Man is not meant to live alone, yet our culture is moving toward the individual and away from the community. Congregations are not immune to this trend. In Building Up the Body of Christ, Dr. Bruce M. Hartung, professor emeritus of practical theology at Concordia Seminary, provides a guidebook for church leaders on reevaluating best practices for loving and serving your neighbors at church. He brings together behavioral science and organizational leadership theory and applies it to leading a congregation.

“Congregations are not immune to this trend and are directly affected as participants in it. Church membership has declined. The ‘nones,’ people with no church affiliation, are now considered to be the second largest ‘religious’ group in the nation, and congregations generally grow smaller as the average age of their membership rises. It would seem good, right, and salutary that we look more closely at the factors that would strengthen our faith communities, that is, our congregations. This book provides basic tools to do that.” —Dr. Bruce M. Hartung, Building Up the Body of Christ

This book provides guidance on topics including the following:

  • Trust and trustworthiness
  • Listening
  • Disclosure, feedback, and discovery
  • The brain
  • Conflict management

To purchase Building Up the Body of Christ, visit For more information or to arrange an interview with the author, contact Lindsey Martie, CPH Public Relations, by phone at (314) 268-1303 or by email at

About Dr. Bruce M. Hartung

Dr. Bruce M. Hartung is professor emeritus of practical theology at Concordia Seminary St. Louis, where he served as the dean of ministerial formation. He is a diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and one of the association’s past presidents. Dr. Hartung also served as a counselor, executive director of pastoral counseling centers, director of counseling, and parish pastor. He is the author of Holding Up the Prophet’s Hand.