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Every Christian is called to a life of missions, and sometimes, you don't even need to leave your neighborhood.
So much of our attention in congregational development is spent dealing with internal issues and opportunities that we turn more and more inward. Even our “outward” work smacks of our “inward” bias as we invite people to our events and ponder how to make our events more compelling for those who aren’t part of our congregations. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, is known for saying “the world is our parish.” Simply stated, the streets are our sanctuary. Our communities are our congregations. Yet too often congregations ignore their neighborhoods. They don’t consider the vast resource of people surrounding their church and seem to forget that Pentecost, the very event that gave birth to the church, happened in the streets. It's time for churches and congregations to engage with the people around them—most of whom have not yet made a faith decision but are hungering for the grace that only God can provide. Participate in this study of Nehemiah and discover what people God is asking you to encourage, what walls God is calling you to repair, what ministry God might be calling you to lead or do, and where you should start. This book will give readers inspiration and practical tools for engaging with their communities in ways that help congregations and communities become whole.
Robert M. Franklin provides first-person advice and insight as he identifies the crises resident within three anchor institutions that have played key roles in the black struggle for freedom. Black families face a "crisis of commitment" evident in the rising rates of father absence, births to unmarried parents, divorce, and domestic abuse or relationship violence. Black churches face a "mission crisis" as they struggle to serve their upwardly mobile and/or established middle class "paying customers" alongside the poorest of the poor. Historically black colleges and universities face a crisis of "relevance and purpose" as they now compete for the best students and faculty with the broad marketplace of colleges. With clarity and passion, Franklin calls for practical and comprehensive action for change from within the African American community and from all Americans.
In See, Know & Serve, Tom Bandy shows how the transition between Christendom and Post-Christendom is unfolding at different speeds and with different twists in diverse regions and places, and that this development makes standardizing ministry practices, or using collections of "best practices," unsuccessful in growing God's mission. Bandy presents startlingly new ways to view congregations and communities, enabling leaders to understand the people within their reach on a granular level. The author demonstrates with real-world examples how organizations can translate this information into practical strategies and tactics. The book includes helpful charts and diagrams, making the material surprisingly easy to digest and share. This important, groundbreaking and convicting book lays out with depth and clarity a pioneering new way forward for every church and every mission-focused organization. Bandy shows how we can see the people in our communities with unparalleled clarity, so that we can serve them—fulfilling our mission—effectively.
Remain grounded in the faith while staying attuned to cultural change.
This isn't just another how-to book. Nor is it a 7-step program. It is a genuine story about what it costs in prayer, time, decision-making, commitment, planning and people resource to become a church that is focused on reaching more and more people--no matter where or who they are--for Jesus' Church. Making Church Real gives the reader a front-row seat to the dynamics, drama and details involved in leading transformation through honest mentoring dialogues between Pastor D and Joe and their leaders. The careful weaving of reality and mercy, possibility and grace, offer those with even just a little hope the encouragement to grab hold, tie a knot, and hang on to see if something can actually happen to their church and community. The book's central insight-that the key to making church REAL ultimately is not in what we do, but in who we are in relationship to God and one another-has powerful implications not only for pastors, but for anyone seeking to make their congregation more relevant, enthusiastic, authentic and loving.
"This invaluable resource covers virtually every aspect of church administration. It is for black churches of ANY denomination and ANY size, and is sure to provide guidance for new or established pastors. A sample constitution, budget, and mission statement are included."--BOOK JACKET.

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