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A Door Set Open
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We resist change less when we associate it with mission and fortify it with hope. So argues longtime congregational consultant Peter Steinke in his fourth book, A Door Set Open, as he explores the relationship between the challenges of change and our own responses to new ideas and experiences. Steinke builds on a seldom-explored principle posited by the late Rabbi Edwin Friedman: the 'hostility of the environment' is proportionate to the 'response of the organism.' The key, Steinke says, is not the number or strength of the stressors in the system--anxiety, poor conditions, deteriorating values--but the response of the individual or organization to 'what is there.' Drawing on Bowen system theory and a theology of hope, as well as his experience working with more than two hundred congregations, Steinke makes the case that the church has entered an era of great opportunity. Theologian and sociologist Ernst Troeltsch said the church had closed down the office of eschatology. Steinke reopens it and draws our attention to God's future, to a vision of hope for the people of God. The door is set open for exploration and new creation.
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About the Author

Peter Steinke is an internationally respected congregational systems consultant who has also served as a parish pastor, an educator, and a therapist for clergy. Drawing on the work of family-systems expert Edwin Friedman, Peter's accessible books have helped countless congregations understand their hidden workings and use that understanding to become healthy and vital.

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These are such rich, ripe times of anxiety and lack of adventure in the church that this book should find a welcomed audience. Making the vital connection between health, hope, and mission, Pete calls each congregation (back) into its neighborhood to see what God may be up to. -- Steven L. Johns-Boehme, Pastoral Coach and consultant, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) A Door Set Open invites the reader to walk into a timely conversation for the church today. This door 'hinges' on three important and current discussions-mission grounded in the Kingdom of God, a future built on hope, and the value of applying family systems principles to faith communities. -- Keith A. Derrick, Director of Journey, Western Theological Seminary Peter Steinke speaks effectively with depth, insight, experience, and hope to a postmodern church in a postmodern world. A Door Set Open extends an invitation to congregational health and vitality in the midst of complex, shaping forces producing fear and anxiety among us. This theologically grounded book offers a timely change process to pastors and congregations serious about the church's call to mission. -- Leo S. Thorne, Associate General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA and editor, Prayers from Riverside

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