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Robert D. Dale believes the skills that will prepare one for meaningful ministry in the twenty-first century are skills of adaptation and life-long learning. Those whom God calls to lead the church in this new day will prepare themselves now for the habits of acquiring new skills and adapting their methods in ministry to new technologies and social structures. Leadership for a Changing Church can serve as a guide for all those who want to know how to effectively and faithfully proclaim the gospel and serve God's people in this time of accelerated transition and change.
Drawing on a metaphor from Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi, Robert Dale claims that religious leaders must know, as never before, the "shape of the river" of religious and social change. Change, he argues, is the primary context in which Christian ministry now takes place. Pastors and other congregational leaders must embody the timeless values of the Christian message, yet do so in ways that are constantly flexible and open to revision. Fundamental to religious leaders in this new era will be adaptability rooted in character. Leadership for a Changing Church will enable readers to look ahead in anticipation, as they welcome the new challenges presented by ministry in an ever-evolving era.
Robert Dale, formerly a teacher at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is Director of the Center for Creative Church Leadership Development, Virginia Baptist General Board, Richmond, Virginia. He has written fourteen books, including Pastoral Leadership and Leading Edge, plus more than two hundred articles.