Fortress Press

… And the Church Actually Changed: Uncommon Wisdom for Pastors in an Age of Doubt, Division, and Decline

… And the Church Actually Changed

Uncommon Wisdom for Pastors in an Age of Doubt, Division, and Decline

N. Graham Standish (Author)


$18.99Save 75%

Interested in a gratis copy?

How do you plan on using your gratis copy? Review requests are for media inquiries. Exam requests are for professors, teachers, and librarians who want to review a book for course adoption.

  • In stock

The mainline church is in a drastic decline, and that decline is hitting clergy and churches on all sides of the theological debates. Pastors are struggling, and the ever-changing trends of ministry don't seem to be staunching the decline. . . . And the Church Actually Changed: Uncommon Wisdom for Pastors in an Age of Doubt, Division, and Decline arises out of N. Graham Standish's work as a spiritual director and coach to clergy of all denominations and traditions, and as the pastor of a healthy, growing, and somewhat alternative church for more than twenty-two years. He has helped pastors become healthier and more effective as they carry out the ministry to which they are uniquely called.

. . . And the Church Actually Changed addresses issues brought up by clergy themselves in his coaching work with them. Using an integrative approach to ministry, Standish draws on insights from counseling, spiritual direction, organizational development, and other fields. The book is written in the form of dialogues between a clergy coach and various clergy clients who are struggling in their ministry. Each chapter addresses a significant clergy leadership issue, yet the dialogue allows coach and pastor to deal with issues pragmatically by exploring both the big picture and the details of leading a healthy church.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506461946
  • eBook ISBN 9781506461953
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 175
  • Publication Date September 1, 2020


"And the Church Actually Changed may be the most practical, insight-packed, easy-to-read, realistic, and hope-inspiring church leadership book ever written. Graham Standish is the ideal person to write this book; he combines the experience of a pastor with the sensitivity of a counselor and the insight of a widely-read scholar. Enthusiastically recommended!"
Brian D. McLaren, author/speaker/activist
"Graham Standish offers pastors hope that they can lead change, humor that chides us out of our sullen stubbornness, and wisdom for navigating some of the most difficult terrain of pastoral leadership. This is a fun and insightful book that will inspire as it instructs."
Tod Bolsinger, Vice President and Chief of Leadership Formation, Fuller Seminary
"Standish writes with the mind of a seasoned leadership coach, the heart of a pastoral counselor and the soul of a spiritual sage. This gem of a guidebook offers hope and direction for pastors frustrated by stagnation and decline in their congregations. Practical and concrete teaching, rich illustrations and hands-on exercises will shepherd leaders taking on change resistance."
Susan Beaumont, consultant and author of How to Lead When You Don't Know Where You're Going
"Using a dialogical format, Standish invites the reader into engaging conversations. This is 'conversational intelligence' at its best, wrapped in wisdom and relevancy."
Peter L. Steinke, church consultant, author of UPROAR: Calm Leadership in Anxious Times
"This book touched on every state of my ministry in the past twenty years. Readable, relatable, and oh-so relevant--a must-read for clergy."
Kym Lucas, bishop, The Episcopal Church of Colorado
"Standish offers us rare glimpses into the pivotal conversations that transform pastoral leadership. These discussions reside at the intersection of coaching, spiritual direction, consulting, and mentoring. They are thought-provoking invitations offering vocational insight and practical take-aways for those who wrestle with the privilege and challenge of parish ministry."
Rev. Melissa L. Stoller, Director for Evangelical Mission and Assistant to the Bishop of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA