Joining God, Remaking Church, Changing the World: The New Shape of the Church in Our Time

by Alan J. Roxburgh. Morehouse Publishing, 2015.

Looking to be an “out there” rather than an “in here” church? This source explores new possibilities for becoming a neighborhood-based faith community. The process begins by asking, “What is God doing in our neighborhood and how can we join in?” Part I is a retrospective of the societal changes and reactions in the last 50 years that led to church decline and misdirected approaches. Part II considers ways to reclaim God’s missionary mandate, leading the church to reimagine its role by engaging in five practices modeled by Jesus: listening, discerning, testing and experimenting, reflecting, and deciding. By no means are these strategic plans or programs. Rather, they are engaging exercises where members go “out there” and interact with their neighborhood, discern how they can join in, and experiment with various forms of ministry. The author has spent more than thirty years leading congregational and system change. This is a useful tool for going “out there.”