Some small congregations with limited resources think more about closing their doors than doing ministry. They wonder, “Is it hopeless?” Absolutely not, say professors Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook and Fredica Thompsett. Small congregations have enormous potential for collaborative ministry (“baptismal living”), with or without the benefit of paid clergy. To prove their point, the authors share congregational stories and consider theology, leadership, and the foundations of church, faith, and ministry. They highlight congregations who take their baptismal vows seriously and embrace the movement of the Holy Spirit. They acknowledge the power of uncertainty and anxiety, even while demonstrating that changed attitudes and behaviors and the release of unhelpful patterns and ideas can lead to a deeper understanding and view of ministry in the 21st century world. This is a book of inspiration, hope, and example. Christian congregations and judicatories of all varieties will find the language and ideas familiar and helpful.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover