File Size: 759 KB
Print Length: 209 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310325854
Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
Publisher: Zondervan (March 26, 2010)
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
Sold by: Digital Services LLC
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Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
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Best Sellers Rank: #385,992 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #160 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Religion & Spirituality > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Growth #382 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Churches & Church Leadership > Church Growth #116047 in Books > Religion & Spirituality
I was quite eager to read AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church. AND discusses a question that is important for churches - what are the benefits of an attractional approach (draw people into the church to hear the gospel, find fellowship and build them up as disciples) versus a missional/incarnational approach (sending our people out into the lives of others directly to witness and grow as disciples). The book makes a strong case that the answer is Both-And, not Either-Or.After a solid introduction, Chapter Two was for me the most powerful section of the book "Starting the AND... wherever you are". The authors jumped right in with a key question: how can you take a church that is strongly attractional, perhaps even inward focused, and help its people better understand what it means to live missionally and to see new avenues for ministry outside the walls of the church. It had some great discussion about how you can reach the same essential core of incarnational communities coming either from a gathered perspective or from a scattered perspective. Those coming from a gathered church might well consider a pilot group of about 10% of the church (a tithe of members) to receive training and support on developing incarnational communities.One of the tough challenges in the book is really understanding what Halter means by the term 'Incarnational Community'. Is it a small group living missionally, a community ministry team, a home cell group, or something else? Is it something we've seen in a larger church, or something altogether different?
I just finished reading AND. Realizing that many of you will not either have or take the time to read it for yourself, I thought I would do a quick summary so you can get some of the blessing I received. So here goes...The authors really have no dog in the fight between micro and macro versions of the church. They are not pushing for mega or house church or anything in between. The purpose of this book is to help the reader see that no matter what expression of "church" with which you are affiliated, there must be both the gathering of God's people for encouragement, edification and vision impartation as well as the scattering or sending of the people of God into mission. In fact, it is our involvement in mission that increases our need and desire for gathering.The authors accidentally found themselves pastoring a missional church when a young lady from a group they were discipling (unofficially) asked them, "Are we a church?" Trying to avoid getting back into what had been a very painful and disappointing church experience, Hugh said, "No, we are a faith community." After being pressed further on the matter, he explained that a church is a group of people who do mission together. That answer crystallized his understanding of what God wants for "church."The book examines how Christians can avoid the fruitless expressions of "consumer churchianity" that are what most of us have given our lives to. Instead he looks for ways for groups of believers to become "incarnational communities" in their personal contexts, becoming a safe haven where people can gather to experience kingdom Christianity and progress on their spiritual journey without having to navigate the obstacles presented by some of the more negative cultural forms of churchianity.
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