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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Endorsements

"We live near Freiburg, Germany. A few days ago I had the chance to read The Bikeable Church. We have recently been part of a church planting team for a church in that city. As I read the book it brought back memories of our first public worship gathering and how many people on bikes showed up. I am very glad we had bike racks. We just did not have enough of them. This book addresses some very practical questions about starting churches in urban areas. Not only does it address some important missiological areas in urban church planting, but it also helped me think through the gathering location of our church plant and how many people will walk to church, bike to church, or take the tram to church." Larry McCrary is the director of the Upstream Collective, theupstreamcollective.org

"To be missional is to be culturally aware. To be missional is to be a strategic thinker. To be missional is to see social diversity. To be missional is to be alert to socio-cultural shifts.  To be missional is to live into the mission of God. To be missional is to be "His ambassadors" of reconciliation and restoration of humanity with God. To be missional is to live "Christ" in contemporary time-context. To be missional is to look the mission of Christ through fresh eyes at the cultural shifts. Sean Benesh gets it! The Bikeable Church is more than a primer on church planting to a particular demographic. In clear, concise terms Sean communicates what it means to be a missional theologian. This is an insightful read igniting missional wisdom for our time and context." Roger Trautmann, Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministry, Director of Mentored Ministry Formation, Multnomah Biblical Seminary/ Multnomah University, Portland, Oregon

"Sean's passion for cycling and church planting converge in this simple but enjoyable read. He does a good job as a missiologist unpacking insights for his readers. This book has created lots of good questions for me. As a cyclist and church planter strategist, I look forward to engaging my team with Sean's book." Charles Campbell, Director of Church Planting, Southern Illinois Region

"Since Sunday at 10:00 am might be the most auto-centric time in America, The Bikeable Church presents an ecclesial vision that could only be imagined in Portland. Benesh reflects on his immersion in Portlandia's bike culture with the eye of a missiologist and urban planner. Although many U.S. cities are less bikeable, Benesh's call for churches to give attention to the intersection of transportation infrastructure, proximity, and culture is timely and transferrable across North America's urban landscape." Scott Hagley, Ph.D., Director of Education, Forge Canada

"In his latest book Sean shares his insights on how living in a bikeable city enables people to rediscover the 'joy of slowness' - when we live closer to people and places, we have more time to simplify, slow down and relate with others. Increasingly, cities are realizing the 'car-centric' model cannot be sustained in the face of rising fuel prices, diminishing oil supply, rising congestion levels and declining public revenue. In Portland, bicycle-friendly policies have been a response to surging bike traffic. People are voting with their pedals. Similarly, churches must be responsive to cultural trends. Sean's book offers practical advice for churches seeking to be relevant in communities experiencing rapid-growth in bicycle use." Denver Igarta, Transportation Planner, City of Portland Bureau of Transportation

"This is critically important book for anyone interested in a missional approach to urban ministry. What makes Sean Benesh's work so compelling is that he reflects and writes from the vantage point of a practitioner who through the thick descriptions of his own personal experiences stresses the need for immersing oneself in the culture we are trying to reach. Yet his work is not undergirded solely by the ethereal or anecdotal; he has done the grunt work of solid research as well. Sean masterfully challenges us to consider the fact that not only is the way we travel within the city an ecological concern, it has profound missiological implications as well. His intention is not to launch a personal vendetta against the automobile, but to present a well-thought out alternative for the way we plant churches in cities, recognizing that not everyone lives in a city that is bike-friendly. But in so doing he demonstrates that the choices we make with respect to our mode of transportation within the city matter for the simple reason that ... it even causes us to re-evaluate our roles as followers of Jesus in the city.

Sean effectively brings the whole concept of a Bikeable Church out of the hypothetical realm onto the terra firma of 'how to do it' through a generous list of practical and very do-able suggestions that virtually any church in almost any location could deploy. This personal, challenging and insightful work serves to benefit any who are concerned with reaching our cities with the Good News of Christ." William (Bill) R. McAlpine, PhD, author of Sacred Space for the Missional Church: Engaging Culture through the Built Environment, and Professor of Practical Theology, Ambrose University College, Calgary, AB, Canada.

From the Back Cover

Endorsements
"Sean has tapped into not only the heart of the missional movement but the ethos of his city for his call to be a 'bikeable' church. His message is built upon his experience as a cyclist and church planter, and his challenge follows the trend of urban centers around the world. Sean provides not only social observation and his own insights, but he gives practical ways to make your church bike-friendly and accessible to the two-wheeled vehicles and riders who are multiplying in your community. As a cyclist who lives in a suburb, I envy his culture of cycling and the opportunities he has to be the church in Portland, Oregon." C. Gene Wilkes, PhD, is the author of Jesus on Leadership and Evangelism Where You Live. Gene is an avid cyclist.

"Bicycles are a growing feature of many urban transportation landscapes. But how might the church relate to the bicycle lifestyle and mindset? In The Bikeable Church, Sean Benesh applies his missiological instincts and insights to answering this question in ways that only a bike enthusiast can!" Craig Ott, PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, co-author of Global Church Planting.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1479121533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1479121533
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Coffee and bicycles define Sean's urban existence who believes the best way for exploring cities is on the seat of a bicycle as well as hanging out in third wave coffee shops. Sean is an urban missiologist who works in a creative partnership between TEAM as the Developer of Urban Strategy and Training and the Upstream Collective leading the PDX Loft.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
These days it seems like there is a new book on missiology and church planting out every few weeks. Streams of endorsements, name drops, and shout outs among the who's who of Evangelical-land usually accompany their release, flooding the market with an almost overwhelming amount of material to be consumed by young pastors, planters, and leaders, who often have little time to devote to anything beyond the essentials of tending their families and churches.

Enter Sean Benesh.

Sean offers a quick, witty, no-nonsense, and Christ-centered approach to everyday missiology for the simple Christian who longs for his or her neighbors and neighborhoods to love Jesus as Lord. He doesn't mess around with the social protocol of the church planting literary scene. He instead devotes all of his energy trying to figure out ways to love his city like Jesus loves his city.

If you want to learn from a passionate, everyday missionary doing passionate everyday missions, as well as experience the igniting of new ideas and strategies from reaching your city for Christ, whether you ride bikes or not, this book is for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blake on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I devoured The Bikeable Church in less than three hours. As I read, I was impressed with the author's honesty and straightforwardness about the fact that the book is a synthesis between strategy and the theory. I enjoyed his discussions on strategies of how a church, or church plant, can increase their bike consciousness. As an urban cyclist myself, and as one who is enrolled in the church planting track at my seminary, I believe The Bikeable Church is a phenomenal resource that a church, or church planter, can use to begin discussing how they can better reach a, relatively, unreached community with the Gospel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Bikeable Church has an easy style that can only come from someone intimate with both church planting and all things bikes (a unique combination for sure). I've read plenty of church planting books that get lost under the mass of churchy words (missional, contextualization, engaging culture), but Sean Benesh weaves in personal stories from his experiences as both a mountain biking guide and more recently as an urban bike guide to show how these theological concepts look in real world Portland (is there such a place?). Granted, the bike-related examples may be specific to Portland (something Sean readily points out), but the underlying concepts of connecting our own passions to the culture around us are transferable to anywhere. And as transportation trends shift under energy pressures and generational preferences, churches with racks full of bikes aren't limited to just Portland any more. If you're already into the urban bike scene, you'll be smiing and nodding your head through the whole book. If you're new to biking or just want to explore the cutting edge of urban mission, this is a simple read that will challenge your thinking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wesley Hughes on January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
The primary transportation means in Jesus day was walking. It is not uncommon to be reading the Gospels and see the story of Christ unfold as he meanders down the streets, the "highways," and the byways of his time walking, talking, stopping, ministering as He GOES. Transportation can define how we imagine being a follower of Jesus and gathering as His Church. In a place like Portland, where 6-7% of the population commutes to work by bike, making Portland the most bikeable city in America, a good planter--no--a good disciple, will take the time to understand what God is saying to him/her in the context. And, as a result, look for opportunities to imagine being the gathered and scattered church to reflect this reality. This is what Sean is doing in Portland. What are you doing where you live? Allow this Guide to inform you and awaken you to making new disciples in your context, whether they walk, bike, or drive.-- Dr. Wes Hughes, Urban Church Planting Catalyst - Portland Metro
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Mccomas on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I spent an evening reading Bikeable Church and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Set in the urban hipsterville of Portland, Sean Benesh does a wonderful job challenging our paradigms of what church might look like in the bike-centric village of Portland. But what I love about this book is the bigger principles at play. What does it mean to reflect Christ to the city on our doorstep? What does it mean to have relationships with those who in our natural sphere of work, play and life? With a good look at the Portlandia culture of fixed gear bikes Sean does a masturfull job of framing the conversation and diving into the tensions that ministers of the gospel face as they seek to reflect Christ to various cultures.

This is an easy, fun read that I'd recommend to anyone, but even more so if you love all things urban and church planting.
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