Cross+Gen Life: Core Readings
Whenever you launch into the risky and messy business of adaptive systems change, you need to have a vision, passion and plan. You need to build a team. You also need to know what you are up against. Then, with your team together, you must craft a manageable plan that gives you a reasonable chance of success. The following books and resources are meant to equip and enrich your team on your journey towards healthy faith-formation systems change.
Holding Your Family Together: The FAITH5 Manual by Dr. Rich Melheim
Learn the philosophy, theology and neuroscience behind FAITH5 (share, read, talk, pray, bless). This book has 99% five-star ratings on Amazon and accolades from ministry leaders on 5 continents. Easy and fun to read, this book is filled with humor and tears. It’s a joy-filled journey into five simple, doable faith practices that can enrich lives and create resilient faith-filled disciples of Jesus through Cross+Gen community and care.
Let's Kill Sunday School (Before it kills the church): Volume 1 by Dr. Rich & Friends
12 Case Studies by the original 12 "movers and shakers and systems breakers" who saw the need to create a vision for healthy Cross+Gen environments in their churches and pounded their vision into reality over 2 years of joys, pains, struggles and growth under the coaching and curation process led by Dr. Rich Melheim.
Let's Kill Sunday School (and Birth Cross+Gen Ministry): Volume 2
12 Case Studies by a second cohort of systems thinkers working to carve out sacred spaces where the wisdom of the elder and the wonder of the child collided on a weekly basis. The first batch of “Killing” authors led the second batch through as coaches. Learn from a two-parish country church that embraced earn how they both grew through their pilot projects.
Let's Kill Sunday School (and Birth the Cross+Gen Movement): Volume 3
12 New Case Studies by a third cohort of change agents reveal their stars and scars learned and earned from experiments in Cross+Gen. Learn from a little country church built in the 1700s that combines all ages and stages in the fellowship hall each week to a huge suburban church that rented an abandoned strip mall, put up a coffee house and play center, and saw 45,000 unique visitors enjoy their space and ministry last year. Also included are case studies by a whole Synod that committed to coaching a dozen churches through the Cross+Gen journey, and a young pastor attempting to take an entire Baltic State (Latvia) country into Cross+Gen.
Introduce Yourself to Systems Thinking with Dr. Rich Melheim's Top Five Adaptive Systems Change Books
The capability to envision, understand, and influence entire systems all at once...that is what you need to master if you are going to take on a 250-year-old institution like Sunday school . To change such a system, you would do well to study the top systems thinkers and change agents. My personal favorite systems change books include:
NOTE: It’s easier to get people to read a chapter than a whole book. And if they are in charge of leading a discussion on that chapter, it’s a guarantee that they’ll actually read it and take ownership in the discussion and results. Use these books as discussion starters in a core team made up of people from each living generation. Read opening and closing sections together. Then divide chapters among leaders to read and report on next time you meet.