Item description for Unbinding Your Church (Pastor's and Leaders' Guide to the Real Life Evangelism Series) by Martha Grace Reese, Dawn Darvin Weaks & Catherine Riddle Caffey...
Overview Pastors are busy. This collection of fully integrated resources will help your church work and pray through the Real Life Evangelism Series. Included are step-by-step planning tools as well as worship resources to allow you-the pastor-to spend time on prayer, teaching, and working directly with others in your church. The planning tools include calendars, checklists for church staff, weekly scripture tie-ins, sample church newsletter campaigns, diagrams, simple to elaborate E-vent planning suggestions, Web site ideas, specific lesson plans, and much much more. Worship resources include sermons, prayers, and forms that have been placed on the Web for FREE and easy access and downloads.
Publishers Description Pastors are busy. This collection of fully integrated resources will help your church work and pray through the Unbinding the Gospel Series. Included are step-by-step planning tools as well as worship resources to allow you--the pastor--to spend time on prayer, teaching, and working directly with others in your church. The planning tools include calendars, checklists for church staff, weekly scripture tie-ins, sample church newsletter campaigns, diagrams, simple to elaborate E-vent planning suggestions, web site ideas, specific lesson plans, and much much more. Worship resources include sermons, prayers, and forms that have been placed on the Web for FREE with easy access and downloads. Change Habits, Not Just Minds. From the Unbinding the Gospel Series.
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Studio: Chalice Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.99" Width: 7.16" Height: 0.35" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2008
Publisher Chalice Press
Series Unbinding The Gospel
Series Number 3
ISBN 0827238061 ISBN13 9780827238060
Availability 85 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 26, 2017 09:05.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Martha Grace Reese, Dawn Darvin Weaks & Catherine Riddle Caffey
Martha Grace Reese embodies the experience of a researcher, corporate attorney, congregational pastor, middle judicatory minister, church consultant and author. She directed the Lilly Endowment-funded Mainline Evangelism Project, in which the Real Life Evangelism Series are grounded. The study, which included over 1,200 interviews, focused on highly effective examples of evangelism in mainline churches across the theological spectrum. Reese serves as President of GraceNet, Inc., specializing in church research, consulting and coaching.
Martha Grace Reese has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Unbinding Your Church (Pastor's and Leaders' Guide to the Real Life Evangelism Series)?
Invaluable Resource! Jan 29, 2008
Martha Grace Reese has done it again. In this second book, Reese gives us the tools and the road map that we need to revitalize our churches! The whole Unbinding process is mapped out in this book. You spend the first 8-24 weeks going over the first book with core leaders in your church, then 12-16 weeks planning the E-vent, then 6 weeks where the entire congregation using the third book, engages in the E-vent. The E-vent is done in small groups.
I recommend this book as required reading for all church pastors who are starting or renewing churches.
Essential Reading for Growing Mainline Churches Jan 16, 2008
In early 2007 Martha Grace Reese (aka Gay Reese) saw the publication of her best-selling book Unbinding the Gospel: Real Life Evangelism. It became a hit because it spoke to Mainline Protestants about an issue we Mainliners like to steer clear of - evangelism - in a way that we could understand and appreciate. It challenged us to see things differently. Gay makes this point clear when she speaks of God doing something different in our churches.
"In some ways, mainline churches have operated like a minority political party, the 'loyal opposition' for too long. We have critiqued, held back and said what's wrong with other parts of Christ's church. Many of the things we've said may have a lot of truth in them. But it's holding back that's the problem. That's us planted in playground dust. Many of us haven't done as good a job of putting our beliefs and lives on the line to follow the Spirit. We don't have a lot of experience leading in new, positive directions. It is going to take vast divinely inspired imagination for us to shift if we want God to use us in powerful, creative ways for new things" (p. 15).
Too often the evangelism resources we use are geared to Conservative Evangelicals and they simply don't sit well and so nothing happens. Unbinding the Gospel, however, was just the first salvo, the first offering in a series of three books. It is an introduction to the issue and the process, written with church leaders in mind. At the heart of this series is the belief that our ability to share our stories of faith with others is rooted in a committed and living relationship with God. The series is intended to help stir the spirit within us and give us the courage to share those stories with others, that they might find God and perhaps find their way into our communities of faith.
Book 2 in what has become the Real Life Evangelism Series, is entitled Unbinding Your Church. It is designed for pastors and those leaders who will guide the process. Gay is assisted in this process by Dawn Darwin Weaks, a Disciple pastor who provides sample sermons (yes this process involves a bit of preaching) and worship suggestions, and Catherine Riddle Caffey, who designed the charts and forms available online for use in a six week intensive church wide study. The final book is a revision of the first book designed for use by congregation members that includes a forty day prayer guide. This final book is entitled Unbinding Your Heart.
My attention here, however, is on the book for pastors and key leaders of this event. What Gay has provided is a step by step process of planning and enacting what she calls an "E-vent" - an Evangelism Event. If you read this manual, at times you will find yourself overwhelmed - especially if you are like me and you're a small church pastor. Fortunately Gay sprinkles through out the book a reminder that each church needs to adapt this process to their own situation. What is most telling in this guide, is the reminder that anything worth doing requires time and energy and planning. This isn't a process that you undertake at short notice. You must spend time reading, praying, planning, praying, recruiting, praying, and on. Her goal: changing habits and not just minds.
I tend to be an optimist, full of hope, and as Gay suggests we have a tendency to get all fired up about something, but then let it slide away due to lack of planning and commitment. The realist on the other hand, sees the dangers and the difficulties, focuses on the details and never gets started. The key then is balancing our hopes and optimism with enough realism to stay the course once we get started.
The book is composed of two parts. Part 1 lays out the process of planning and carrying out the event. She suggests spending 8 to 24 weeks in step 1 - using in Unbinding the Gospel - to discern whether to move forward (that is where my congregation is currently at - our elders are reading the book, just starting the book). After or concurrently with Step 1, another 12 to 16 weeks is spent utilizing this book - Unbinding Your Church - as pastors, staff, music team, small group leaders, and prayer team, work to discern the way forward and to organize the event itself. Finally there is Step 2, the E-vent using Unbinding Your Heart (Chalice 2008) which lasts 6 weeks, followed up by evaluation and implementation.
This book is the key to the success. It is methodical, overwhelming, detailed, but ultimately the key to understanding the way forward. The books themselves are only part of the package. Other forms are available online (the password is in the book) for downloading.
If you want to get a better sense of the process and its foundations, check my review of Unbinding the Gospel here. Check too the website -- http://www.gracenet.info/ -- and see what is available to review. I do think this is an exciting opportunity for the Mainline churches to discover their voice. The key, however, is rediscovering the conversation with God called prayer, something I like many find difficult to attend to with any consistency and diligence.
Get Unbound! Dec 28, 2007
OK, so my wife wrote a section for Gay in this book and i'm mentioned in the acknowledgements -- end of full disclosure.
But i am entirely psyched about the prospect of giving mainline/oldline congregations the chance at new vitality through working with this book. Gay has assembled a very user-friendly, step-by-step, anyone-can-do it approach to opening up a traditional congregation to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Leaders will be empowered, members will get excited, and visitors will sense that life is in the veins of a church that "unbinds the Gospel" through using this approach.
Prayer and discernment are not the work of spiritual supermen/women, but there's a tendency in many churches -- not just mainline/oldline, but even many charismatic/Pentecostal congregations -- to assume that a very small cadre of prayer warriors will do the heavy lifting of vision and direction. Gay shows how most of us have a necessary stake in breathing in God's will, and breathing out God's work for almost any size or type congregation.
The medium sized traditional Protestant church, though, will find more here to benefit from than almost anything else out there -- especially those who have tried the Rick Warren approach, which has some merit, but generally doesn't find much traction for mainliners (wrong language, too steep a learning curve for approach). Terry Teykl's stuff is the closest you'd find (Methodist, mainly), but this is so very *applicable* and without a whole bunch of banners and keychains and stuff.
Read and pray your way through these three books, and you will find the blessing that was tapping you on the shoulder the whole time.
In Grace & Peace, Jeff Gill http://knapsack.blogspot.com
Reese hits a home run Dec 28, 2007
Mainline churches have not won any evangelism series for a long time. Just as the Boston Red Sox broke the curse of the Bambino, the Real Life Evangelism Series knocks one out of the park. Reese equips mainline church leaders with prayerful and practical tools needed to change the church through the power of Christ's redeeming love.