First of all, download a copy if you don’t have one already: http://amzn.to/GrowingDeeper
Growing Deeper (written in early 2010), was one of my first attempts to explore the practices that contribute to a deeper and richer life together in our church communities, and in that way contains some of the seeds of Slow Church. Until the Slow Church book is released later this year (Lord willing!), there are two little books that together point in the direction that John and I are calling Slow Church. One is Growing Deeper, the other is my little book on congregational dialogue: The Virtue of Dialogue: Conversation as A Hopeful Practice of Church Communities.
Here’s a little excerpt from the book’s intro:
I hear people in all sorts of churches across North America longing for a deeper experience of community in their church and neighborhoods, and yet many are at a loss for practical ideas of how to start moving in this direction. Indeed, we have been formed by modern Western culture to live primarily as isolated individuals pursuing our own personal ends and ambitions. Although modern individualism has been filtering its way into Western culture for at least 400 years, its effects of breaking down communities have been felt most powerfully in recent decades. For over twenty-five years, prominent sociologists have been documenting our increasing disconnectedness; participation in social groups is waning, and we know fewer and fewer of our neighbors.
Our age is truly one of disconnectedness, but there are good theological reasons for the hope that the Holy Spirit, working through our churches, can begin to reverse this pattern of isolation. The scriptural story reminds us throughout that God’s mission in the world is primarily one of reconciliation, and we as followers of Jesus are called as “ambassadors of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5). If we are to be faithful to this calling, we cannot continue to live disconnected lives. Despite our calling and despite our deep longing for community, we have been blinded by the individualism of our culture. We are therefore unable to see the possibilities of connecting daily in meaningful ways with the sisters and brothers of our church communities and with our neighbors around us. In order to regain our sight, we must submit ourselves to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the church, and allow God to move us from the comforts of individualism toward a deeper and more joyful life of connection.
The purpose of this little book is to spark our imaginations with practical ideas of how we can become more deeply connected first with those that God has gathered in our churches and then with our neighbors as well. The ideas here focus on three primary facets of connection that are essential for our churches: connecting with people, connecting with place and connecting with God’s mission.
Don’t just take my word for it, Scot McKnight says that Growing Deeper offers: “fantastic practical ideas that most local churches can do to help connection and fellowship.”
Will you help me spread the word about this FREE ebook offer?
- If you’re on Facebook, tell your friends about the book by inviting them to this event.
- Share the link to the ebook on Facebook and Twitter: http://amzn.to/GrowingDeeper
- If your church has an email list or a Facebook group, invite people to download the book, and set up a time to discuss it.
(The book is intended for churches, after all… )
- Send the link directly to anyone who you think would particularly benefit from this book.
Thanks so much for helping to spread the word!!! I hope the ebook will be beneficial to your church…