Churches cannot be clubs for the righteous, institutions that maintain religious conformity in the face of change, or businesses that manage orthodoxy and personal piety. Churches must be more like Rolling Thunder or holy flash mobs. They must grasp–in a profound and authentic way–that they are sacred communities of performance where the faithful learn the script of God’s story, rehearse the reign of God, experience delight, surprise, and wonder, and participate fully in the play. ((Bass, Diana Butler. Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. 1st ed. New York: HarperOne, 2012.))
I am really intrigued by this book. It is on my “to read” list. The first once over of the “four acts of love” seem right on.
DeKruyter, Arthur H., and Quentin J. Schultze. The Suburban Church: Practical Advice for Authentic Ministry. 1st ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.
Founding pastor of Christ Church in Oak Brook, IL.
DeKruyter offers a case study of how he started with the calling from five couples in the suburban Oak Brook Village, to watch the the Holy Spirit grow a dynamic suburban ministry. I appreciated his humble and practical approach to contextual ministry. He resists the universalizing and stereotyping tendencies to speak of suburbia as a homogenous people group. All suburbs are unique places, just like every place, and require the attentiveness of missional leaders to discern what the Spirit is doing in that place and how to serve the community and draw people into the worship of God.
Tietjen, John H. Which Way to Lutheran Unity? A History of Efforts to Unite the Lutherans of America. Saint Louis: Concordia Pub. House, 1966.
John H. Tietjen (June 18, 1928 – February 15, 2004) was a Lutheran clergyman, theologian, and national church leader in the United States. He is best known both for his role in the Seminex controversy which roiled the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the mid-1970s, and for his efforts on behalf of Lutheran unity that resulted in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).1
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tietjen (accessed September 14, 2013)