Augsburg Fortress

Cultural Architecture: A Path to Creating Vitalized Congregations

Cultural Architecture: A Path to Creating Vitalized Congregations

Cultural Architecture: A Path to Creating Vitalized Congregations, by Douglas A. Hill, shifts the conversation about congregational vitality squarely onto cultural development. Hill makes the case that Jesus's concern was for generating a human culture that produces life for all and that the church is to serve as the foundation for such a culture. Hill utilizes insights from the fields of Bible/theology, ecclesiology, organizational intelligence, anthropology, and psychology. His integration of theory and examples for practical application guide congregational leaders in becoming culturally aware as they engage in strategic congregational development. Hill casts a vision that he calls "anchor church" in which vitalized congregations apply his system of cultural architecture while accompanying struggling congregations on a path toward redevelopment. He also provides vision for how denominations and judicatories can support congregations in their quest for vitality.

Cultural Architecture: A Path to Creating Vitalized Congregations serves to assist pastors and leaders as they guide their congregations through the painstaking and intensive process of redevelopment. It provides hands-on tools to guide congregational leaders in creating vision, core values, and strategic plans. It is a valuable resource to professors of practical theology and internship supervisors as they instruct students in organizational development. Judicatory leaders can utilize this book for training their pastors and leaders in cultural awareness as it relates to congregational development. Although Hill's approach is grounded in his experiences within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, his systems for cultural architecture can be applied to congregations of any denomination.


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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506466972
  • eBook ISBN 9781506466989
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 222
  • Publication Date January 26, 2021


"This book is chock-full of solid practical and spiritual advice. Church renewal, leadership development, conflict management and resolution, discipleship practices, strategic planning, multi-siting--these are just some of the ways Hill serves readers of his book. Hill's writing gives us all hope that congregational revitalization is achievable."

Reggie McNeal, city coach at GoodCities, church leadership consultant, author of Missional Renaissance and Kingdom Come

"Written with hard won wisdom and humility, this book offers excellent practical guidance for the development of anchor churches and partner congregations, for leadership development that fosters revitalization, and for creating the kind of ministry teams that can work with the pastor to generate lively and fruitful ministry in any size church."

Elaine A. Heath, retired dean, Duke University, author, speaker, consult, and president of Neighborhood Seminary

"Undergirded with a no-nonsense ache for renewal of God's mission in the world and a love for the church, this book promises to bring about hope and a renewal of call for pastors and congregational leaders alike."

Rick Barger, leadership coach and consultant, retired pastor and seminary president, and author of A New and Right Spirit: Creating an Authentic Church in a Consumer Culture

"At last, a seasoned, battle-tested pastor with a heart for vitalized congregations has brought his insights and passion to bear on the most critical issue facing faith communities today: how to shift organizational culture. Hill provides walk-the-talk honesty in this comprehensive, practical, and confidence-inspiring guide to developing a church culture that can nourish abundance while holding in check the toxins that are debilitating so many churches. Take up and read."

J. Russell Crabtree, author and founder of Holy Cow Consulting