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When the Members Are the Missionaries: An Extraordinary Calling for Ordinary People Paperback – July 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0971755208 ISBN-10: 0971755205 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Member Mission Press; 1 edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971755205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971755208
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,711,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A clear map for clergy to take the Sunday experience into the rest of the week. No one is forgotten!" -- Mary Martin, Pastor of an Urban Congregation

"Challenges our previous misconceptions and offers a way ahead. A change strategy for the mission and ministry of all believers." -- Sheryl Kujawa, Seminary Director of Congregational Studies Stgregational Development Member

"Real-life case studies and a broad interpretation of mission work elevate this book." -- The Living Church, October 6, 2002

"Schwab has an evangelizing heart. The book reflects this experience and passion." -- Robert Hofstad, Bishop

"Wayne calls us to heal the world and to nourish each other along the way. Valuable for clergy and laity." -- Mary Ann Brody, a Junior High Teacher

Clergy and lay leaders developing a heart and mind for mission in a congregation should make this book "must reading." -- Sewanee Theological Review, Easter, 2005

Schwab has an evangelizing heart. The book reflects this experience and passion. -- Robert Hofstad, Bishop

The church's work is supporting members as they discover their callings in the "mission fields" of daily life. -- The Record, Diocese of Michigan, April, 2005

This accessible volume can be read by both clergy and laity as an introduction to revitalizing the congregation. -- Review of Religious Research, March 2003

This book helps members to connect what they say and hear during Sunday worship with the rest of their week. --Episcopal Life, February 2003

From the Publisher

No one goes as far as Schwab does. All other books about the church and its mission leave the members inside the "walls" in some way. This book starts with them out there in their daily lives and stays there with them.

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Customer Reviews

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A. Wayne Schwab's WHEN THE MEMBERS ARE THE MISSIONARIES does all three.
Charles A. Peek
His tone is conversational and informative, and his book is peppered with lots of personal stories, so you can really relate to what he's saying on a visceral level.
Suzanne Falter-Barns
This book is about the way ordinary Christians live Monday to Saturday and it is long overdue.
Val Hillsdon-Hutton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A William Cooper on September 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
By the telling of fifteen personal stories of people attempting to participate in God's mission of bringing justice, peace, and compassion into the world Wayne Schwab has challenged Christians to ask the question: "Why am I doing what I am doing in my daily, Monday to Monday, everyday life?" The book summons Christ's followers to have faith that the God of compassion, revealed in Jesus, is today bringing healing and loving justice to a hurting and often brutal world, and that God's mission will be eventually realized because the forces of evil were unable to conquer the Spirit of God alive in Jesus. The author summons Christians to participation with God in this mission of justice and compassionate action. He offers a very pregnant thought: The Church doesn't have a mission; the Mission has a Church.
Wayne Schwab is asking the question: Is God's mission to pluck individual souls of this world of prevalent evil, or is it God's mission to enlist his Church in the resistance of evil by participation in the victory of Jesus who remained faithful in all life's circumstances, and who continues today in the mission of this world's redemption? Schwab would maintain the latter is the Biblical witness.
Schwab acknowledges the cost of the mission. Evil is a reality. Fear of evil will either lead to greater selfishness, individualism, materialism, and eventual self-destruction; or finding spiritual strength through the Church (Biblical Word, Sacramental nourishment, mutual sharing and support) Christ's followers can stand against evil and be in mission with the God of healing, love and compassion in their "everyday" lives.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Frederick H. Borsch on March 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
The emphasis of this book on all Christians as "missionaries" with a mission in life is very important, and the stories help bring home that reality and opportunity for others. I particularly appreciated the stress on the manner in which congregations can help nurture and strengthen Christians for their "offices" - for their "daily arenas" of missionary activities.
Frederick H. Borsch, Interim Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale and Retired Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Bamforth on February 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
We hear a lot these days about Lay Ministry from commissions and task forces that never seem to go anywhere. Schwab turns the focus to the missionary role of every church member. Our goal should not be just more members to pad the rolls but more missionaries to affect change in the world. "Grow the mission, not the church," says the author. The approach promises revolutionary and apostolic changes in the way we celebrate both lay and ordained vocation. Alleluia!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cromey on September 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
...The basic work of the Christian Church is not done by the clergy but by the laity. Each Christian layperson is a missionary in his and her daily life and work. The Christian presidents and CEOs of the major corporations of the United States are missionaries. Perhaps if they saw their work life as missionaries rather than work life, there would be far less greed and corruption.
Schwab recounts stories of lay people on mission in their daily lives. George, a letter carrier, speaks up about work conditions at his branch. Bonnie is on mission as she and her husband develop their family camping as a community of love and caring. Gloria is a missionary as she teaches math to children and adults whose math skills are stunted by their cultural conditioning.
This book is to inspire clergy and lay people to see they are already on mission in their daily life and work. Following Jesus Christ is the simple yet costly call to a deepened and active Christian life. It is a call to a life of meaning, purpose and power.
The book is divided into two parts. The first is to inspire people to see they are already missionaries by telling the stories of fifteen missionaries. The second part is to assist in organizing a parish around Schwab?s vision of the work of the church. I wish I had this book before I retired as a parish rector. It would have been invaluable to Trinity, San Francisco in doing God?s work in the city. Practical steps in changing worship patterns to involve lay people more, developing preaching styles and discovering ways of training leaders are offered.
My main criticism is the use of the word missionary. Schwab knows it has the evil connotation of patronizing and patriarchal conversion of people that are poor, marginalized and people in the third world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Falter-Barns on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found Wayne Schwab's book to be one of thoughtful inspiration. Too often we assume it's the clergy's 'job' to set us on the right path in living a godly life -- yet Schwab shows us how that responsibility is ours. His tone is conversational and informative, and his book is peppered with lots of personal stories, so you can really relate to what he's saying on a visceral level. A much needed book for our times!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Val Hillsdon-Hutton on January 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
I am always dismayed when church bulletins declare every member to be a minister when nothing is being done to offer training and support for what they are already doing. This book is about the way ordinary Christians live Monday to Saturday and it is long overdue. It shifts the focus from congregational maintenance in which churches struggle to survive while maintaining all the institutional trappings. It moves us from the seductive power of numbers towards vibrant mission in the daily arenas in which we laity find ourselves. It sounds a call to grow the mission and not the church. While providing a glimpse into the daily lives of fifteen ordinary people, Schwab grounds his missiology by demonstrating how mission transforms life as the power of God's love and justice works through them. The second part of the book takes the form of a manual to reorganize a congregation to support its members as missionaries, and describes what such a church would look like when the daily missions of its members come before maintenance of the status quo.
The call to match our private spirituality with a public spirituality is long overdue and goes hand in hand with a call to move from a relationship with God and the church based upon submission, to one of partnership with God in mission. If I'm treated like a sheep by the church, I'll act like a sheep. Conversely, when mission becomes central, the laity become central. This book offers a way for churches to stop ignoring the way members live. Those called to be clergy in the institutional church are seen as support for those who go out of the church doors each Sunday to their own mission arenas, where they work to transform the world through love and justice and seek to make Christ known.
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