How can we embody the values of love, grace, and justice? As faith communities, how can our collective embodiment of these values shine even brighter?
The answers to these questions must always unfold right here, right now, exactly where God has planted us. Neighborhood Church acts as a resource to inspire churches to become a vibrant and engaging community partner with the families and neighborhoods living around them. The need for transformation is acute. Congregational decline continues across all mainline denominations. The abandonment of the church by the millennial generation is ubiquitous; no denomination is escaping it. This is, in part, a consequence of disconnection from our communities.
Van Tatenhove and Mueller believe that, parish by parish, we can reverse this trend. They dare to have an audacious hope for local congregations not only as signs of God’s kingdom but as life-giving institutions that anchor their neighborhoods. Drawing on their combined sixty years of parish experience, wisdom from Asset-Based Community Development, and compelling case stories, Van Tatenhove and Mueller do more than just call us to incarnational ministry. They give practical, essential tools that lead to communal conversion, develop the DNA of listening, spur fruitful partnerships, promote integrated space, and sustain long-term visions. They believe these tools will spark true revival and unleash the power of incarnational ministry.
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“Overcome the reluctance to get messy in the everyday lives and real-world issues of those people in the places God sets us, right now, right here. Krin and Rob offer a vision of robust, authentic, passionate, risk-embracing ministry that shifts the focus from self-absorption to outward engagement, from constructing facilities to building partnerships, from maintaining an institution to pouring ourselves into serving that matters, that forms relationships, that changes lives and transforms communities. Practical, stimulating, full of examples that inspire a conversation of imagination about ministry and everyday discipleship." –Robert Schnase, United Methodist bishop and author of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Revised and Updated
“This is precisely the book the majority of mainline Protestant churches must read. Most are in a very different neighborhood from their founding and must find a new incarnation to faithfully follow Jesus in this place." –John Fife, retired pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Moderator of the 1992 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and co-founder of the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980's.
“As a pastor of a small, urban church in a city where church attendees are in the minority, I have had to reconstruct what it means to be church in the 21st century. Mueller and Van Tatenhove not only address the realities and ministry challenges churches face but give constructive framework on how to shift towards a transformational and missional way of being that is refreshing and enlightening.” –Theresa Cho, Co-pastor of St. John's Presbyterian Church, San Francisco, California
“The authors offer a vision of robust, authentic, passionate, risk-embracing ministry that shifts the focus from self-absorption to outward engagement, from constructing facilities to building partnerships, and from maintaining an institution to forming relationships.” –Robert Schnase, United Methodist Bishop and author of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Revised and Updated
“All churches are missional—just ask them! Every Christian faith community would tell you that they have a desire to emulate the compassionate heart of Jesus in the world, but when the rubber meets the road, they can find the task difficult. In Neighborhood Church, Krin and Rob give ministers, leaders, and pew-sitters everything they need to begin the transformative work of living outwardly. They remove both the mystery—and the excuses!” –John Pavlovitz, author of A Bigger Table and Hope and Other Superpowers