Neighborhood Church

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

This book is one that has the potential to inspire enthusiasm and spark excitement in the targeted audience, of which I am most certainly included. As a pastor of an established congregation, I am frequently troubled by questions of the cultural and community relevance and impact of the church I serve. In an age when church participation in our nation continues to decline and denominations are experiencing losses of people, money, and facilities (or ABC: attendance, buildings, and cash), it behooves every "neighborhood church" to examine itself to determine if they accomplishing their goal of transforming lives.

The authors share a vision for designing our worship communities for maximum effectiveness in a rapidly changing culture. With practical ideas for community engagement, facility usage, strategic partnerships, and leadership development, readers will find a wealth of ideas for sustaining the vision of expanding the kingdom of God through the local church, regardless of the specific contemporary challenges. Included are many detailed case studies of neighborhood churches, large and small, that have overcome the exact same difficulties most readers will have experienced in their home congregations. Struggling churches are mentioned by name, and their leaders share how these congregations transitioned from dying to thriving, utilizing similar and/or identical strategies to those shared in the book. 

The overall emphasis of Neighborhood Church is on Spirit-empowered, God-centered, Christ-focused worship. Within that focus, readers are encouraged to learn and implement the principles of asset-based community development in their congregations and communities in order to experience the life-changing blessing of transformed lives on a kingdom scale. I'm excited about beginning to implement these ideas in my own congregation and sharing this book with our leadership team.

Thank you to Netgalley and Westminster John Knox Press for the electronic advance reader copy that made this review possible.
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I found this book  helpful, practical, readable, thoughtful.  While it's focus is on congregations, the ideas and practices are presented in a way so that they can be adapted to other contexts.
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This book is definitely oriented towards those serving in mainline denominations - however many of the principles are relevant to those serving in any kind of church. The idea of incarnational mission and truly being part of your neighbourhood is convicting. I appreciated the case studies and questions for thought along with the principles being explained.
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This was a great read that I'd recommend for anyone rethinking the way we do church and the way the church interacts with and is part of our communities.
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I loved the case studies in the book. To see real examples of real churches who are doing neighboring well was inspiring. It also made neighboring seem not completely out of grasp.

Another part that will stick with me is the power of listening. I was reminded of the power we hold when we listen and how that must always happen first. ‘the church should be leading the effort to listen attentively to others. This is a holy gift we offer to our communities in an era of rancorous social discourse.’

I loved this ‘i had to dive into the depths of their reality, a conversion to their experience, so that together we could find the available abundance that would make it possible to address an overwhelming deficiency.’ 

This book was hard to follow at times. It felt like a casual conversation at times and left me wanting a bit more from the book.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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