Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Thinking of the "downtown church"

My friend Natalie, whose family is in Hutchinson, KS (not far from Wichita) sent me this link to a story about churches in downtown Wichita, and the struggles and opportunities they face. This is only available for a limited time online, so if the link isn't available, email me here and I'll send you a Word document with the text. It's worthwhile reading for people who are interested in revitalizing urban ministries.

Natalie noticed it because we had both heard Lyle Schaller, one of the truly visionary writers about church transformation. His book, 44 Questions For Congregational Self-Appraisal, ought to be required reading for any seminarian - both as an evaluation of their former congregations, and a tool to determine where their next call is in their life-cycle. (For my seminary friends, the LSTC JKM library has a copy of this one.)

However, my favorite of Schaller's is The Interventionist, which describes my sense of call in the extreme! When I read it, I just knew that this is what I would like to do. It may describe what I end up doing, instead of pastoring...that one's still open. It is designed for church champions and consultants but is a must read by any denominational executive or a person who works with local churches. It includes some extraordinary diagnostic questions, ideas, and the contrarian statements that Schaller does so well. It is a book that is useful for any pastor as it has enough nuggets and ideas that it may eliminate some of your need for a consultant in the first place. Unfortunately, the LSTC library does not own a copy of this one...which is tragic.

No comments: