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Borderland Churches: A Congregation's Introduction to Missional Living (TCP Leadership Series) Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chalice Press (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0827202385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0827202382
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,691,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Nelson currently serves as the president of Tyndale University College and Seminary. Prior to working at Tyndale, he served as the general secretary of the Canadian Baptist Ministries and CEO of the national and global work of Canadian Baptists for ten years.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward A. White on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book. Canada is ahead of the United States on the secularization scale and their experience with being Christians in a post Christian society has much to teach us. The central message is that we must go to the unchurched instead of waiting for them to come to us. Also the central task is doing God's will on earth, not being preoccupied with the afterlife.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Terry W. Dorsett on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Though this book has been out for a couple of years, I just recently discovered it. What sparked my interest in it was a conversation with a friend who starts new churches in Canada. I was talking about the struggle to get churches to reach post moderns and he remarked that Canada was so "postmodern" that it was no longer a unique cultural issue; it was just the "normal" way Canadian churches did ministry.

In this new normal, the church has to think and act differently than it did in the past. The book has seven chapters and then a number of helpful appendixes in the back.

The seven chapters are:
1. Learning to Sing the Song
2. Crossing Over
3. Recovering our Roots
4. Landscapes and Tool Kits
5. Herding Cats
6. Missioning the Church
7. Mapping the Journey

Each chapter covers an aspect of how churches can be missional in thought and deed. Though not all of the ideas will carry over into U.S. culture, the vast majority will. It may well be that our Canadian brothers in Christ may lead the way in helping us reach our own people with the Gospel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George Bullard on April 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In his book, Borderland Churches: A Congregation's Introduction to Missional Living, Gary Nelson says the following about the role of leaders in controlling change:

"The only people who like change are usually the ones who are in charge of it. I am convinced that clergy do not totally grasp this truth. We think it is rational and reasonable to embrace change." "Leaders have more control in the changes ahead than their people." [27]

This book looks carefully at the changes that churches on the borderlands of ministry need to make. The borderlands is where true missional action takes places.

The organizing principle of this book is not modern vs. postmodern, but whether or not the church can engage in ministry at the intersection of church, unchurched, and dechurched persons in society, or Christian, unChristian, and anti-Christian.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Hjalmarson on April 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
In seven chapters and seven appendices Gary Nelson offers a Canadian take on what it means to live in the borderlands. Or, more precisely, he challenges us to embrace the borderlands where we live. These really are two different things, because like our American brothers to the south, we have largely failed to live in the communities where we dwell. The borderlands are a place where faith and unfaith intersect, and a place decidedly outside the comfort zone of Christendom structures.

Gary is the General Secretary for Canadian Baptist Ministries. He brings a wealth of experience to this task, and the book straddles an academic and practical line with ease. While Gary works at a theological task, his emphasis is on practice and to that end he stories this journey very well. Moreover, he is passionate about his purpose, and the stories he tells help us to envision a new kind of church and a new level of engagement in our communities in Canada.

The book is comprised of seven chapters, as follows:

1. Learning to Sing the Song
2. Crossing Over
3. Recovering our Roots
4. Landscapes and Tool Kits
5. Herding Cats
6. Missioning the Church
7. Mapping the Journey

I'm looking here at the first two chapters. The generous number of appendices are indicators that Gary hopes this book will become something of a handbook, enabling existing congregations to engage and embed in their neighborhoods.

In the Introduction Gary sets his work clearly in the Canadian context, and then offers some reflections on the task at hand. He begins by noting the paradox that in Canada spiritual interest is growing at the same time as churches are dwindling.
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