Item description for Practitioners: Voices Within the Emerging Church by Greg Russinger & Alex Field...
Overview What does it mean to be missional in today?s postmodern world? Does it require creating a new structure for the Church, going back to an old structure or imagining something entirely different? What does this mean on a practical level? Join the discussions among practitioners of the emerging church, jumping right into the middle of questions being asked in churches today. How do vision statements fit in with being a missional community? How do we become stronger leaders? How do our job descriptions intersect with how God sees us? How can we better handle creativity in the Church? What about the place of the Church for the younger generation? Whether you?re new to the discussion or looking to go deeper, Practitioners provides much food for thought. Be a part of this continuing conversation.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Practitioners: Voices Within the Emerging Church?
Good, Quick, Artistic, Thought Provoking... Mar 4, 2006
The Emergent Movement is an addiction to some, and the undermining of Christianity to others. In this artistic collection of various artists, pastors, authors - they give dialogue to the various aspects of living their understanding of the movment.
What I enjoyed most about this book, is the wrestling with the question - what does it mean, what does it look like, how can WE be the Body of Christ in this world?
To me, that is a great question that is often trumped by - How much money do we need? How can we grow bigger, faster? How can we maximize the one hour we get with our people?
For those who are "all in" - this will provide some priceless ideas and conversations that will help shape and challenge whatever is going through your mind regarding "being the Church."
For those of you who are skeptical - read it, because, it seems their arguments are moving away from the anti-modern church and instead asking the question - how can the Church return to being Missional verses a weekly gathering.
My only complaint is - for those who are NOT at all artistic, there are parts of this book that may appear "hokey." In our world - that is still more modern than post-modern (at least in Toledo, OH) there are many who just want to read and learn - drawing and journaling in a book is a distracting. I enjoy the drawings - but the whole thing felt too fabricated and the questions were not the ones I wanted to wrestle with...
Overall, great and interesting read. Not too over the top with "BE LIKE US" or "HATE MODERN" - but a genuine interest in wrestling with what it means to be missional!
Practical - and bring a Pencil Nov 17, 2005
Greg Russinger and Alex Field let us in on a conversation, a dialogue in mostly prose form. My only interaction with some of the voices within - Doug Pagitt, Spencer Burke, Dan Kimball, Anna Pelkey and others - has been a couple of face-to-face meetings and through their online presence. The proverbial fly-on-the-wall would have had a great seat in the midst of the questions and answers and then better questions that were flowing from the Soliton gatherings upon which this work was based. I proverbially envy that fly.
I admit that I was this close (picture my fingers making the little "this close" sign) to putting this book down when I got to the first page asking me to draw my thoughts. I didn't want to find a pen, didn't want to doodle while reading in my comfortable wingback by the fireplace, so I closed the book. Later, heading to bed, I took the book upstairs to keep reading on the post-doodle-your-thoughts page. On my nightstand was a crayon, and I made a leap of faith into a book that asks the reader to draw, to think, to pray, to stretch into new contortions of the way faith can work out in community with each other. I doodled, and entered into the conversation. Or rather, it left me wanting to be that proverbial fly again, wanting to join in those former chats or start some new ones here and now.
In reading Luke 7 and the story of the girl washing Jesus' feet with her hair as the leaders gawk and wonder what's going on, my mind was opened to the way I "see people" - "Do you see this woman?" is such a deep question: "In Jesus, we see the raw recognition of her human value come to the forefront and the rebellion of love challenge the systems of moral judgment that haunt the human heart, as well as confront church policy that unknowingly ousts the broken for fear that those with wealth would exit the doors" (p. 40). There are too many folks pointing the finger of judgment, saying that new movements and emerging ideas are lacking in biblical foundations. This book has made me once again look at favorite passages with new eyes, showing a certain depth that's going unnoticed, a certain love for the scriptural narrative that is wonderful on all kinds of levels. Instead of a lack of Bible, there's a love for the Bible that will not let us take it for granted.
Dialogue on missional prayer, pondering story and the visual aspects of learning and communicating, a wonderful chapter on movies and the impact of culture on the human story - and that's just halfway through the book. Covering topics much like a conversation would, chasing bunnies and coming back to a common thread, the book winds its way through to Dan Kimball's experience with stained glass, which speaks to my own journey, too: "I sat there in the chapel for a long time. As I did, I watched the sun come through the window, I saw the stories on the stained glass, and I examined my heart, putting it all into perspective... God chooses us as art, and in this sense we are all broken pieces of stained glass, and He has chosen us for this particular time" (p. 207). I think it resonates with me because I want my life to be more beautiful, a better story, more impacting on the lives of others around me. As a "practitioner", we can have this conversation, at least changing and challenging ourselves.
A fine addition to the Emergent conversation Oct 30, 2005
This book stretched me. The chapter on justice will leave you changed. Doug Pagitt's chapters are my favorite, he challenges the ideas you arrive with and leaves your bags packed with more interesting questions to wrestle with than you thought possible. The cover design, interior and artwork through out the book are nice as well. I hope this book is well marketed. It's a gem that shouldn't be missed.