Thoughtfully expanded to book form, I Am a Church Member begins to remedy the outbreak of inactive or barely committed church members, addressing without apology what is expected of those who join a body of believers. When a person's attitude is consistently biblical and healthy, matters of giving, serving, and so forth will fall into place more naturally.
Six intentional chapters with study questions guide this rising discussion:
1. I Will Be a Unifying Church Member
2. I Will Not Let the Church Be About My Preferences and Desires
3. I Will Pray for My Church Leaders
4. I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church Members
5. I Will Be a Functioning Member
6. I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift
Whether your church is vibrant or dying, whether you are a pastor or a church member, Autopsy of a Deceased Church will walk you through the radical paths necessary to keep your church alive to the glory of God and advancement of Christ’s Kingdom!
With surprising candor and transparency pastor Andy Stanley explains how one of America’s largest churches began with a high-profile divorce and a church split.
But that’s just the beginning...
Deep and Wide provides church leaders with an in-depth look into North Point Community Church and its strategy for creating churches unchurched people absolutely love to attend. Andy writes,
“Our goal is to create weekend experiences so compelling and helpful that even the most skeptical individuals in our community would walk away with every intention of returning the following week...with a friend!”
Later he says,
“I want people to fall in love with the Author of Scripture. And while we can’t make anyone fall in love, we can certainly arrange a date.”
For the first time, Andy explains his strategy for preaching and programming to “dual audiences”: mature believers and cynical unbelievers. He argues that preaching to dual audiences doesn’t require communicators to “dumb down” the content. According to Stanley, it’s all in the approach.
You’ll be introduced to North Point's spiritual formation model: The Five Faith Catalysts. Leaders responsible for ministry programing and production will no doubt love Andy’s discussion of the three essential ingredients for creating irresistible environments. For pastors willing to tackle the challenge of transitioning a local congregation, Andy includes a section entitled: Becoming Deep and Wide.
If your team is more concerned with who you are reaching than who you are keeping, Deep & Wide will be more than a book you read; it will be a resource you come back to over and over!
“Couldn't be prouder of my son, Andy. And I couldn't be more excited about the content of this book. I wish a resource like this existed when I was starting out in ministry.”
- Dr. Charles Stanley, Founder, In Touch Ministries
“Deep and Wide pulls back the curtain for all of us to see what is required behind the scenes to build a prevailing church. I was both challenged and inspired by this book.”
- Bill Hybels, author of Just Walk Across the Room
“The most common question I get from pastors is, ‘How do I get the people in my church to be open to change?’ From now on my answer will be, ‘Read Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley’. Thanks Andy. Great book!”
- Craig Groeschel, Pastor, LifeChurch.TV, author, It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It
“No one has given me more practical handles for establishing a focused vision than Andy Stanley. Deep and Wide is a rich resource to help all of us stay intentional about the main thing - building a church that reaches people who are far from God.”
- Steven Furtick, Lead Pastor, Elevation Church
"I am totally unaware of a more comprehensive treatment of this subject in any book, including those of mine. It should be read by all worshipers, and should be required study for all who aspire to lead congregational worship."
- Dr. Judson Cornwall, from the foreword
Using the texts of the New Testament, Yoder critically examines the traditional portrait of Jesus as an apolitical figure and attempts to clarify the true impact of Jesus' life, work, and teachings on his disciples' social behavior.
The book first surveys the multiple ways the image of an apolitical Jesus has been propagated, then canvasses the Gospel narrative to reveal how Jesus is rightly portrayed as a thinker and leader immediately concerned with the agenda of politics and the related issues of power, status, and right relations. Selected passages from the epistles corroborate a Savior deeply concerned with social, political, and moral issues.
In this thorough revision of his acclaimed 1972 text, Yoder provides updated interaction with publications touching on this subject. Following most of the chapters are new "epilogues" that summarize research conducted during the last two decades -- research that continues to support the insights set forth in Yoder's original work.
Currently a standard in many college and seminary ethics courses, The Politics of Jesus is also an excellent resource for the general reader desiring to understand Christ's response to the world of politics and his will for those who would follow him.
Join Frank as he shares God's original intent for the church, where the body of Christ is an organic, living, breathing organism. A church that is free of convention, formed by spiritual intimacy, and unbound by four walls.
From the small beginnings of a few Christians in New Testament Jerusalem, the prayer of the Church spread, changing and evolving as it met and was assimilated by different cultures.
This classic study is a major resource for the liturgical scholar.
Characteristics, interests, and values of each group--Builders, Boomers, Busters, and Bridgers--are explored in relation to the historical events and social trends that have shaped them. McIntosh thoughtfully analyzes the factors that influence each generation's relationship to the church, and he gives helpful suggestions for types of ministry and worship styles to draw members of that group.
Helpful tables offer summaries of information relating to each generation, including formative experiences, religious characteristics, and methods of ministry. Pastors, church leaders, seminary professors, and students will find One Church, Four Generations a valuable resource in mapping out strategies for relevant church programming in the twenty-first century.
In this book, Fernando identifies the foundational elements that allow you to be both effective and joyful in your service. He shows from Jesus' own ministry that relating to the people you minister to, retreating from busyness to prayer, being affirmed and empowered by God, discipling younger leaders, and gaining strength from God's Word must be at the heart of your ministry.
Rich in Scripture and full of stories from Fernando's own years of ministry, this book will help men and women commit themselves afresh to those vital basics of ministry that make for long-term service that is both fruitful and joyful.
In Churches That Make a Difference, best-selling author Ron Sider and his coauthors give those involved in community outreach a comprehensive resource for developing holistic ministry--a balance of evangelism and social outreach. Illustrations and helpful organizational tips detail the how-to's of an effective holistic ministry. Case studies that show how different churches across the United States reach out to their communities provide a variety of ideas and practical applications. User-friendly tools are included as well for congregational studies, surveys, evaluations, and community assessments.
The authors draw on extensive experience with church ministries and faith-based organizations as they share the life-changing vision and biblical mandate for living the whole gospel. Church leaders will be encouraged in their process of developing and maintaining a holistic ministry, and local churches will rediscover a passion for loving the whole person the way Jesus did.
For over fifteen hundred years St. Benedict's Rule has been a source of guidance, support, inspiration, challenge, comfort and discomfort for men and women. It has helped both those living under monastic vows and those living outside the cloister in all the mess and muddle of ordinary, busy lives in the world. Esther de Waal's Seeking God serves as an introduction to this life-giving way and encourages people to discover for themselves the gift that St. Benedict can bring to individuals, to the Church, and to the world, now and in the years to come.
Through this definitive classic Esther de Waal has become known as an authority for the lay person on the Rule of St. Benedict. Her ability to communicate clearly the principal values of the Rule when applied to lay people is the ultimate strength of this book. She follows each chapter with a page or two of thoughts and prayers, contributing to its meditative quality.
Esther de Waal is an Anglican lay woman, married with four sons and a number of grandchildren. She lives on the Welsh Borders where she grew up and spends her time gardening, writing, traveling, and taking retreats. She became interested in Benedictine monasticism as a result of living for ten years in Canterbury and has written several books on the Rule of St. Benedict including a life-Giving Way, published by The Liturgical Press, 1995. She holds a PhD. from Cambridge and was given an honorary doctorate from St. John's University for her contribution to Benedictine studies and for her ecumenical work. She was awarded the Templeton Prize for having started the Benedictine Experience weeks which are now widely held throughout America and England.
The three principal hindrances to full participation in the Mass to which all of us are prone The real meaning of "keeping holy" the Sabbath. Its special importance for the family One tendency we must overcome when listening to Scripture readings How to gain control over your wandering attention The one indispensable element of a deep liturgical life What to do when the Mass becomes boring and "routine" How to achieve a genuine not superficial stillness The importance of listening. Inner barriers that prevent it Why it's good to arrive early at Mass whenever possible The true significance of kneeling and standing in church When to start preparing for Mass, and how The source of the sense of monotony. How to break free The primary purpose of attending Mass. How it should inform our bearing and behavior The right way to receive Communion, make the sign of the Cross, and make other holy gestures And dozens of other practical ways to enrich your worship
Although he was an eminent theologian, Msgr. Guardini wrote for ordinary Catholics who are struggling to become closer to Christ. In fact, these pages originated as talks before Mass to help prepare worshippers for its celebration. Practical, straightforward, yet full of wisdom, Meditations Before Mass will help you to quiet your soul, concentrate your mind, and grow more receptive to grace.
"The Preschool Church "provides teachers with practical lesson ideas for preschoolers, recognizing that 3-5 year olds are curious about God and want to learn. Lesson seeds include discussion topics, suggestions for telling Bible stories, songs, activities, supply lists, and craft ideas that are easy for little hands, inexpensive to make, and result in a finished product kids can be proud of. The book also contains suggestions for including preschoolers in the larger church community and involving adults in the church school activities.
This book will be helpful to:
- Sunday school teachers
- Vacation Bible School teachers
- Parents for use in home instruction
- Weekday Church School classes
Eve Parker is an experienced preschool teacher. She is also an attorney, holding a B.A. degree and a J.D. Law degree from the University of Minnesota. She makes her home in Minneapolis where she is raising her two young sons. Her father and sister are ministers in the United Church of Christ.
Wiegele evocatively captures the religious and everyday experiences of her informants' lives in poor squatter neighborhoods of Manila. She is particularly sensitive to El Shaddai's delicate and often contorted relationship with the Catholic Church, which accepts the movement reluctantly, fearful of losing the loyalty of millions of faithful Catholics. While anchored in the local realities of the Philippines, Investing in Miracles will be of great interest to readers elsewhere for its exploration of religious seduction and interpretation, the interface between religion and politics, and the relevance of religion for the urban disenfranchised.
Three-Year Banquet is a concise, clear,
straightforward introduction to the way that Christian
communities have organized their reading of scripture in worship. The Worship
Matters Studies Series examines key worship issues through
studies by pastors, musicians, and laypeople from throughout the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America. Features include the following: 1) Informal and
insightful writing for all
readers; 2) Study questions at the end of every chapter; 3) Examination of vital
issues in weekly worship; 4) Increased ability of leaders and congregants to understand
and experience worship more richly.
"The lessons were awesome! God knew I needed to be there. My heart overflows with joy."
"In your kitchen I learned about seasoning food. In your living room I reacquainted myself with the seasoning work of the Holy Spirit."
"The program gives value to women who are homemakers and wives. The Bible study and cooking lessons improved my perspective on staying home with children. . . . The program is a good eye-opener and refresher to what is really important: God, husband, children, family, and friends."
"So many positive things have happened in my life since, and because of, my Apples of Gold summer. Much confidence was gained that went far beyond the kitchen. . . . This was truly a life changing experience!"
"God knew I needed Apples of Gold. It is probably inconceivable to you to know how you and the mentors have touched the lives of Apples of Gold moms!"
"I loved being with older women, finding out how much we have in common, and building relationships with a different generation."
"Apples of Gold makes you focus on what is really important in your life. We discussed subjects I was not familiar with, like the real meaning of submission and purity. It certainly has changed the way I feel about them."
"Apples of Gold takes the warm atmosphere of the home and teaches how to extend it beyond the immediate family."
Gail Hover Ledbetter
Author, Family Fragrance
Julie Gorman has studied small groups for decades and presents her analysis, insights, and suggestions in Community That Is Christian, an essential resource for building community in church-based small groups. This comprehensive book serves both as a text for those who equip leaders or lead small groups and as an interactive manual for small-group members, helping them transform their relationships into Christ-centered community.
The book begins with biblical support for coming together, contrasting it with our often individualistic mind-set that undermines community. Gorman then sets forth the goals of community and describes the process of transformation. She draws from extensive research to address the why and the how of small-group ministry, giving special attention to gender and cultural distinctions. Community That Is Christian provides readers with charts, discussion questions, and inventories to further help them establish community within their small groups.
Patrick F. O'Connell is professor in the departments of English and theology at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonaland is coauthor (with William H. Shannon and Christine M. Bochen) of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited four previous volumes of Thomas Merton's monastic conferences for the Monastic Wisdom series: Cassian and the Fathers; Pre-Benedictine Monasticism; An Introduction to Christian Mysticism; and The Rule of Saint Benedict.
While the Rule offers much to those seeking a pattern to the structure of their day-to-day, exterior" life, which de Waal's previous commentaries have addressed, this commentary focuses on what Benedict tells us about the interior life. It takes the shape of prayerful reflections on his words of wisdom regarding the disposition of the heart. It leads the reader, as the Rule was meant to lead the novice, to answer the very personal question we must all, as Christians, answer: "Am I truly seeking God?" Includes a copy of the Rule.
Esther de Waal is a well-known author whose interests lie particularly in monastic and Celtic spirituality. Her first book, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict (The Liturgical Press), continues to be a bestseller and has-been translated world wide. It was followed by Living with Contradiction: Further Reflections on the Rule and, most recently, A World Made Whole: Rediscovering the Celtic Tradition and A Seven Day Journey with Thomas Merton. She is married with four grown-up sons and lives in the Welsh Borders."
As an introduction to the world of Hebrew thought, Our Father Abraham is biblical, historical, and cultural in nature. At the same time, the writing is personal and passionate, reflecting Marvin Wilson's own spiritual pilgrimage and his extensive dialogue with Jews. The book (1) develops a historical perspective on the Jewish origins of the church, (2) sets forth the importance and nature of Hebrew thought, (3) discusses how the church can become more attuned to the Hebraic mind-set of Scripture, and (4) offers practical suggestions for interaction between Jews and Christians.
The study questions at the end of each chapter enhance the book's usefulness as a text and also make it suitable for Bible-study and discussion groups. All Christians--and Jews too--will profit from Wilson's sensible treatments of biblical texts, his thorough understanding of both the Christian and the Jewish faith, and his honest historical analysis of the general failure of the Christian church to acknowledge and understand its relation to Judaism.
A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—both famous and less well known—and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.
At the book’s center, two men whom Wright brings vividly to life, showing how they have made Scientology what it is today: The darkly brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, whose restless, expansive mind invented a new religion. And his successor, David Miscavige—tough and driven, with the unenviable task of preserving the church after the death of Hubbard.
We learn about Scientology’s complicated cosmology and special language. We see the ways in which the church pursues celebrities, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and how such stars are used to advance the church’s goals. And we meet the young idealists who have joined the Sea Org, the church’s clergy, signing up with a billion-year contract.
In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion, and whether Scientology is, in fact, deserving of this constitutional protection. Employing all his exceptional journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Lawrence Wright has given us an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the very essence of what makes Scientology the institution it is.
From the Hardcover edition.
As in his previous and successful book, The Rule of Benedict for Beginners,Will Derkse in this sequel is searching for those basic attitudes and virtues that characterize Benedictine spirituality, making them available for those living and working outside a monastery. The cultivation of silence and restrained speech; the dedication to work and study; the importance of humility (which is the courage to serve); the cultivation of hospitality, care, and stewardship; mutual respect and taking care of speaking good words these are the book's main topics. All these attitudes are boundary conditions for a life on which God's blessing is resting.
Will Derkse is married and a father of two adult daughters. He is an oblate with the Benedictine St. Willibrord's Abbey in Doetinchem, The Netherlands. He has degrees in chemistry and philosophy and has taught at several institutions of secondary and higher education. Since 2001, he is a director responsible for the Soeterbeeck Program for Science, Society, and Worldviews at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, where he also holds the Andreas van Melsen Chair.
In Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, Marva Dawn writes to help local parishes and denominations think more thoroughly about worship and culture so that they can function effectively in contemporary society. She roots her discussion of worship issues in a careful assessment of significant aspects of the present technological, boomer, post-modern society and names criteria by which to judge the various cultural influences. She then sketches essential attributes of worship. Dawn recognizes that the vitality and faithfulness of our personal and corporate Christian lives and the effectiveness of our outreach to the world depend on the character that is formed in individuals and communities.
How can churches best reach out to society without dumbing down this essential character formation? Dawn discusses music, preaching, and all the accouterments of worship and offers practical suggestions for choosing the best tools and forms to deepen worship life, nurture faith development, and increase believers outreach throughout the universal church and to the world.
This book is considered by many scholars to be part of the "Pseudepigrapha" (soo-duh-pig-ruh-fuh). The "Pseudepigrapha" is a collection of historical biblical works that are considered to be fiction. Because of that stigma, this book was not included in the compilation of the Holy Bible. This book is a written history of what happened in the days of Adam and Eve after they were cast out of the garden. Although considered to be pseudepigraphic by some, it carries significant meaning and insight into events of that time. It is doubtful that these writings could have survived all the many centuries if there were no substance to them.
This book is simply a version of an account handed down by word of mouth, from generation to generation, linking the time that the first human life was created to the time when somebody finally decided to write it down. This particular version is the work of unknown Egyptians. The lack of historical allusion makes it difficult to precisely date the writing, however, using other pseudepigraphical works as a reference, it was probably written a few hundred years before the birth of Christ. Parts of this version are found in the Jewish Talmud, and the Islamic Koran, showing what a vital role it played in the original literature of human wisdom. The Egyptian author wrote in Arabic, but later translations were found written in Ethiopic. The present English translation was translated in the late 1800's by Dr. S. C. Malan and Dr. E. Trumpp. They translated into King James English from both the Arabic version and the Ethiopic version which was then published in The Forgotten Books of Eden in 1927 by The World Publishing Company. In 1995, the text was extracted from a copy of The Forgotten Books of Eden and converted to electronic form by Dennis Hawkins. It was then translated into more modern English by simply exchanging 'Thou' s for 'You's, 'Art's for 'Are's, and so forth. The text was then carefully re-read to ensure its integrity.
The book tells the story of the Jesuits’ great successes as missionaries, educators, scientists, cartographers, polemicists, theologians, poets, patrons of the arts, and confessors to kings. It tells the story of their failures and of the calamity that struck them in 1773 when Pope Clement XIV suppressed them worldwide. It tells how a subsequent pope restored them to life and how they have fared to this day in virtually every country in the world. Along the way it introduces readers to key figures in Jesuit history, such as Matteo Ricci and Pedro Arrupe, and important Jesuit writings, such as the Spiritual Exercises.
Concise and compelling, The Jesuits is an accessible introduction for anyone interested in world or church history. In addition to the narrative, the book provides a timeline, a list of significant figures, photos of important figures and locations, recommendations for additional reading, and more.
Beginning not with early Israelite worship, but with creation itself, this work uncovers the glories and beauty of true worship as it is progressively revealed from its beginning in the Garden to its climax in the new heavens and new earth. Throughout the book, the focus is on the integral issue of who we worship . . . and why. Ross then applies these discoveries to the contemporary Christian practice and debate.
Recalling the Hope of Glory stands to become a definitive resource for the pastor, worship leader, and those training for the ministry. Regardless of their denomination, readers will appreciate the author's high view of Scripture and just how much it can and should inform Christian worship.
Driven by a passion for the body of Christ, Frank Viola has written some of today's most authoritative and celebrated works on the growing home, organic, and missional church movements. Now Viola shares practical keys to a healthy and successful church plant.
Viola contends that many congregations today are struggling to survive, not because of bad planning, but poor planting. He presents an essential guide for starting and nourishing organic churches in any culture. Drawing from both Scripture and a wealth of experience, Viola offers real-world tools, insights, and practical suggestions so churches won't just grow, but thrive.
Scott does not tell the story of the faith through church documents or catechism quotations. Instead, he looks at the faith experience of real Catholics—people like the American writer Andre Dubus, the French composer Olivier Messiaen, the Chinese human rights activist Henry Wu, the French martyr Charles de Foucauld, and the American reformer Dorothy Day. These and other Catholics embody a faith that warms the heart as it enlightens the mind.
One theme emerges from Scott's reflections on the lives of Catholics and the Scriptures: God's passion of love for humankind burns on in the Catholic Church. The Catholic passion is the conviction that there is nothing God will not do to win our love.
"The Catholic Passion is a monumental work. David Scott weaves material from scripture, history, the arts, the liturgy, theology, spirituality, and personal reflection, showing us that nothing human is alien to Christ—and nothing divine is withheld from God's people."
—Scott Hahn, author of The Lamb's Supper
"The Catholic Passion is a masterwork—beautiful, compelling, and wonderfully readable; an outstanding portrait of what Catholics believe and why. I highly recommend it."
—Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, archbishop of Denver
"David Scott helps us see a vibrant Catholicism that offers brilliant meaning in a world darkened by materialism and violence. He presents a vision that allows the treasures of the past to envision an orthodox Catholicism for the future."
—Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, EWTN