation: Pastoral Leadership in a Changing Context

Pastoral leadership has always been challenging, but clergy and parish leaders today face unprecedented challenges, many of which simply didn’t exist a generation ago. The questions of ministry and leadership in the church today range broadly across the financial and the managerial, the spiritual and the interpersonal. 
In such a time a wise mentor who can articulate a way forward for others is an immeasurable help. In Reviving the Congregation, Michael W. Foss, bestselling author of Power Surge, steps forward as that mentor. 
Bringing decades of experience in congregational life and leadership and a winsome style to the work, Foss offers a compelling introduction to the new context in which we lead, and the personal and congregational strategies that will offer a way forward. Reviving the Congregation is rooted in Foss’s own experience, but it is open to all through questions for reflection, space for notes and journaling, and an extended bibliography for further reading.

Pastor Michael W. Foss talks about his new book, Reviving the Congregation

"Balancing the paradox of the old and new together"

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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451482881
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489712
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 126
  • Publication Date September 1, 2014


"Michael W. Foss is committed to the ministry of local congregations, convinced that this is the primary expression of the communion of saints. In Reviving the Congregation, he uses illustrations from his own experience in life and ministry to engage and encourage others who are called to lead. At a time when the contexts for ministry are rapidly changing, Pastor Mike Foss provides a welcome voice in the conversation about what it means to be the church, rooted in the gospel, and open to new ways of being faithful together."
—Michael L. Burk,
Southeastern Iowa Synod
"As a Lutheran Pastor who has worked with Pastor Foss, I can attest that his communication about first-century discipleship for the twenty-first century has always been concise, clear, and capturing. This book is one more example of this excellence."
—Paul Borg 
Pastor, ELCA

"Pastor Foss takes the challenges of pastoral leadership in the twenty-first century and addresses them in an honest, down-to-earth, practical way using concrete examples from his own ministry. A quick read with lasting impressions."
—Suzanne Darcy Dillahunt
Bishop, Southern Ohio Synod-ELCA

"Mike Foss is an iconic, courageous pastoral leader who does not just write about how to be a superb pastor—he lives it. In this must-read for any congregational leader, Mike takes us on a journey into his own pastoral heart, inviting us to travel with him through the adventures of a changing church in a new day. Mike is a leader who knows how to train and encourage pastoral hearts. Once again, we are inspired by his insights leading to hope for local congregations."
—Kevin Kanouse
Bishop, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod-ELCA

An important book for pastors and lay leaders alike! In a post-Christendom world, Foss focuses on first-century faith practices to transform lukewarm 'members' into passionate 'disciples.' In the process, he provides a helpful blueprint for the ministry of the local parish in the twenty-first century. In Foss, we meet an enthusiastic follower of Jesus sharing out of his abundant experience. The church will do well to listen." 
—Wolfgang D. Herz-Lane
Bishop, Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA

"The world keeps changing and local parishes must find new ways to provide effective ministry or they will perish. Mike Foss has a genius for providing outstanding insights and suggestions that help transform many congregations (including my own). Get more than one copy of this book and share it generously with other church leaders. It’s a gift that keeps on giving…"
—Robert Driver-Bishop
Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church, ELCA

"What is God calling the church to be and to do? What are the right questions to be asking? Reviving the Congregation is another helpful book written by Mike Foss to encourage and provide practical advice for ordained and lay leaders as they seek to find questions that they should be asking. St. Mark Lutheran Church, where Mike serves as senior pastor, is used to practically illustrate how the suggestions offered are being used effectively. This newest book should prove helpful advice for pastors as they struggle with a changing world and their calling to serve in bold new ways."
—Leonard H. Bolick
Bishop, North Carolina Synod, ELCA

"I can't imagine any pastor or church that wouldn’t benefit abundantly from reading Mike Foss’s Reviving the Congregation. Instead of the prevailing checklist approach, only Foss's recipe-book approach can renew the weary spirits of our churches."
—Leonard Sweet
Drew University and George Fox University



Pastor Michael W. Foss talks about his new book, Reviving the Congregation

"Balancing the paradox of the old and new together"

"Casting a vision for your ministry in the 21st century"

"How to dialogue with skepticism and resistance in 21st century ministry"

"Establishing core values for your church"

"What are you willing to go out of business for?"


1. A Collision of Perspectives
2. The Pastor’s Soul
3. The Church’s Environment
4. The People’s Ministry
5. The Three Keys
6. The Value of Persistence