Archives For CCDA

 

What is your testimony?

A Feature Review of

Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God is At the Center
Noel Castellanos

Paperback: IVP Books, 2015
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by David Swanson

 

What is your testimony? The question might sound dated, but the sentiment behind it has been important to a wide variety of American Christians for a long time. The before and after of conversion to Jesus is mixed with one’s narrative arc – some more dramatic than others – to create a form that is instantly recognizable in churches of distinct denominations, races, and styles of worship. Increasingly there is a second conversion that follows the first. If the first conversion is accomplished by believing the good news of Jesus, identifying with the justice priorities of Jesus’ kingdom marks the second. Like the first conversion, the second has its own testimony.

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Regular readers may have noticed that we were a little slower than usual in posting new material and on the social networks.

I’ve found myself in a crazy storm with trying to do revisions on the SLOW CHURCH book manuscript, and with getting ready to run the official bookstore for the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference next month (including getting the next issue of our print magazine out before then…)

Here’s a couple of pieces related to what I’ve been working on:

 

I’ve been getting ready this week for the upcoming CCDA conference bookstore…

This excerpt is from one of the most anticipated books for that event:

Mobilizing for the Common Good: The Lived Theology of John M. Perkins
Charles Marsh, Peter Slade and Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Eds.

Paperback: U of Mississippi Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon]  [ Kindle ]

*** Other Books by or about John Perkins…




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Leroy Barber - Everyday MissionsA Spectacular Penchant for Story

A Review of

Everyday Missions: How Ordinary People Can Change the World

Leroy Barber

Paperback: IVP Books, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Sam Edgin

Everyday Missions: How Ordinary People Can Change the World is a book for those who seek faith as defined apart from the social rules our culture has thrown on us. Leroy Barber reaches out and pulls the reader out from the muck of contemporary ideas on success, faith, and personal mission, wipes their eyes and points towards a different path. It is for those who seek to live, love and serve without moving into a far-away jungle, but aren’t quite sure how to go about doing that. Filled with fresh theology pulled from Biblical examples and with stories of others busy searching for and finding their way in their faith, this could be the book that incites massive change in your life.

But, it’s also a book for the uninitiated.

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The Christian Community Development Association will be having their annual convention here in Indianapolis next week, October 12-16!!!

The ERB will be running the main bookstore for the conference, just outside the entrance to the main assembly room!  Do stop in and see us!!!!

Go to the CCDA website for more details… And if you’re coming to CCDA, plan to come out and visit Englewood Christian Church on Saturday afternoon October 15, to hear our story and to discuss asset-based community development among churches.

Here’s a recent video about the CCDA gathering:

 

Through 12PM ET on Tuesday September 6th, you can enter daily for a chance to win a copy of Jon Huckins’s great new book Teaching Through Storytelling: Creating Fictional Stories that Illuminate the Message of Jesus.
[ Go here for more details and to enter ]


The Missio Conference will be held in Cincinnati on Sept 29-October 1.

MISSIO is… A  gathering of emerging church leaders and fresh expressions practitioners for conversation and collaboration in (re) imagining church in ways that are radically incarnational and contextual to embody the Gospel and Reign of God in today’s culture.  This will be an opportunity for people in traditional congregations to dialogue with leaders of emerging Christianity, to discover innovative resources for building community through radical hospitality, emergent worship, and missional church planting within a postmodern and post-secular world.  Together, we will explore what it means to be what the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, calls a “mixed-economy church,” where traditional congregations and new expressions of church work together to participate in God’s mission in the world.

ERB editor Chris Smith, will be leading a session on Slow Church, based on a book on this theme that he is co-writing with John Pattison.

[ Click for more details ]


The Christian Community Development Association will be having their annual convention here in Indianapolis, October 12-16.

Go to the CCDA website for more details…  And if you’re coming to CCDA, plan to come out and visit Englewood Christian Church on Saturday afternoon October 15, to hear our story and to discuss asset-based community development  among churches.

Here’s a recent video about the CCDA gathering:

 

A Brief Review of

Follow Me to Freedom:
Leading and Following as An Ordinary Radical.

Shane Claiborne and John Perkins.

Paperback: Regal Books, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Follow Me to Freedom - Claiborne / PerkinsThere is one popular category of books from which I have yet to review any books – the leadership book.  Who knows how many books on leadership have been published in the last year… certainly hundreds, maybe thousands?  I know I’ve received at least a dozen review copies of new leadership books in the last six months, all unsolicited and all ended up unreviewed and were donated or recycled.  But when I saw that Shane Claiborne – a noted young writer, activist and founding partner of The Simple Way Community in Philadelphia – and John Perkins – an esteemed African-American Christian who was active in the civil rights movement and later founded the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) – had written a book together on leadership (and following), my interest was piqued and I knew that I would have to read and review it.  Both master storytellers, Shane and John collaborate together in Follow Me to Freedom: Leading and Following as An Ordinary Radical, to paint a balanced picture of leadership as a necessary part of the life of the church community. Before I go any further, I must warn you that Follow Me to Freedom is not a typical book; it is a collection of conversations between John and Shane (edited down from one or more larger conversations), and it has a wonderfully refreshing conversational feel to it.   The wisdom that the authors share here is down-to-earth, recognizing many dangers that come along with leadership.  John and Shane cover many qualities of leadership that we see manifested throughout scripture: e.g., vision, justice, prayer, etc.  However, there are some parts that might come as a surprise to some evangelical readers, like a chapter on civil disobedience (which really isn’t all that surprising given the activism in which both authors are involved).  I was particularly struck by Shane and John’s emphasis on the practice of stability (the commitment to being rooted in a place) as one of the highest virtues of leadership.  John says:

We need the stability that comes from putting down roots. We get so many of these volunteers. We get so many people who are coming really just to look at you, to prepare to go look somewhere else.  They’re looking for God … this has taken them from place to place and eventually to us.  Many of them give their lives for a few years and then move somewhere else.  I don’t blame them for moving on, but the fact of the matter is that it creates instability for us and the community – especially the children (161-162).

The authors are also not afraid to tackle the tricky dimensions of race in leadership. Shane observes:

I think a lot of white guys get to be leaders because they’re white guys, not because they’re leaders.  A lot of books sell, not because they’re good, but because they’re marketed well and have money behind them.  That’s not the way Jesus did things. … We – especially we men and we white folks from backgrounds of “so-called privilege”…  – need to take creative risks to make room for other leaders and voices.  It’s certainly not that women or people of color are not good leaders or dynamic communicators, … [it’s] that we haven’t been careful enough, and humble enough, and creative enough to make sure every voice is at the table (76-77).

Yes, Follow Me to Freedom is not your typical leadership book, and as a result if we will take its message seriously, we might just be formed a little bit more into the image of Christ, the sacrificial servant leader, who came to lead us out of the bondage of sin and into the freedom of God’s shalom, for which we were created!