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A New Day In The City

Author : Donna Claycomb Sokol
ISBN : 9781501818899
Genre : Religion
File Size : 38.75 MB
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Many urban congregations remember days of fame and fortune—days when their prominence downtown or in city neighborhoods mattered. Population shifts, the decline of congregations and neighborhoods, and demographic changes depleted the dreams of many urban churches. But not all churches gave up hope. Many congregations are struggling to survive, but thousands of urban churches are thriving again. Churches with revived hope learn to let go of nostalgic dreams and tired habits and to walk with God into a new day of vibrant mission and ministry. Donna Claycomb Sokol and Roger Owens share lessons they’ve learned on the job and from other urban pastors. Along the way, they challenge clichés about church leadership and strategic planning by showing what congregational renewal can look like and how it can become a reality. Each chapter features a set of practical guidelines for leading a congregation to address the questions that matter most. “The urban church can be quite a challenge. I know because I’ve served a couple. Now, two thoughtful pastors with actual urban church experience take an affectionate, positive, honest, and hopeful look at the urban church and give practical wisdom for the revival of languishing urban congregations. There’s a remarkable revival of the urban church in North America. Donna and Roger can help you be part of it!” —William H. Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC; retired bishop, The United Methodist Church “Three things excite me most about this book: First, these two young pastors understand the strategic importance of urban ministry and are passionately committed to it. Second, they show that when you turn from tired ‘church growth’ and corporate paradigms, choosing rather to model your ministry on Jesus, new life happens. And third, they explain that transformation is about journeying faithfully with the questions rather than looking for quick-fix techniques. This book could change your ministry.” —Peter Storey, South African church leader; W. Ruth and A. Morris Williams Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC
Category: Religion

Divergent Church

Author : Tim Shapiro
ISBN : 9781501842603
Genre : Religion
File Size : 44.89 MB
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New faith communities are appearing across the U.S.. Many of them bear little resemblance—on the surface—to ‘church’ in its conventional form. But when we look a little deeper we see striking continuity with the most deeply rooted practices of the Christian faith in community. What are those practices? What do these unconventional, alternative faith communities look like? How are they, perhaps, indicators of a hopeful new future for the church? And what can we learn from them? Authors Kara Brinkerhoff and Tim Shapiro spent more than a year researching and exploring these questions, closely examining the life of a dozen alternative faith communities across the country. They include new monastic communities, food-oriented communities, affinity group communities, house churches, hybrid churches and others. They are creative, ingenious, innovative, clever, dynamic and transformative. But they represent human expressions of activities that have always been part of human religious congregations: hospitality, learning, storytelling, care, leadership, worship and honoring place. This fascinating book goes beyond simply analyzing current trends. It reveals how innovative Christians are engaging in time-honored practices, creating new types of communities, which will shape the church to come. Further, it shows us how we too might innovate while holding true to the essential practices of our gathered faith. This is an instructive picture of Christian community, past, present and future.
Category: Religion

Medieval Cities

Author : Henri Pirenne
ISBN : 9781400851201
Genre : History
File Size : 29.58 MB
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Nearly a century after it was first published in 1925, Medieval Cities remains one of the most provocative works of medieval history ever written. Here, Henri Pirenne argues that it was not the invasion of the Germanic tribes that destroyed the civilization of antiquity, but rather the closing of Mediterranean trade by Arab conquest in the seventh century. The consequent interruption of long-distance commerce accelerated the decline of the ancient cities of Europe. Pirenne challenges conventional wisdom by attributing the origins of medieval cities to the revival of trade, tracing their growth from the tenth century to the twelfth. He also describes the important role the middle class played in the development of the modern economic system and modern culture. Featuring a new introduction by Michael McCormick, this Princeton Classics edition of Medieval Cities is essential reading for all students of medieval European history.
Category: History

Revival And Revivalism

Author : Iain Hamish Murray
ISBN : UOM:39015032215090
Genre : Religion
File Size : 43.8 MB
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Murray analyses a crucial period in American religious history,with particular attention to the major theme of the nature ofreligious revival. He rejects the common identification of revival & revivalism, showing that the latter differed from the former both in its origins & in its implications. Whereas in the earlier period, revival was understood as supernatural & heaven-sent, in the later period the ethos was much more man-centred & the methods employed much closer to the manipulative. The change in perspective can be summed up by saying that revival was first viewed as OEsent down, but later seen as OEworked up. A pivotal figure in the change & a major promoter of the new methods, was Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875). Murray traces developments from the time of Samuel Davies (1763-61), through the age of the Second Great Awakening, to the New York Awakening of 1857-8. In addition to Davies & Finney, major leaders whose names recur in these pages include Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) of Princeton Theological Seminary, Edward D. Griffin (1770-1837) & Asahel Nettleton (1783-1844).Arnold DallimoreAn outstanding biography, scholarly, yet popularly written, of theleading preacher of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival.Whitefield (1714-70) is acknowledged to have made a greaterimpact on evangelical Christianity on both sides of the Atlanticthan any other preacher of the eighteenth century. The firstvolume traces the early career of Whitefield to the end of 1740, atwhich point the twenty-six-year-old was already the most brilliantand popular preacher of the time, and had already, at age 24,commanded the largest congregations yet seen in America. Thesecond volume traces the doctrinal conflict with John and CharlesWesley, Whitefield?s visits to Scotland and Wales, as well as theAmerican colonies, and the emergence of a Calvinistic branch ofMethodism. Also provided are details of Whitefield?s marriage,friendships, ceaseless labours and early death aged 55. The two-volume set casts new light on Whitefield?s early life in Gloucester,religious conditions in England at the commencement of hispreaching ministry, his influence on the Great Awakening of 1739-40 in America, his relationships with the Wesleys, hisphilanthropic endeavours and his impact on all classes of Englishsociety including the aristocracy.
Category: Religion

What We Need Is Here

Author : L. Roger Owens
ISBN : 9780835815116
Genre : Religion
File Size : 86.82 MB
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Are you seeking a deeper, more authentic experience of God? Maybe you've attended retreats, read dozens of books on spirituality, or even consulted a spiritual director and found yourself still wanting more. Did you know that God has given you everything you need to live and flourish in a life with God? You can stop your restless searching and rediscover the gifts God has already given you. In What We Need Is Here, Roger Owens calls you to return to 7 basics of Christian spirituality: Reading the Gospels Praying the Psalms Making friends with silence Finding Jesus in church Meeting Jesus through Holy Communion Embodying your spirituality Being with the poor Writing in a style that is honest, accessible, and at times humorous, Owens weaves his own stories of struggle with insights from the history of Christian spirituality to help you receive and open yourself to these 7 "givens." This book includes practical exercises and questions for reflection and discussion, making it ideal for individuals and groups.
Category: Religion

Strategic Thinking

Author : Thomas G. Bandy
ISBN : 9781501849626
Genre : Religion
File Size : 20.31 MB
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Strategic thinking involves an element of risk. This is because the goal is not only to perfect ongoing programs, but to initiate new ideas and terminate ineffective tactics. The risk of strategic thinking arises because of the changes in the mission field (or community) in which, and toward whom, the church focuses its vision. Demographic research and lifestyle sensitivity are necessary for effective church ministries. Whenever a church fails to track demographic trends and shifting lifestyle expectations, the strategic thinking always stalls. Program improvements and new ideas never go beyond the comfort zones of the members. Ineffective tactics are simply repeated over and over again because the church doesn’t want to offend particular members or financial givers. In order go beyond the box to be relevant to the changing community, churches must accept more risk. They must be willing to go beyond the comfort zones of members to improve the effectiveness of programs. They must be willing to risk failure and learn from mistakes by implementing creative new ideas. And they must be willing stop wasting limited resources of time, talent, and money on sacred cows that no longer drives the church toward its vision. The challenge, of course, lies in keeping that line straight. This is not a curved line connecting identity, mission, and results. It is not a wavy line, or an intermittent line, or even partially angled line. It is not a line that sways one way to protect this self-interest, and another way to protect that membership privilege. It is not a line that takes a circuitous route to its destination in order not to disturb some leader’s sensibilities or avoid stressing some faction’s opinions. It is a straight line. Nothing else will really do. Keeping this line straight is the art of strategic thinking. Some new ideas will need to be started. Some old programs will need to be ended. Ongoing tactics will need to be adjusted. All this keeps the line straight. Moreover, some leaders will need to be hired or acquired; some leaders will need to be fired or dismissed; and some leaders will need to be redeployed. All that effort keeps the line straight. Therefore, strategic thinking is not about seeing a need and addressing it. It is about focusing a purpose and pursuing it … doggedly, persistently, and single-mindedly.
Category: Religion

The Souls Of China

Author : Ian Johnson
ISBN : 9781101870068
Genre : History
File Size : 89.29 MB
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From the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, a revelatory portrait of religion in China today—its history, the spiritual traditions of its Eastern and Western faiths, and the ways in which it is influencing China’s future. The Souls of China tells the story of one of the world’s great spiritual revivals. Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches, and mosques—as well as cults, sects, and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty—over what it means to be Chinese and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is searching for new guideposts. Ian Johnson first visited China in 1984; in the 1990s he helped run a charity to rebuild Daoist temples, and in 2001 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. While researching this book, he lived for extended periods with underground church members, rural Daoists, and Buddhist pilgrims. Along the way, he learned esoteric meditation techniques, visited a nonagenarian Confucian sage, and befriended government propagandists as they fashioned a remarkable embrace of traditional values. He has distilled these experiences into a cycle of festivals, births, deaths, detentions, and struggle—a great awakening of faith that is shaping the soul of the world’s newest superpower.
Category: History

The Witness Of Preaching Third Edition

Author : Thomas G. Long
ISBN : 9781611647631
Genre : Religion
File Size : 90.68 MB
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This is a newly revised edition of one of the standard introductory preaching textbooks on the market today. Beginning with a solid theological basis, veteran preacher and best-selling author Thomas G. Long offers a practical, step-by-step guide to writing a sermon. Long centers his approach around the biblical concept of witness. To be a preacher, Long posits, is to be a witness to God's work in the world—one who sees before speaking, one whose task is to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about what is seen." This updated edition freshens up language and anecdotes, contains an extensive new analysis of the use of multimedia and its impact on preaching, and adds a completely new chapter on plagiarism in preaching. Included for the first time are four complete sermons, with Long's commentary and analysis. The sermons were written and originally preached by Barbara Brown Taylor, Cleophus J. LaRue. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, and Edmund Steimle. With this third edition, The Witness of Preaching reaffirms itself as the essential resource for seminary students as well as new and experienced preachers.
Category: Religion

You Only Have To Die

Author : James A. Harnish
ISBN : 9781426725494
Genre : Religion
File Size : 54.67 MB
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A moving testimony to how a church can experience rebirth by discerning it core mission. The key to becoming a Spirit-energized, people-loving, life-giving, community-transforming congregation, says James A. Harnish, is really very simple. All you have to do is be willing to die. This ebook describes how God calls each congregation to a specific mission, how God grants discernment to understand what that mission is, and how God enables the congregation to die to its entrenched attitudes and behaviors in order to be resurrected to a new life of ministry and witness.
Category: Religion