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Growing Deeper in our Church Communities: 50 ideas for Connection in a Disconnected Age Kindle Edition

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Length: 64 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

"Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus"
A collection of 22 short readings drawn from the works of classic and contemporary theologians. Check out "Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus" | See more by Nancy Guthrie.

Product Details

  • File Size: 302 KB
  • Print Length: 64 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Englewood Review of Books (February 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: February 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,008 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Caraotta on February 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Author C. Christopher Smith sees and understands the epidemic within churches and communities in which a disconnect occurs among the people. Unlike former days when life was more simple and conversation and unity was welcomed, we are now plagued with overwhelming transience that places a higher priority on job promotion than the value of community.

It is through our churches, author Smith says, that we learn what it means to love and be loved in deeper, more holistic ways. It is this love, he believes, that flows out to our neighbors around us. With this in mind, he has compiled 50 practical ideas of how to become more deeply connected in our churches and within our communities. The ideas presented are not all meant to be pursued but those that have relevant possibilities. These ideas will include designating times to meet in others homes, building relationships with missionaries, collaborating with other churches for events, and having regular meals together to name just a few.

This is a book that, if your heart is set on being more connected, will provide you ideas that will jump start your church toward relational change. Ministers and leaders need to have this book as it's content is very needed in the age we are living. You will discover that a growing unity established within churches will result in a better retention and happier, more satisfied members.

I hope you will explore this book as I highly recommend it to others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gregory L. Stefan on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you have been ministering for a while and are on the verge of burnout: either nothing seems to be working or maybe its been a while since a breakthrough has occurred, or there is a lull in the atmosphere in your fellowship, this text is a good read. It is good because when a minister is on the verge of burnout or is beginning to toy with discouragement, one does not feel inclined to read a 2-300 page book on how to restructure ministry, church leadership, build a program, etc. It feels daunting. But that is where this is beneficial, its a quick 50 point inventory that can be read over in less than an hour.

It can serve to affirm certain decisions your fellowship has already taken in order to connect, or it can serve as a fresh idea giver, either way it is a beneficial book to re-ignite a passion for intimacy and connection. very basic in its presentation therefore it is not a chore to read. Very basic in the ideas, where its a relief to discover you do not need some big new program to get the fellowship excited. But simple little ideas that promote connection.

I feel led to say, in our age when people are polarized by conservatism and liberalism, both sides have forgotten that Christ said, "by this the world will know you are mine, when ye love one another" so we are known to be His solely by our capacity to connect, befriend, and become connectional and intimate. Right theology does not mean right relationship, and right social justice does not mean right relationship, we need to return to the simplicity embodied in being known, and knowing one another, even when Adam was perfect, sinless, and unfallen, God said "it is not good that this man should be alone!" It is time to connect, that is what we were made for! This is a quick easy kindling to get that fire going!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Namboodiri on November 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The case for depth, inter-dependence, and reconciliation in our shared life that is presented in this book should perhaps be readily understood as a central value of our Christian faith. However, as Chris Smith astutely points out, the rugged individualism of Western culture that has been thoroughly absorbed as our way of life contributes to our sense of isolation, disconnection, and often apathy.

Inspired by the story of Englewood Christian Church and Chris's own vision for what the church could (and rightly should) be as a peacemaking presence, this book provides many practical ideas for catching a vision of God's calling in our own particular time and place, and with the people to whom we have been uniquely gathered. It is a most humble and gentle invitation to (re)imagine and (re)commit to life together that is deeply and meaningfully transformative.

I offer my wholehearted recommendation for "Growing Deeper." It is written to church leaders and lay people alike, as a helpful, hopeful source of inspiration in our own prayerful desire for God's reconciling peace to be known and shared with all. If I were a seeker, or one who had given up on church altogether, this book would perhaps renew my hope that there are places and people gathered in Christ's name who love deeply and who courageously live their faith holistically; may this be true of us and our particular churches and communities, as people and places of welcome and embrace, healing and wholeness, peace and justice. This book will be one that I refer to and reflect on often, as a source of inspiration and encouragement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jen Pollock Michel on November 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Chris Smith is right. We want meaningful connection with each other, our local communities, and God, but blinded as we are by our individualism, we fail to see how to achieve it. This book inspires much needed creativity for re-envisioning how to pray and live, "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

I'm grateful for the diversity of ideas Chris proposes, most of which are intergenerational. Young toddlers can pick up trash, retirees can tinker with church repairs, singles can babysit, and everyone can share meals together. Chris moves us beyond the sad age segmentation from which many church models have suffered, and the beautiful result is rediscovering church - existing beyond Sunday - as a place where people of all demographic proportions can need and be needed, bless and be blessed. In Christ, we learn to belong.

Growing Deeper in our Church Communities is a book full of ideas I'll be eager to try and share, not least because these practices have been tested and tried in Chris's local church community. But although Chris is a seasoned veteran at the practice of local church, the book never inflates with a pedantic air. Don't worry about failing, he says. It's not about mastery of performance, but about practice and growth.
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