Archives For Christine Pohl


Last weekend, we hosted the annual retreat of the Nurturing Communities Network (NCN) here at Englewood Christian Church.


NCN is

“an informal and growing network of Christ-centered intentional communities. Older established communities connect with novice communities for the purpose of learning from each other, encouragement and growing.  This happens through visits, regional and local gatherings, meals together, and many conversations.  The hope is mutual encouragement in Jesus’ way of simplicity, justice and peace.”


I was inspired by this retreat to compile the following list of books that offer diverse perspectives on life in Christian intentional community. (Some of these titles are recommended on the NCN Resource list.)
If you are curious about Christian intentional community, I encourage you to take a look at some of these books, and the NCN website.


By ERB Editor C. Christopher Smith


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[easyazon_link identifier=”B00A2F8ZUK” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus[/easyazon_link] 

David Janzen

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
( Christine Pohl, Eugene Peterson, Kathleen Norris, MORE )

Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

*** TCR picks the very best deals
from Amazon’s monthly
ebook sale for July 2018


[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B001E95V7I” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”334″]

[easyazon_link identifier=”B001E95V7I” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition[/easyazon_link] 

Christine Pohl

*** $2.99 ***

The one book to read on Christian hospitality.
Our reading list on hospitality.
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Christine Pohl

Here is the third of the audio recordings from the Slow Church Conference that we hosted earlier this month here at Englewood Christian Church.

Previously posted talks from the Slow Church conference:

Our aim for the conference was to foster conversation around the work of several key theologians whose work inspired the [easyazon-link asin=”0830841148″ locale=”us”]Slow Church book[/easyazon-link] that John Pattison and I wrote.

[ Download a FREE sampler of the SLOW CHURCH book here… ]

Christine Pohl is Professor of Church and Society at Asbury Theological Seminary.

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On April 3-5, we will be hosting:

Slow Church Conference

The Slow Church Conference

A conversation curated by Chris Smith and John Pattison,
co-authors of the Slow Church book
(coming June 2014, IVP / Praxis Books)

Registration and More Details:

When: April 3-5, 2014 (Thursday evening through Saturday lunch)
Where: Englewood Christian Church / Indianapolis
Cost:  $99 (Early Bird, through Jan. 31 Feb 7)  / $149 (Feb 8 and later)
NEW: Starting Feb 8, we will be offering a Student Rate of $99!
(Students should use promotion code: STUDENT2014 )
        This price includes 6 locally-sourced meals during the conference

Keynote Speakers Include: Christine Pohl, David Fitch, Phil Kenneson, Carol Johnston
(Plus one other distinguished speaker, who will be announced soon)

We’d love to get your help spreading the word about this special event… (Even if you won’t be able to be here yourself… )

  1. If you plan to participate, register now

  3. Share the link to the conference website with others who might be interested:

  5. Invite Facebook friends who might be interested, using our special FB E-vite.


We really appreciate your help in getting the word out
about the Slow Church Conference!


For the next few weeks, I will be reading Christine Pohl’s excellent new book Living into Community, and as I have time, will be sharing morsels from the book on our Twitter and Facebook pages.  Make sure you’re connected with us in at least one of these two ways, and keep an eye out for quotes/thoughts from the book!  I will try (as space allows) to use the hashtag #CPLIC

Below is an excerpt from the book

Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices that Sustain Us.

Christine Pohl.

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

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A Review of

834549: Friendship at the Margins: Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission Friendship at the Margins:
Discovering Mutuality in Service and Mission

Christopher L. Heuertz and Christine D. Pohl
Paperback: IVP Books, 2010.

Buy now: [ ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

For many years now, I have been reflecting on the significance of Jesus’ calling his disciples “friends” (John 15).  John McKnight’s book The Careless Society (and his work on Asset-Based Community Development) and Paul Wadell’s excellent book Becoming Friends, among others, have served as guides in thinking about this Gospel passage and the significance of friendship. The new book, Friendship at the Margins, by Chris Heuertz and Christine Pohl – the latest volume in the wonderful “Resources for Reconciliation” Series from Intervarsity Press and the Center for Reconciliation at Duke University – is another superb volume that parallels the above books on friendship and likewise engages the importance of friendship for Christian discipleship, and particularly the aspect of mutuality.   Friendship at the Margins is based largely on Heuertz’s experiences as international co-director (with his wife Phileena) of Word Made Flesh in some of the poorest and most oppressive areas of the world.  Pohl, a noted theologian and author of one of the finest books on Christian hospitality, offers some brief theological reflections as well as a few stories from her own experiences working with marginalized people.

The book is framed nicely by its first chapter in which the authors emphasize that our primary vocation is one of relationship – to God and to others, particularly the marginalized.  Not surprisingly the authors focus on the Gospel passage mentioned above in which Jesus calls his disciples friends.  They make the pointed observation:

Learning to see the so-called other as a friend increases our sensitivity to the reductionism, commodification and manipulation that plague some versions of mission and ministry.  Human beings who are not Christians are far more than potential converts.  In our concern for reaching out with the gospel, we can unwittingly reduce the person to less than the whole being that God formed.  When we shrink our interest in people to the possibilities of where their souls may spend eternity, it is easy to miss how God might already be working in and through a particular person [30-31].

The stories told throughout the book reinforce this central theme of the mutuality of friendship.  The book’s most striking story perhaps is not one that unfolds in a third world slum, but rather that of Chris’ friendship with the manager of a grant-making foundation.  There is much for us to learn here from Chris’ insistence on friendship and not becoming a pawn of this well-resourced manager.  At one point, he explains to this new friend: “In the same way that we tried to resist the reduction of our friends on the street to targets or potential converts, we wanted to resist reducing our wealthy friends and acquaintances to potential donors.”  As this story develops, we see the struggle through trust was eventually forged.  There is much for us to consider here about the nature of relationships that involve the exchange of money.

Not only is Friendship at the Margins a delightful and challenging meditation on the nature of friendship as followers of Christ, but it also serves as a fine introduction not only to Word Made Flesh’s work, but also to their new and refreshing philosophy of ministry, which refuses at every turn to reduce and commodify relationships.


Last week, we ran an excerpt of

by Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier.

This week, we bring you the newest volume in the same
Resources for Reconciliation Series:

Chris Heuertz and Christine Pohl.
Paperback: IVP Books, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]