Exploring the Intersections of Faith and Life

from December 24, 2007
BOOK NOTES: Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith, by Diana Butler Bass

This is a refreshing book – one of the few that is looking at existing mainline denominational churches, and discovering that some of them really are growing! In this book Butler Bass talks about what she found in growing churches, and 10 “signposts” or practices of churches that are growing and inviting others to join them on a journey of faith.

One of the things that stuck with me in the boo was this quote: “The primary job of a church is to be a spiritual community that form people in faith.” That in itself is nothing new, but what she found was that those churches that are growing, take that seriously and are intentional about faith formation – both for existing members, and for members. One of the other things that can be a new learning for many of our churches is that those churches who are growing have a very clear sense of who they are and what they do. When asked to tell people about their church, members know what to say – something other than “we are a friendly church.” They have a very clear sense of identity and purpose, and they understand the spiritual needs of those they reach out to.

A good read with lots to think about.

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