Letters to a Future Church
Words of Encouragement and Prophetic Appeals
Edited by Chris Lewis
Letters to a Future Church paints a portrait of the world as we have it and the mission we have in it. You may find your calling in this book; you may even find your own voice.
Read of the inspiration behind Letters to a Future Church, and the list of authors who contributed to the collection.
Rachel Held Evans
"I'm convinced that we don't need bigger buildings or fancier sound equipment, better pastors or more parishioners, newer ministries or deeper pockets..." Read Rachel Held Evans' letter to the Church.
If you could write a letter to the Church, what would you say? Submit your letter to win a prize package from InterVarsity Press and have your letter published at Patheos!
Book Club Manager Deborah Arca spoke with Lewis about what inspired his Letters to a Future Church, the one person he hopes reads the book, and which of the letters is his personal favorite.
If you could write a letter to the Church today, what would you say?
What’s most interesting to me about the church of the future isn’t the ways in which it will be different, but rather the ways in which it will be the same.
There are a million things that I could say to the church, most of which are simply evidence of my own failings and hypocrisy. But as I thought about it over the past few weeks, one theme in particular kept coming to mind.
My fictional letter written to the last-remaining Christian in the distant future.
It's a mistake—a sin, if you will—to imagine that we can live out our call to Christian love without loving actual people in an actual place.
Pastors, take the risk of trusting that the members of your congregations want to be treated like adults at church. If you can handle the truth that you learned at seminary, trust that they can too.
Friendships come and go, money’s made and lost, therapists hired and fired. But one thing will never change—in a time of need, a lady from church will show up uninvited on the doorstep with a casserole dish with her name written on the bottom.
As with many multi-author books, it’s hit and miss. But, I think the very best of this book is three letters that lie at its center, from Tim Challies, Peter Rollins and James Shelley.
Perhaps one of my favorite letters, which will be of little surprise to many of you, was written by Shane Claiborne. I think just giving you the title will create intrigue: “a dozen (or so) flags and seven piles of poop.”
I recommend that churches and pastors alike peruse Letters to a Future Church, in the first place for its hope and energy. It is hard to feel despairing and stuck within earshot of these witnesses to the power of the gospel.