Bibliography on congregational governance

Here’s a list of some of the books and other resources I have found most helpful and provocative as I have thought about how congregations can best organize their boards, clergy, staff, and volunteers to envision and carry out powerful ministries:

BoardSource. Many resources available at

Carver, John, and Miriam Mayhew Carver, Reinventing Your Board: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Policy Governance. revised edition (San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2006).

Chait, Richard, William P. Ryan, Barbara E, Taylor, and BoardSource (organization), Governance As Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Easum, William M., and Thomas G. Bandy, Growing Spiritual Redwoods (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1997).

Friedman, Edwin H., Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue, The Guilford Family Therapy Series (New York: Guilford Press, 1985).

Heifetz, Ronald A., Leadership Without Easy Answers (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1994).

Leader to Leader Institute. Many resources available at

Long, Edward Le Roy, Patterns of Polity: Varieties of Church Governance (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2001).

Owen, Harrison, Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide, 2nd edition (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1997).

Steinke, Peter L., Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach, 2nd edition (Herndon, VA Alban Institute, 2006)

Warren, Richard, The Purpose-Diven Church: Growth Without Compromising Your Message & Mission (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1995).

Weisbord, Marvin Ross, and Sandra Janoff, Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations and Communities, 2nd edition, updated and expanded edition (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2000).