Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe

by Erin Lane. InterVarsity Press, 2015.

This new book is a memoir, recounting one millennial feminist’s approach to life in Christian community, but it is also much more. Erin Lane, a program director for congregational leadership at the Center for Courage & Renewal, discloses her own struggles with finding a sense of belonging in congregational life. She also describes the possibilities and pitfalls for congregations that might seek to welcome and include young and hopeful people like herself. This lively, first-person account of being in and around church, and seeking to belong and contribute, might offer congregations some real food-for-thought as they consider questions of culture, welcome, and change for the 21st century. This book would be useful for small-group study, as a jumping off point for discussions around illusions in community, practicing charity, “showing up,” vulnerability, and giving of oneself. These might be understood as the individual actions that correlate to culture change in a congregation, the personal side of something new and deeply connected in congregational life.