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Books briefly noted: For the church

Three recent books focused on our life together in the church.

Church on the Move: A Practical Guide for Ministry in the Community

G. Travis Norvell
Judson Press, 120 pages | March 15, 2022

This gem is one pastor’s story of replacing his car with a bike and public transit, getting out into his community and revitalizing his church through intentional conversations and connection. Doing so altered his relationship with the church building, built trust with others and led to ways of revitalizing his ministry.

Stuck: Why Clergy Are Alienated from Their Calling, Congregation, and Career . . . and What to Do About It

Todd W. Ferguson and Josh Packard
Fortress Press, 189 pages | May 10, 2022

After surveying and interviewing numerous pastors, the authors have concluded that many feel as though the forces of modernity, capitalism and our increasingly secular world conspire against them. Stuck explores the stories and data and argues that – because most pastors want to remain in ministry – there must be a better way. The authors briefly explore how pastors can reduce draining church bureaucracies, how denominations can close struggling congregations and how doing so may revitalize pastors and the church.

Ask Me for a Blessing (You Know You Need One)

Adrian Dannhauser
Broadleaf Books, 210 pages | September 20, 2022

Each week, Episcopal priest Adrian Dannhauser stands outside her Manhattan church with a chalkboard that reads “Ask me for a blessing (because God knows you need one).” By forcing herself to be bold, she has learned that people have a deep, often unmet need for spirituality. In this book, she shares that her outreach has not changed her ministry (sorry, no silver bullet for church growth), but it has changed her as she helps strangers connect with God.

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