Since colonial days, religious work in America has happened through denominations, closely connected congregations with common views and leadership. While many denominational structures are still intact, others are clearly feeling the stresses of social change. This book explores how Protestant churches are now transforming their organizational identities and practices to adapt to twenty-first-century challenges. An original collection of historical introductions, sociological case studies, and theological essays, this book offers a revealing, inside look at today's churches and the specific cultural forces they are now confronting. An interdisciplinary team of scholars examines the national structures of eight diverse Protestant denominations--Assemblies of God, Association of Vineyard Churches, Episcopal Church, Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod, National Baptist Convention, Reformed Church in America, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church--showing how they are moving from modern to postmodern forms of organization, reexamining their identities, and working to shore up their theological commitments for a faithful and effective future.
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