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Choosing change - Peter D. Coutts

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Choosing change - how to motivate congregations to face the future
Peter D. Coutts
Paperback / softback
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
UK Publication Date

Humans have been choice-makers since the days when hunter-gatherers had to decide when to hunt and what to gather. Making choices is what humans do. But individuals feel more personal autonomy and power to choose today than ever before in human history. In Choosing Change, author Peter Coutts acknowledges that clergy today recognize the impact our individualistic culture of choice is having on congregations. But Coutts also points out that many leaders do not think about motivation. For them, encouraging change is about selling their congregation on a new idea, governed by the assumption that a better idea should win the day. Wide experience in the church demonstrates that this approach often doesn't work and leaves many congregational leaders demoralized. Leaders see the need for change in their congregation, and they earnestly want to help their congregation to change. But the approach to leadership they learned, which perhaps worked better in days gone by, is no longer working. Leaders are in the motivation business, argues Coutts. Choosing Change provides an overview of current thinking from the field of motivation psychology. In the first half of the book, Coutts explores theories, ideas, and terms that are most pertinent for leaders who desire to encourage congregational change. The second half of the book offers detailed guidance for congregational leaders who want to be motivational leaders.

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Peter Coutts has twenty-six years of congregational experience, including church planting and as lead minister of one of Canada's largest Presbyterian congregations. He has taught congregational revitalization as an adjunct professor in the D.Min. program at McCormick Seminary in Chicago. Currently Peter divides his time between coaching congregational pastors and leaders in 13 Presbyterian congregations in southern Alberta, and executive coaching and consulting in both congregational and business settings. Visit his website at

Knowing about motivation, resistance, and human behavior can make the difference between squandering and embracing a future requiring change. Peter Coutts has provided a text rich in ideas, practices, and strategies that can open a fruitful future.
Gil Rendle, senior vice president, Texas Methodist Foundation; author of Doing the Math of Mission: Fruit, Faithfulness, and Metrics

In an engaging combination of theory and story, Coutts addresses the vexing question, 'How do we actually get there?' If you are guiding change in your faith community, this needs to be on your shelf.
John-Peter Smit, Congregational Development Consultant, Presbyterian Church in Canada

The necessary science of motivation helps a pastor help a church to move from here to there, and from now to then in fulfilling its part in the mission of God. Choosing Change unlocks the keys to motivation, which unleashes the church to act with wisdom and
Rev. George A. Mason, Senior Pastor, Wilshire Baptist Church

Coutts's work is profoundly pastoral, savvy in its approach to change, and grounded in a rich variety of disciplines. It makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of congregational change.
Deborah J. Kapp, Edward F. and Phyllis K. Campbell Associate Professor of Urban Ministry, McCormick Theological Seminary

Keyword Index
Christian leadership.|Change - Religious aspects - Christianity.|Change (Psychology) - Religious aspects - Christianity.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
xiii, 240

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