The church engages in mission as it is formed and transformed by the triune God whose nature is missional. If the church is not motivated by foundational, theological convictions, the church can blindly run toward “cool” trends instead of focusing on God’s purposes. In Missio Dei, the authors guide their readers through reflections on a biblical and theological understanding of God’s mission, while pointing out ways in which we can participate in the mission of God.
Missio Dei contains essays by several church leaders, including Ron Benefiel, Thomas A. Noble, Douglas S. Hardy, and Roger L. Hahn. Edited by Keith Schwanz and Joseph Coleson, this book reveals a clear understanding of what it means to be the missional church and participants in the Missio Dei. 192 pages.
Rethinking Christian Responsibility
Responsibility is routinely overlooked, manipulated, and oversimplified. In Scandalous Obligation, Eric Severson explores the scope of Christian responsibility. This book delves into the slippery nature of obligation, the dilemma of competing calls for justice, and the perilous temptation to dismiss or avoid responsibility. Using examples from popular culture Severson casts an expansive and often daunting vision of responsibility that challenges the status quo.
This book presses readers to consider the many complications that arise when Christians begin to understand the extent of their responsibility for the suffering that abounds in the world. It explores how Christians are to turn this approach to responsibility toward the clouds of injustice and pain that hang over our world today.
The Story of God
A Narrative Theology
Since its publication in 1994, The Story of God has played an important role in implementing and advancing the study of narrative theology. One of the first books to formulate and examine Wesleyan theology using the Bible’s overarching story, it continues to serve as a popular text in colleges and universities and as a reliable resource for ministers and theologians.
Unlike other books, which use a topical or systematic approach to understanding theology,The Story of God uses the flesh-and-blood stories of the Bible to help readers see the complete picture of God s love for the world and in doing so, gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Christian faith.
Updated and revised to include current language and ideologies, this new edition provides readers with an even more engaging and accessible introduction to Christian theology. Drawing from Scripture, everyday experience, and contemporary reflection, Michael Lodahl weaves together the stories and themes of the Bible to present a compelling picture of the grand story of God and the amazing love He has for His people. 256 pages.
There is an increased interest in spirituality in our world lately. People have a deep hunger and thirst towards something that transcends them.
In Spiritual Formation, Maddix and LeClerc provide a definition of Christian spiritual formation within the Wesleyan paradigm and how faithful disciples can grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. In simple terms, this book explains that Spiritual formation refers to the transformation of people into, what C.S. Lewis calls, “little Christs.” The book focuses on how people can grow in Christlikeness by participating in reading of Scripture, the means of grace, the sacraments, and spiritual disciplines. It also provides guidance in matter of self-care, spiritual direction, and mentoring, while displaying practical guidelines for adolescents, families, and college students. 224 pages.
The gravity point of a life before God is that his followers are to love God and love others with everything they have. Scot McKnight calls this “The Jesus Creed.” Now, he’s worked it out with high school and college students, seeking to show how this double commandment to love makes sense and gives shape to the moral lives of teens and young adults.The Jesus Creed for Students aims to demonstrate a simple truth – that followers of Jesus, follow Jesus.
Story, Signs, and Sacred Rhythms
A Narrative Approach to Youth Ministry
Today’s teens are even more passionate about changing the world than the generation before them. They are learning just how closely their lives tie in to God’s sweeping story of redemption. And as they see how their journeys of faith are connected to an ongoing story, they are asking how to go deeper into that story. So how can we help align their passion with God’s mission so that their lives and the world can be changed? Story, Signs, and Sacred Rhythms presents a new model for youth ministry that is relevant to the missional church and the changing culture. After challenging youth pastors around the world to consider A New Kind of Youth Ministry, Chris Folmsbee now brings a practical approach to youth ministry that will:
- offer a clear and compelling vision of a narrative-missional youth ministry
- present a theologically rich and accurate summary of God’s story and mission
- equip you with an approach to youth ministry that enables you to create, sustain, and refine environments for Christian transformation
- unpack a ministry design that’s customizable, measurable, and evaluative, allowing you to refine and change course as needed
- empower you to transform an emerging generation, resulting in teens joining God in his mission to restore the world
By exploring a narrative approach that is about God’s story, looking at the signs of God, which are God’s images and metaphors to guide our lives, and discovering the saintly cadences that provide the connection between God and mission, you’ll find concepts and ideologies of an entirely new way of thinking about and doing youth ministry.
A World Unbroken
Hope and Healing for a Shattered World
Mark Oestreicher, Ian Morgan Cron, Scot McKnight, Kara Powell, Jason Barnhart, Mae Elise Cannon, Mike King, Chris Folmsbee, and Pamela Erwin
The Bible tells the story of God. The narratives, historical records, poetry, songs, prophecy, and letters reveal who God is, and exhibit his continuous pursuit of a restored relationship with his people.
A World Unbroken will help you as a youth worker not only find greater meaning in the story, but will also help you re-narrate your life in and around the mission of God through the seven episodes of create, broken, promise, presence, satisfied, mission and restored.
Gain insight from respected youth workers, theologians and authors as this book guides the way you think of youth ministry. A World Unbroken is designed to reshape the way you view your role as a minister–and the role of youth ministry in the church.
For centuries, the Bible was the only book found in most households, and the story told from Genesis to Revelation was the story by which people understood the meaning of their lives. In a culture inundated with novels and magazines, has the Bible become a religious book that we open only when we need helpful thoughts, quick guides for holy living, and nuggets of wisdom? And how much are we missing when we don t read the Bible in its entirety?
When we read Scripture in this way, we lose the biblical narrative–the Bible as a whole story of history, from creation to its end, and of the human story within that creation.
Lesslie Newbigin, one of the most legendary theologians of the 20th century, uses simple storytelling to guide us through an accessible understanding and reorientation of the biblical narrative.
Join Newbigin on a journey that goes from Genesis to Revelation, stopping to introduce the characters of Abraham, Moses, Noah, the prophets, Paul, and Jesus. This potent summary of the Bible is an undeniable need in the life of anyone seeking to interact with God more fully, through his story.
Today’s college students are in the midst of a seismic shift. They are balancing dramatic changes in their own lives while dealing with uncertainties in a world around them. In a culture that is no longer predominantly Christian, college ministry workers can no longer assume the students on their campuses have a basic understanding of Christ or his Church.
In College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture, Stephen Lutz translates missional theology to the practice of college ministry-ministry as a proactive movement that is constantly adapting to its ever-changing environment. This resource will equip college ministry staff, pastors, churches, and student leaders to minister effectively to today’s college students with both depth and practical insight.
Lutz walks you through the approaches needed to establish, grow and maintain a missional college ministry.
The people are starting to catch on. There’s this guy who has spent his life working in his dad’s wood shop, making beds, stools, and some real nice end tables. But, around the age of thirty he gets to thinking a career change is necessary. Only problem is he wants a position that is seemingly already filled, the job of priest. Doesn’t stop him. Call him an entrepreneur of sorts, cause he begins preaching and healing in ways no one has ever seen—without the employment of the temple. And to top it all off, he starts collecting a good fan base—lots of people begin showing up to all his public appearances.
One day, he climbs up on a mountain and says there is a new kingdom at hand, and that this kingdom will be contradictory to everything they have known before.
And the people get the feeling this is only the beginning. You see, they were expecting a king arriving in grand fashion, but instead they got a carpenter, turned speaker and healer, who was about to shake things up a bit.
The Kingdom Experiment is a challenge to live this kingdom intentionally. It won’t be easy. And it may get uncomfortable. But if you commit to live what a carpenter started 2000 years ago, you too will experience the kingdom He spoke of.
Journey with your students through 8 weeks of the beatitudes. With both community and individual challenges each week, this study helps students engage the kingdom in every aspect of their lives.
How it works:
1. Read and discuss each chapter with your group
2. Pick one of eight experiments (challenges to live intentionally) to do throughout the week.
3. Journal your thoughts and experiences
4. Share your experiences as a group the following week
We are citizens.
Not of this world, but of a kingdom different from this world. A kingdom that causes us to see things through a whole new lens. So if we, the Church, are living out this kingdom, then why do the world’s culture and the Church’s culture look so similar?
In this 5-week series, Stanley Hauerwas invites us to join a conversation—evaluating our role in culture and in our current church environment. Sunday Asylum will not only help you explore what it looks to be citizens of the kingdom, but will encourage you to reassess your own beliefs and motives.
Practicing faithful discipleship means focusing on the daily aspects of Christian education in the local church, within its structures, and through faithful ministry.
Through Bible-based truths and helpful insights, Discovering Discipleship identifies principles that provide the Christian educator with an overview of the significant aspects of faithful discipleship. Effectively organized into four areas—definitions, dynamics, design, and practice—authors Dean Blevins and Mark Maddix offer readers an approach to discipleship that seeks to honor God, understand our role in the contemporary world, and guide persons and communities according to Kingdom principles.
In this honest exploration, readers will find a new perspective on discipleship that will help them dig deeper and develop a long-lasting and effective practice of community formation and faithful discipleship.
Preaching the Story that Shapes Us
In our world, stories matter. Methods and systems are beneficial because they provide structure and help keep us on the right road; but the motivation and courage to keep walking the road, come from the stories we hear and see and experience-stories that inspire hope and bring us face-to-face with God.
For ministers, the call to preach is a call into a story that forms and shapes us. It’s about stumbling into revelation as life unwinds and scripture unfolds. It’s about listening to God’s voice and then sharing it with others. It’s about recognizing that when people gather to hear a sermon, God speaks. And it’s about understanding that when He speaks, He speaks through you.
Preaching the Story That Shapes Us is more than a textbook on preaching. It’s an empowering call for preachers to present a picture of the kingdom of God already at work among us, recognizing that the work of preaching is not just about arranging words—it’s about people. With elegant prose and crafted reason, Dan Boone weaves together scripture, personal narrative, structure, and theological reflection to provide a satisfying, efficient guide to narrative preaching. From exploring the importance of biography to walking readers through creative processes that shape the sermon, Boone shows preachers how to awaken lives and share the stories of God that reveal who we are and lead us to who we will be. 288 pages.
Preaching as Art
Biblical Storytelling for a Media Generation
Today’s postmodern world prefers mystery over logic, impression over rationale, aesthetic beauty over practicality, and symbolism over obvious answers. We live in an art-enriched, art-minded world.
For ministers, this rebirth of creativity and imagination opens the door for exciting possibilities. Scripture itself is an art form. The story of our Christian faith is woven together with the mystery, imagination, creativity, and beauty that characterize the very mind of God. No other book contains more murder plots, love stories, betrayals, adulterous affairs, heroic feats, tragedies, triumphs, and redemptive endings than the Bible.
Preaching as Art challenges pastors and speakers to use the Bible and its colorful imagery and literary brilliance to celebrate God’s amazing story. It encourages preachers to invite their listeners to dialogue with them, to experience the Bible stories as they are being told; and by doing so, participate in the very nature and image of God. Author Darius Salter provides practical ideas, sermon illustrations, examples, and a variety of media options to help speakers enrich and transform their messages into art forms that will help listeners appreciate the artistry of Scripture and encounter God as never before. 192 pages.
The Worship Plot
Finding Unity in Our Common Story
Many churches today are caught in the worship war. Services are split into styles–contemporary, traditional, liturgical. Discussions and sometimes arguments arise over whether or not to have a pulpit, use drums, sing hymns, or use movie clips for illustration. These varying styles and preferences have caused many to change churches or even skip worship all together. This division of the Body of Christ is a cause for great concern and is jeopardizing the true meaning of worship for future generations.
In The Worship Plot, Dan Boone exposes the distorted motives of battling over worship styles. Instead, he attests we should strive to combine our diversity to celebrate our common story. Boone explains that worship is not about personal preference or platform performance. Worship flows from the heart of God through His Son and His Spirit. Worship invites us to step into this flowing stream of celebration, thanksgiving, and love–a stream that connects us to God and to each other. Boone encourages churches to use the differences of their people to tell and celebrate the story God has plotted for us–the unifying story of the love of Christ. He affirms that when we move through worship together, through specific stages that have been plotted out to follow, we can go out with blessing and boldness, empowered by grace–ready to serve the people of the world and share with them God’s amazing story. 128 pages.
Small groups are a vital part of ministry. They offer churches a way to expand discipleship and build deeper relationships within their congregation, while meeting our culture’s need for community and connection. But implementing and running a small-group program is not an easy endeavor. From starting from scratch to expanding their group options, many churches are eager to learn more about this important ministry.
Successful Small Groups is filled with everything churches need to launch and manage a small-group program. Author and ministry consultant Teena Stewart uses her experience and insight to show church leaders how to lay a strong foundation for small groups and build a healthy and effective ministry. By examining the best practices of several successful small-group programs, Stewart reveals ways to promote and multiply groups, troubleshoot, write group guidelines, train leaders, motivate groups to minister to others, and much more. She also includes examples of promotional flyers, mission statements, group covenants, and other resources—all of which are adaptable to fit a church’s individual needs.
Whether you’re planning to begin a program or wanting improve an existing one,Successful Small Groups gives you the skills and information you need to approach small-group leadership and development like a seasoned pro.
He turns water into wine. He makes food multiply. He heals the dying. He has incredible insight. And people follow Him wherever He goes.
Everyone seems to know that this Jesus is something special. Yet, the question persists:Who is this Jesus?
With this challenging Bible study, you will discover the man and the God behind the name. Designed to help small groups improve their knowledge of the Word of God, this six-week study explores the first fifteen chapters of the Gospel of John. In it, you will find meaning and understanding from the life and words of Jesus as you develop a supportive and encouraging small-group fellowship.
Take this incredible journey and meet Jesus, who can fulfill your needs before you ask, give you reason to believe when all else fails, and bring you life everlasting. 64 pages.
Jesus’ final week on earth was anything but normal. He spent time with a once-dead man. He took a celebatory ride on a donkey. He washed a lot of feet. And He ate dinner with His betrayer.
Quite honestly, it makes you wonder: if He knew He was leaving, why the strange behavior? Why didn’t He just say goodbye and go?
This challenging Bible study will take you on a journey of meaning and understanding behind Jesus’ final days on earth. In it, you will examine the significant events of that final week as you identify His commitment to carry out His mission to the end.
Designed to help small groups improve their knowledge of the Word of God, this six-week study explores the last ten chapters of the Gospel of John. The lessons provided will help you discover the truths of the Word of God as you develop a supportive and encouraging small-group fellowship.
Take this incredible journey and discover the mission of Jesus that will offer you relevance, identity, and deeper meaning for your faith in Him. 64 pages.