By Joelle Anderson
It’s fall! Now’s the time to enjoy pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, and cozying up with a good book on a crisp evening. Beach reads are over, so dive into something a little more substantial—pick up the second edition of A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations: Who's Going Where and Why (2010).
The first edition of A Field Guide to U.S. Congregations (2002) provided a comprehensive view of worshipers and congregations across the country using data from Wave 1 of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. The new edition features results of Wave 2 of the survey when almost 1,600 congregations and 163,000 worshipers took part. This latest volume has been revised to reflect Wave 2 findings and includes up-to-date statistics, tables with the latest information about worshipers and congregations, and original cartoons (!!) (It's OK to admit that the cartoons are your favorite part of our books. We love them, too!) The second edition also features two new chapters: one on pastoral leadership and another that describes the significant changes in congregational life between Wave 1 in 2001 and Wave 2 in 2008 and 2009.
The second edition is practical as well as informative. Fast Facts (signposts for congregations moving toward data-driven decisions) and Myth Traps (tempting assumptions about congregational life that can trap congregations in dead ends) are interspersed throughout the book.