Churches don't sit still; they are either planning for the future or wishing for the past. Yet, even when setting about to discern the future into which the Spirit is leading, how does a congregation map its way? How does it understand its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and limitations, gifts and graces? In 44 Questions for Congregational Self-Appraisal, Lyle E. Schaller directs the reader to the crucial questions a church must ask itself if it is to understand its mission and the course it must chart in order to achieve that mission. He helps pastors, congregational leaders, and strategic planning groups understand that the questions we ask and the data we gather tend to set our priorities, and for this reason it is crucial to seek the correct information from the outset. Schaller shows church leaders how not to become trapped by "means to an end" questions (real estate, staffing, money, and schedules) and focus instead on questions related to the congregation's distinctive mission (identity, purpose, role, and God's call) and message.
Lyle E. Schaller is the country's leading interpreter of congregational systems and their vitality. He is the author of dozens of books, including FromGeography to Affinity, also published by Abingdon Press. He lives in Naperville, Illinois.