Francis of Assisi, Movement Maker: The Unconventional Leadership of a Simple Saint


Pages: 392

Binding: Softcover

Francis of Assisi, Movement Maker: The Unconventional Leadership of a Simple Saint

By: Howard A Snyder
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 American Society of Missiology Series #66


“In a world where Christians all too often relegate monasticism to solitude and prayer, Howard Snyder provides a fresh and accessible introduction to St. Francis and St. Clare that reminds us of our missional call to vocation and service. . . . A helpful reminder that lies at the intersection of piety and mission, in service for the sake of Christ.”—Dean G. Blevins, Nazarene Theological Seminary


“Howard Snyder weaves together in a fascinating way, on the one hand, a creative, engaging, and contextualized story of Francis of Assisi like no other account of this saint, and at the same time, an in-depth study of how renewal movements actually work.”—Roger Schroeder, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago


“This fascinating story of Francis and the movement he unleashed is as relevant today as it was 800 years ago, and invites us all, as followers of Jesus, to be inspired by Francis, and to become lesser.” —Darrell Whiteman, Publisher, American Society of Missiology 


“Howard Snyder is one of the world's leading experts on church renewal, and in this book he uses his extensive knowledge and wealth of wisdom to explore the dynamics and enduring impact of the Franciscan movement.”—James E. Pedlar, Tyndale University


"What a breath of fresh air! We Christians talk about aspiring to be like Jesus, but in Howard Snyder’s book we look into the amazing lives of Francis and Clare and those who joined them, who made Jesus their pattern in every way. I’m inspired, challenged, and convicted of what it means for me to call myself a follower of Jesus in my time and place.”—Linda Adams, Bishop Emerita, Free Methodist Church USA


In the early 13th century Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Movement breathed new life into the church, attracting tens of thousands of adherents. Yet within decades this movement split into clashing branches. Why?

Since understanding Francis himself is key to understanding this history, Howard Snyder begins with Francis’s life, conversion, and remarkable mission. He highlights aspects of the story not found in most Francis biographies and identifies key factors that illuminate movement dynamics.

Looking at Francis as an organizer opens new windows of understanding into Franciscan history. Snyder explains how Francis put together his movement and how he led—or on occasion did not lead. He shows why the Lesser Brothers multiplied so quickly, crossing multiple cultural barriers, spreading into Asia, Africa, and the Americas. He also explicates their conflicts and why they eventually fragmented.

Francis of Assisi, Movement Maker offers insights for today’s church and its role in culture, including personal discipleship and the stewardship and healing of the earth.

Howard A. Snyder holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Notre Dame. His denominational affiliation is Free Methodist, and he has pastored churches in Detroit, São Paulo, and Chicago. He has taught at a number of seminaries including Asbury Theological Seminary, KY, and Tyndale Seminary, Toronto. He has served as visiting director, Manchester Wesley Research Centre, England. His books include The Problem of Wineskins: Church Structure in a Technological Age and Salvation Means Creation Healed (with Joel Scandrett).


Cover art: Detail from “The Death of St. Francis” by Giotto (1325)

Cover design: Regina Gelfer



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Click Here For The Table Of Contents


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