Sustaining While Disrupting: The Challenge of Congregational Innovation

Product Details
$21.99  $20.45
Fortress Press
Publish Date
5.51 X 8.43 X 0.55 inches | 0.52 pounds

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About the Author
Lovett H. Weems Jr. is distinguished professor of church leadership and director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at WesleyTheological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He came to this position in 2003 after 18 years as president of Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri. A native of Mississippi, Dr. Weems is a graduate of Millsaps College; Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University; and Wesley Theological Seminary. The author of several books published by Abingdon Press, his most recent includes Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results (with Tom Berlin) and a revised edition of his classic, Church Leadership: Vision, Team, Culture, and Integrity. He co-edits the online newsletter Leading Ideas, available free at
Jessica L. Anschutz serves as the assistant director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. She is passionate about working with and empowering church leaders to do the challenging, yet rewarding and faithful work of healing fractured communities.Andreá Cummings serves as the lead pastor of Zion United Methodist Church in Lexington Park, Maryland. She is passionate about helping churches experience and participate in God's transformational grace that leads to healing in their communities.Laura Heikes serves the Lead Pastor at McAllen FUMC. She is passionate about helping people of faith realize that ministry doesn't only happen inside their building and teaching them the joy of ministry beyond those walls.Tyler Jackson serves as the lead pastor at McEver Road United Methodist Church. His passion for healing sacred communities comes from the desire to see the fullness of the Kingdom of God unfold here and now.Joel P. Kidwell serves as the lead pastor of First United Methodist Church of Rolla, Missouri. His passion for healing fractured communities arises from God's own yearning for restoration of individuals and communities so that they become integrated witnesses-to and agents-of the emergence of God's realm in our hurting world.F. Douglas Powe, Jr., serves as the director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership and the James C. Logan Professor of Evangelism (in an E. Stanley Jones chair). He is passionate about using his gifts to help communities experience a third way forward instead of polarizing extremes.Iraida Ruiz de Porras serves as a pastor in The United Methodist Church. She believes nothing heals, restores, renews, and liberates mind, body, and soul than being seen and being heard.

"Aptly titled, this book provides a realistic perspective on the challenges of, to use a metaphor, changing the tires on your car while you are driving on the freeway. Powe and Weems provide a handy, thoughtful, practical, and inspirational book focused on leading churches through today's disruptive environment, rather than playing it safe by continuing a steady decline into obsolescence. The wisdom they provide extends to any for-purpose organization." --Barry Z. Posner, Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership; chair, department of management and entrepreneurship, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University; and coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership

"Sustaining While Disrupting achieves the rare feat of being timely and timeless. The practical tips will be a welcomed by those who love the church but see it struggling to be fruitful today. At the same time, the insights on these pages have the potential to reverberate for generations of church leaders to come. Powe and Weems have offered us a precious gift. May we sit in the tensions of its truth and be compelled toward vibrancy at the nexus point of sustaining while disrupting!" --Heber Brown III, executive director, The Black Church Food Security Network

"If I could choose one book to give congregational presidents and pastors this year, it would be the one you hold in your hands. Nothing is more important (and more challenging) than leading communities in the practices of sustaining and innovating, both essential to Christian faithfulness. In these readable pages, Powe and Weems provide the biblical grounding, contextual urgency, and practical wisdom for sustaining beloved communities while also disrupting them with faithful innovation." --Ann Svennungsen, bishop, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"Sustaining While Disrupting is precisely the correct title for this outstanding book. Church leaders know we live in an era of convergence and divergence. This moment is not new for the church. But many books about congregations lean on demographics or business models. Maintaining while innovating is soul work in all realms of life, however, including congregational life. Refreshingly, Powe and Weems use theological reflection as the foundation for a transformative design, shaping their propositions based on the struggles of the council in Jerusalem as represented in Acts. They also offer tools and skills as gifts for the long haul, not a quick fix. Read, discern, act, and celebrate the wide-open future of the church." --Tim Shapiro, president, Center for Congregations

"I found myself taking notes in every chapter as I read Sustaining While Disrupting. In a disorienting, pandemic-impacted time, Weems and Powe offer in this timely book clear insights, practical strategies, and abundant wisdom for church leaders on how to take faithful next steps in ministry and leadership." --Tom Berlin, lead pastor, Floris United Methodist Church, and author of Courage: Jesus and the Call to Brave Faith