Active congregations can change the world.
Congregations have been the bedrock of mainline Christian life and practice for centuries but in recent years many have dwindled in energy and impact. Leaders conclude that change is needed, that they can’t keep applying the same models and practices that have served in the past but no longer seem to work.
At a time when all kinds of institutions are being buffeted by swift and strong cultural forces, Brochard and Newton believe the congregation to be a primary site for the transformation of individuals, communities, and the world and that the measures for congregational vitality begin with health, faithfulness, and effectiveness as local expressions of the Church.
The authors offer readers insights into developing a sense of purpose, building trust, encouraging curiosity, becoming more collaborative, appreciating productive conflict, and other vital skills.
Read an excerpt.
“Vital Christian Community offers churches of every kind access to clear, tested practices and pathways toward authentic, transformed life with Jesus and with each other.”
—The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, author of The Church Cracked Open
“[A] deep and hopeful view of congregations of all sizes while also providing excellent resources for strengthening their transformational potential.”
—The Revd Dr Ellen Clark-King, dean of King’s College London
“An excellent resource for local faith communities, denominational leaders, seminaries, and laity who need help in thinking about how faith communities, in their local context, can be more healthy, vibrant, and effectively active.”
—The Rev. Dr. Mark Chung Hearn, associate professor and director of Contextual Education, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California
“Having just launched the College for Congregational Development in the Diocese of Indianapolis, I see Vital Christian Community as an essential text putting some of the core values and practices of the college into the hands of lay and ordained leaders when we need this wisdom the most.”
—The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis