The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine

Relationships Right Outside
by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon

This is a great read and a potentially great resource.  The authors say, “When Jesus was asked to sum  up everything into one command, he said to love God with everything we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Most of us have turned this simple idea of loving our neighbors into a nice saying. . . What would happen if every follower of Jesus took the Great Commandment literally?  Is it possible that the solution to our society’s biggest issues has been right under our noses for the past two thousand years?”  In a very readable format, the authors share their own experiences and the experiences of their community in focusing on building relationships with our actual neighbors . . . persons who live next door, on our block, down our street.  The resource has a study guide and the authors talk about their experience in sharing a community focused sermon series with other pastors in  their city.  If you are looking for encouragement and even some training and  tactics for following Jesus’ commandment to be a good neighbor, this could be a great resource for you!




Culture Care : Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life

by Makoto Fujimara

"Culture is not a territory to be won or lost but a resource we are called to steward with care. Culture is a garden to be cultivated." Many bemoan the decay of culture. But we all have a responsibility to care for culture, to nurture it in ways that help people thrive. In Culture Care artist Makoto Fujimura issues a call to cultural stewardship, in which we become generative and feed our culture's soul with beauty, creativity, and generosity. We serve others as cultural custodians of the future. This is a book for artists, but artists come in many forms. Anyone with a calling to create―from visual artists, musicians, writers, and actors to entrepreneurs, pastors, and business professionals―will resonate with its message. This book is for anyone with a desire or an artistic gift to reach across boundaries with understanding, reconciliation, and healing. It is a book for anyone with a passion for the arts, for supporters of the arts, and for "creative catalysts" who understand how much the culture we all share affects human thriving today and shapes the generations to come. Culture Care includes a study guide for individual reflection or group discussion.





Doing the Math of Mission

Fruits, Faithfullness, and Metrics

by Gil Rendle

Over the past ten years, the North American mission field has experienced dramatic changes, which in turn have required congregations, middle judicatories, and denominations to adapt. Among these adaptations is an expectation for clear goals and quantified progress towards those goals. Church leaders who have never needed to measure their goals and progress with metrics may find this change daunting. The use of metrics—denominational and middle judicatory dashboards, and the tracking of congregational trends—has become an uncomfortable and misunderstood practice in this search for accountability.

Doing the Math of Mission offers theory, models, and new tools for using metrics in ministry. This book also shows where metrics and accountability fit into the discernment, goal setting, and strategies of ministry.





Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church

by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder & Brad M. Griffin

Across the United States, churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation's leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults. It profiles innovative churches that are engaging 15- to 29-year- olds and as a result are growing--spiritually, emotionally, missionally, and numerically. Packed with both research and practical ideas, Growing Young shows pastors and ministry leaders how to position their churches to engage younger generations in a way that breathes vitality, life, and energy into the whole church.

"Growing Young carries an urgent message. Young people need the body of Christ--and vice versa. This book is theologically informed, research savvy, and pragmatically outstanding. Read it now, before you get any older.
- John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Church, author of All The Places To Go





 The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships

by Jake McGlothin

Partnering your church family with a public school can be a rewarding experience, but it also presents some unique challenges.

The Mission-Minded Guide to Church and School Partnerships offers practical steps congregations can take to make a difference with the children in their community.

From basic organization, training, safety, and planning, leaders will learn how to share the vision and effectively recruit and train volunteers. Most importantly, leaders will discover how to begin a collaborative, trusting relationship with students, administrators, and teachers.

In addition, there are suggestions for sharing information about the partnership through communication tools like newsletters and special Sundays for welcoming the schools, teachers, principals, and more.

Inspire your church family to embrace the power they have to change lives and make a difference in their community.





 Slow Kingdom Coming : Practices for Doing Justice,

Loving Mercy and Walking Humbly in the World

by Kent Annan

No one said pursuing justice would be easy. The road can be so challenging and the destination so distant that you may be discouraged by a lack of progress, compassion or commitment in your quest for justice. How do you stay committed to the journey when God's kingdom can seem so slow in coming? Kent Annan understands the struggle of working for justice over the long haul. He confesses, "Over the past twenty years, I've succumbed to various failed shortcuts instead of living the freedom of faithful practices." In this book, he shares practices he has learned that will encourage and help you to keep making a difference in the face of the world's challenging issues. All Christians are called to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly in the world. Slow Kingdom Coming will guide and strengthen you on this journey to persevere until God's kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.




 You Welcomed Me: Loving Refugees and Immigrants

Because God First Loved Us

by Kent Annan

"Wait, Dad. Are we for them or against them?" Kent Annan was talking with his eight-year-old son about the immigrant and refugee crises around the world. His son's question, innocent enough in the moment, is writ large across our society today. How we answer it, Annan says, will reveal a lot about what kind of family, community, or country we want to be. In You Welcomed Me, Annan explores, in his usual compelling way, how fear and misunderstanding can motivate our responses to people in need. Instead, he invites us into stories of welcome―stories that lead us to see the current refugee and immigrant crisis in a new light. He also lays out simple practices for a way forward: confessing what separates us, listening well, and partnering with, not patronizing, those in need. His stories draw us in, and the practices send us out prepared to cross social and cultural divides. In this wise, practical book, Annan invites us to answer his son's question with confident conviction: "We're for them"―and to explore with him the life-giving implications of that answer.