2015 Christianity Today Award of Merit The Church Pastoral Leadership 2014 Readers Choice Awards Honorable Mention 2014 Best Books About the Church from Byron Borger, Hearts and Minds Bookstore When faith communities begin connecting together, in and for the neighborhood, they learn to depend on God for strength to love, forgive and show grace like never before The gospel becomes so much tangible and compelling when the local church is actually a part of the community, connected to the struggles of the people, and even the land itself Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight J Friesen have seen in cities, suburbs and small towns all over North America how powerful the gospel can be when it takes root in the context of a place, at the intersection of geography, demography, economy and culture This is not a new idea the concept of a parish is as old as Paul s letters to the various communities of the ancient church But in an age of dislocation and disengagement, the notion of a church that knows its place and gives itself to where it finds itself is like a breath of fresh air, like a sign of new life....
|Title||:||The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community|
|Publisher||:||IVP Books May 4, 2014|
|Number of Pages||:||208 pages|
|File Size||:||865 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community Reviews
Lots of us have theories on where the Holy Spirit is leading the church in North American in the 21st century. Lots of angsty people hope the church will reach Millenials. Lots of doomsayers believe the Spirit is letting the church die.
I read this book with great anticipation. The idea that the church should serve and be a part of its neighborhood sounded like such a great idea. As I read the theory, and a few stories of the authors' experiences, I kept waiting to get to the part where the theory could be applied to a real congregation. Unfortunately that part of the book hasn't been written, probably because my situation does not match with the authors' assumptions. While mentioning that not all neighborhoods are the same, all the examples came from experiences with city neighborhoods. But that's not where all of us live. How do we connect with neighborhoods when there is no gathering place, no businesses or stores, no sense of neighbor? I think it can be done, but I would like to have had some ideas, some examples, even some encouragement. I bought the book looking for some direction, not a road map, but at least a step or two to take. I finished the book with no more direction than when I had begun.
Sweet is right. All roads to the future of the church do pass through this book. Sparks, Soerens and Friesen have provided the church with a surprisingly original and generative ecclesiology in a compact, readable form.
I recommend this book for ministry leaders seeking ways to ignite their ministry. It offers new means of assessing current ecclesiology models within one's own context and challenges methods of missiology which reverse historical processes. It identifies pastoral techniques developed in seminary and CPE settings as strengths for engaging full community. This book challenges how we view leadership within ourselves as ministers and within those appointed by our congregations. Mostly, it's accessible and avoids "churchy" words like I used in this review!