A Door Set Open
September 23, 2013
A Door Set Open: Grounding Change in Mission and Hope by Peter Steinke available through Alban Institute 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. 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.” Learn more at www.alban.org. 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 the late family-systems expert Edwin Friedman, Dr. Steinke’s accessible books have helped countless congregations understand their hidden workings and use that understanding to become healthy and vital.