In exploring this history of the episcopacy, there are moments of glory and occasions of sin; it is an engaging story of how throughout Christendom some bishop’s actions have raised great wealth and armies for the Lord’s service and how other bishops have passively or actively bankrupted their churches.
The long decline of mainline American churches, Catholic and Protestant, is traced to a new source, the failure of their leadership to financially provision their church. In this direct practical theological and historical inquiry the scriptural mandate for church leadership to provide funding is carefully evolved and evidenced, as is the link of church leadership’s financial failing to today’s church decline.
This book will challenge its reader to consider how the ministry of fundraising can rescue denominations currently facing extinction and bring the gospel message to the many millions who have left American churches. It will raise questions: Does your bishop accept responsibility to financially provision your church, as fully as he or she accepted the authority to lead at consecration?
The Bishop’s acceptance of the authority to lead is inextricably married to the responsibility to serve; every church shepherd must recall how Jesus responded to Peter:
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep”. Jn21:17
E.C. Andercheck, is a Benedictine Oblate of Saint Meinrad and historical theologian he combines this spirituality with the experience of decades in ministry and leadership to create the unbridled strategic thinking that lies beneath his research and writing. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Duke Divinity in the Theology of Christian Leadership, and a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity. He has written on ecclesiology, ecumenism, practical theology, social justice and Christian leadership.