Item description for 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) by Richard L. Hamm...
Overview Where are the Disciples going in the first twenty years of the third millennium, and how will they get there? Former General Minister and President Richard Hamm shares his vision for his denomination.
Publishers Description Where are the Disciples going in the first twenty years of the new millennium, and how will they get there? In this book, the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) shares his vision for his denomination, lifting up three marks of a faithful church: a deep Christian spirituality, true community, and a passion for justice.
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Studio: Chalice Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.64" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.51" Weight: 0.52 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2001
Publisher Chalice Press
ISBN 0827236379 ISBN13 9780827236370
Availability 93 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 04:26.
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More About Richard L. Hamm
Dick Hamm currently serves as the Executive Director of Christian Churches Together in the USA. He served as General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada from 1993 to 2003 and is a founding partner and past president of The Columbia Partnership. Dick has written and spoken extensively on the subject of church renewal and is bringing that knowledge to bear on congregations and other church organizations through consulting and coaching. He is also the author of 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and From Mainline to Front Line.
Reviews - What do customers think about 2020 Vision for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)?
Visionary in a Sea of Nostalgia Mar 17, 2004
I had never heard of the Disciples of Christ denomination until a couple years ago. I have never been particularly religious but my lover and I were looking for a gay friendly spiritual community and came accross a local DOC church and liked their liberal interpretation of theology and welcoming attitude to gay people. At the time we started attending, the congregation had already dwindled down to about 20 or so core congregants and most of those were white, over fifty and most of them were long term members.
Although the theology was liberal, the service was very traditional, formal, Euro-centric and nostalgic of the 1950s which was lost on most visitors. The worship was geared toward the comprehension level, biases and preferences of long term Christians that had grown up in a Euro-centric Christian culture and spoke that language and this level of worship was almost incomprehensible to the vast majority of multicultural, secular American "seekers" that do not have the same esoteric language, symbol associations and experience of DOC insiders and old timers. It was frustrating to see a congregation with such great theology dying and Richard Hamm's book was helpful in clarifying some of the issues involved.
Richard Hamm probably summed it up for me best when he said in chapter one that "many of our congregations and related institutions remain firmly rooted in the 1950s." He asks, "How do we go from being a church that is, is some ways a church of the 1950's to a faithful and growing church for the world that is becoming?"
His answers to those questions are often broad, vague and generalized but they open the door for further discussion. I progressed through that conversation over the next year or two with books by Norman Peart, Kimon Sargeant, George Barna, William Easum and others. It seems tragic to me that it is often the churches with the most conservative, fundamentalist theology are the ones that have made the effort to communicate with seekers and often are the ones that present worship services in the most modern and interesting ways while churches with relatively liberal theologies tend to cling to old fashioned, conservative worship services that most seekers don't relate to. There is often a confusing of content with presentation. I think Richard Hamm understands that if a congregation is going to grow, that worship styles must cross age and cultural barriers. What good is the message if one can not communicate it in a language and style that has meaning for seekers? If the message is only communicated in a language and style appealing to the biases and preferences of "mature" Christians and ignores the needs of seekers, the church will die out with those "mature" Christians.
Do you see what I see... Feb 18, 2004
Richard Hamm is the recently retired General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a position he held for about a decade. He recently described his role in that position not so much as an administrator or dogmatic leader, but rather as someone who is called to provide a vision for the denomination into the future.
Vision is a word bandied about by corporate types and organisational theorists, but often remains murky in definition and application. The first two chapters of this text develop the most important part of a foundation for valid vision - the context and present situation. Hamm explores the context of the church, from within and within a broader society. He also sets the context for what vision involves - spiritual renewal, institutional renewal, and ultimate transformation. The vision not only sees, it has intention, the intention of being made real.
Hamm called for primary elements of this vision to fall along the lines of developing true and faithful community, a deepening spirituality, and a passion for justice. All of these sound wonderful, but become difficult to put into practice. For example, what constitutes justice to one person or one congregation may not be the same for another. All three aspects - community, spirituality, justice - require people to leave their comfort zones and embrace a higher ideal. As church folk, that should be part and parcel of the call from baptism and membership, right?
The second primary section deals with `getting from here to there'. The first chapter calls upon people to be agents for change, but with careful intention and proper discernment. Discernment is a specific process that involves all voices in the community, and does not arrive at easy answers or simple majority-rule decisions. Hamm draws on modern ideas of leadership theory and tempers this with spiritual practices for ministers and others in the church. The second chapter in this section carefully shows the physical projections (charts with age of clergy, etc.) and incorporates the principles of vision (I see the church as...) to make the case for Hamm's vision.
There are two appendices - one on denominational questions generally (the Disciples having a strong ecumenical history often concerns itself with general questions about denominationalism), and one on polity issues. These bring up important questions for discussion as the vision of the church continues to grow.
This is a very accessible book, an interesting read for Disciples in particular, but also more generally for those interested in the ideas of Christian direction and polity in North America in the coming years.
Excellent read Dec 19, 2002
I agree with Diana that the book well written and gives a sobering account of the future of Proestants and the Disciples of Christ, in particular. Not a hard read at all!
A view into the 21st century in mainline Protestantism Aug 2, 2001
This is a readable book that is hard to put down if you are interested in the future of Christianity. Hamm helps us understand the differences in how various generations approach organized religion. He states that North America is the area of the world most in need of missionary work at this time. Even though his focus is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I think most of the book is relevant to all the mainline Protestant denominations. I am a lay person interested in this topic and found the book quite understandable.