Reframing Hope

Author: Carol Howard Merritt
Publisher: Alban Institute, Incorporated
ISBN: 9781566993944
Size: 21.44 MB
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Much has been written about the changing landscape the church finds itself in, and even more about the church's waning influence in our culture. From her vantage point as an under-40 pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, moves away from the handwringing toward a discovery of what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like. What does the substance of hope look like right now? What does hope look like when it is framed in a new generation? Motivated by these questions, Merritt writes Reframing Hope with the understanding that we are not creating from nothing the vital ministry of the next generation. Instead, we are working through what we have, sorting out the best parts, acknowledging and healing from the worst, and reframing it all.

Reframing Hope

Author: Carol Howard Merritt
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1566996198
Size: 41.24 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Much has been written about the changing landscape the church finds itself in, and even more about the church's waning influence in our culture. From her vantage point as an under-40 pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, moves away from the handwringing toward a discovery of what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like. What does the substance of hope look like right now? What does hope look like when it is framed in a new generation? Motivated by these questions, Merritt writes Reframing Hope with the understanding that we are not creating from nothing the vital ministry of the next generation. Instead, we are working through what we have, sorting out the best parts, acknowledging and healing from the worst, and reframing it all.

Tribal Church

Author: Carol Howard Merritt
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1566996856
Size: 77.22 MB
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Carol Howard Merritt, a pastor in her mid-thirties, suggests a different way for churches to be able to approach young adults on their own terms. Outlining the financial, social, and familial situations that affect many young adults today, she describes how churches can provide a safe, supportive place for young adults to nurture relationships and foster spiritual growth. There are few places left in society that allow for real intergenerational connections to be made, yet these connections are vital for any church that seeks to reflect the fullness of the body of Christ. Carol Howard Merritt, a pastor in her mid-thirties, suggests a different way for churches to be able to approach young adults on their own terms. Outlining the financial, social, and familial situations that affect many young adults today, she describes how churches can provide a safe, supportive place for young adults to nurture relationships and foster spiritual growth. There are few places left in society that allow for real intergenerational connections to be made, yet these connections are vital for any church that seeks to reflect the fullness of the body of Christ. Using the metaphor of a tribe to describe the close bonds that form when people of all ages decide to walk together on their spiritual journeys, Merritt casts a vision of the church that embraces the gifts of all members while reaching out to those who might otherwise feel unwelcome or unneeded. Mainline churches have much to offer young adults, as well as much to learn from them. By breaking down artificial age barriers and building up intentional relationships, congregations can provide a space for all people to connect with God, each other, and the world.

Healing Spiritual Wounds

Author: Carol Howard Merritt
Publisher: HarperOne
ISBN: 9780062392305
Size: 56.85 MB
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An effective plan to help those suffering from wounds inflicted by the church find spiritual healing and a renewed sense of faith. Raised as a conservative Christian, minister and author Carol Howard Merritt discovered that the traditional institutions she grew up in inflicted great pain and suffering on others. Though she loved the spirituality the church provided, she knew that, because of sexism, homophobia, and manipulative religious politics, established religious institutions weren’t always holy or safe. Instead of offering refuge, these institutions have betrayed people’s hearts and souls. “People have suffered religious abuse,” she writes, “which can be different from physical injury or psychological trauma.” Though participation and affiliation in traditional religious institutions is waning, many people still believe in God. Merritt contends that many leave the church because they have lost trust in the institution, not in God. Healing Spiritual Wounds addresses the church’s dichotomous image—as a safe space and as a dangerous place—and provides a way to restore personal faith and connection to God for those who have been hurt or betrayed by established institutions of faith. Merritt lays out a multistage plan for moving from pain to spiritual rebirth, from recovering theological and emotional shards to recovering communal wholeness. Merritt does not sugarcoat the wrongs institutions long seen as trustworthy have inflicted on many innocent victims. Sympathetic, understanding, and deeply positive, she offers hope and a way to help them heal and reclaim the spiritual joy that can make them whole again.

Union With Christ

Author: J. Todd Billings
Publisher: Baker Academic
ISBN: 0801039347
Size: 40.19 MB
Format: PDF
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An accomplished theologian recovers the biblical theme of union with Christ, showing how it affects current theological and ministry issues.

Reframing Paul

Author: Mark Strom
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 9780830815708
Size: 67.96 MB
Format: PDF
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Mark Strom unveils Paul in his original context and invites us to engage with him in new terms. He courageously draws Paul into vital conversation with contemporary evangelicalism. This book is for anyone who wants to learn how the church can be an attractive community of transforming grace and conversation.

Unfettered Spirit

Author: Robert D. Cornwall
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781938434594
Size: 68.54 MB
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All too frequently studies of the gifts of the Spirit consist largely of answering two questions: "What are the gifts?" and "Which ones do I have?" In many cases studies go on to a third question: "How can I get more?" In response, institutional churches and theologically and intellectually respectable Christians often tend to avoid the work of the Holy Spirit in the church entirely. It's much easier to simply close the doors and windows than it is to deal with the wind (John 3:8). After all, they've seen the wind blow out the candles, disarrange the altar vestments, and send a chill through the congregants. Author, pastor, and church historian Bob Cornwall has experienced all of this for himself. He has seen traditional churches and worship. He has seen Pentecostal worship. He has led congregations in difficult times. For more than 30 years, he has studied, practiced, prayed, and lived the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. The result is Unfettered Spirit: Spiritual Gifts for the New Great Awakening. Here he avoids both the errors of replacing the freedom of the Spirit with human whim and of trying to tame or confine the Spirit that will not be fettered. He asks: "Do you truly believe that God is present in the world? And, do you believe that God is working through us to break down the walls that divide us from God, from each other, and from the world? And if you do, do you believe that you have been gifted and empowered to participate in this ministry that takes down the walls of egoism, suspicion, greed, self-interest, and hatred?" If you can say "yes" to these questions, jump right in! This is the book for you. If you are hesitant, or if the idea of the Holy Spirit working unfettered in your congregation and community frightens you, read the first four chapters carefully as Bob lays the theological foundation. You may find your "maybe" or even your "no" turned into a "yes." Building on this foundation, Bob continues with five chapters on the gifts of the Spirit as described in Scripture. These are practical discussions that will let you keep your bearings in discussions of the Spirit and, more importantly, in a community where the Spirit is active. Finally, he concludes with a discussion of how to lead and pastor a church where the gifts of the Spirit are active. Whether you are a Pentecostal, an evangelical, a mainliner, a progressive, or any other label you might find for yourself or your church, you will profit from reading this book.

Greenhouses Of Hope

Author: Dorie Grinenko Baker
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1566995388
Size: 67.63 MB
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Do you know a church where young people regularly shape the liturgy with words that speak their truth in ways that also inspire their elders? Do you hear about congregations that reach out in quirky new ways to their ailing neighborhoods, instead of locking doors and shipping out to a suburb? Do you find churches creating hospitable space that invites the live wriggling questions and doubts of young people in unhurried, unworried ways? Do you see congregations where young people's gifts are not stored in the basement or bracketed into 'contemporary' worship services but are brought forth and celebrated? The authors who collaborated on this book launched a quest for such vibrant, life-giving, greening congregations and observed the diverse practices that grow there. They named these churches 'Greenhouses of Hope.' A Greenhouse of Hope is a Christian congregation freeing itself to experiment with both newly imagined and time-honored ways of following the path of Jesus. Its members respond to God's love through practices that genuinely embrace the gifts of youth and young adults. Out of these greenhouses emerge young leaders who want to change the world. In Greenhouses of Hope, Dori Baker and six contributors tell the stories of these remarkable congregations, helping others think about how they can create space for the dreams of young people to be grafted into God's dreams for the world

The Vulnerable Pastor

Author: Mandy Smith
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830841237
Size: 12.94 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Missio Alliance Essential Reading List of 2015 Hearts & Minds Bookstore's Best Books of 2015, For Church Leaders ProdigalThought.net's Top Reads of 2015 Englewood Review of Books Best Books of 2015, Praxis Leadership Journal's Best Ministry Books of the Year Often as pastors we feel like we need to project strength and competency in order to minister effectively. That's why we go to conferences and emulate the latest superstars. But we know we can never live up to those images. Deep down, we know our own limitations, our weaknesses, our faults. We fear that if people knew who we really are, we'd be disqualified from ministry. Not so. Mandy Smith unpacks the biblical paradox that God's strength is revealed through our human weakness. Transparently describing her pastoral journey, Smith shows how vulnerability shapes ministry, through our spiritual practices and relationships, influencing our preaching, teaching and even the nuts and bolts of the daily schedule. Understanding our human constraints makes our ministry more sustainable and guards us against disillusionment and burnout. We don't have to have it all together. Recognizing our weakness makes us rely on God, so our weakness can become a ministry resource. God has called you to lead not as a demigod, but as a human, so the world can see that the church is a place for humans like them.