Partisan religious interests have highjacked faith in America for political power, in the process dividing our nation and giving religion a bad name. Faith groups who want to build unity, in contrast, feel powerless to attain their goals. Congregations who can adapt to a more democratic approach to ministry, in which power is shared by both staff and congregants, can dramatically strengthen their congregations and serve their neighbors more effectively. Shared power strengthens individuals, congregations, and community efforts, enabling us to work with others, build community, and recognize and overcome negative power dynamics so that people can work together to build healthier congregations and communities. It also burnishes religion's tarnished image by demonstrating faithful, cooperative, and positive civic engagement for the community's good.
This book also addresses the inevitable power dynamics in any congregation, allowing leaders to recognize unhealthy dynamics, foster healthy ones, and discover and cultivate the hidden power in each parishioner, so that individually they can live more fully into God's intention for them, and together the congregation can become the outpost of God's reign that it is meant to be.