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I'd like some thoughts/feedback on this book. We had a "rockin' " response at Council last night from one member. I will be rapidly building some discussion questions before our next encounter. Your thoughts?    


Hey Sherry.....funny seeing you here :)

I like the book's concepts a of a good wave of new stuff coming out of Faith Alive these days. In terms of how it relates to church priorities, we've taken the same concept to shift our "front door" from the worship service to our neighborhood-integrated small groups.  Of course, public worship will always be a front door until you decide to bar the door, but if you prioritize small groups as the front door, people get a sense for who you actually are rather than just what you sing and teach on Sundays.....and that's probably a more accurate description of who you are, anyways.  If you don't have any community-based small groups to invite them to, that's a good indicator of what your priorities are, too.

I hear you on that Mark regarding the place of small groups.  Unfortunately that is a foreign concept to many churches, "What, give small groups such a big position in the church?"  We're working toward the same concept in a church over 100 years old.  Yet many churches don't do very well with the front door, especially older established churches, and especially ones that are extremely interrelated. 

Sherry, You are probably finished with this book, and have moved on to something else by now!   It was only today that someone called my attention to your note, posted way back in July.   I was SO taken by this book!  My church, Grace in Grand RApids, is near downtown in an old neighborhood, characterized by many of the things that happen to old urban neighborhoods as they age.  We are trying things as we experiement with ways to engage our neighbors and be truly WITH them, and FOR them, and this book is an excellent resource.  I won't repeat here all the things I said here.  I hope you were aware of the blog.

For Grace the trick is to get a small congregation of very busy people to focus on one new thing.  We've been deeply involved for the past 8 months or more in a city-wide program to boost the graduation rate in our public school system.  One small piece of this effort has been a series of ten-week programs for ten selected families from our immediate neighborhood.  Grace ran ours this fall.  Sustainability and followup is now our big challenge and opportunity.

I'd love to hear more of your group's experience with your community!

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