Here at the outset of 2020, it seems that a good deal of my energy this year will be devoted to several projects focused on helping churches deepen their congregational life …
As I’ve been preparing for these projects, I’ve compiled this reading list on some of the most essential thinkers who guide us into the work of deepening our congregational life together in our local churches. I chosen to focus on authors/thinkers rather than books because most of these authors have written more than one relevant book.
In addition to writing the landmark book on Christian hospitality (a vital social practice of Christian community), Making Room, Christine Pohl has also written an essential work on Christian community:
Every church, every organization, has experienced them: betrayal, deception, grumbling, envy, exclusion. They make life together difficult and prevent congregations from developing the skills, virtues, and practices they need to nurture sturdy, life-giving communities.
In Living into Community Christine Pohl explores four specific Christian practices — gratitude, promise-keeping, truth-telling, and hospitality — that can counteract those destructive forces and help churches and individuals build and sustain vibrant communities. Drawing on a wealth of personal and professional experience and interacting with the biblical, historical, and moral traditions, Pohl thoughtfully discusses each practice, including its possible complications and deformations, and points to how these essential practices can be better cultivated within communities and families.
*** LISTEN to Christine Pohl’s related talk
from the 2014 Slow Church Conference…