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The Vital Church: Teaching, Worship, Community Service [Paperback]

By Clark M. Williamson (Author) & Ronald J. Allen (Author)
Our Price $ 14.44  
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Item Number 136029  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   145
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.03" Height: 0.47"
Weight:   0.59 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 1999
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  082724004X  
EAN  9780827240049  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Revitalizing, say the authors, can take place only when congregations reach back to basic core values and base their mission on the gospel of Jesus.

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More About Clark M. Williamson & Ronald J. Allen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Clark M. Williamson is Indiana Professor of Christian Thought Emeritus at Christian Theological Seminary.

Clark M. Williamson currently resides in the state of Indiana.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration   [1756  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > General   [936  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A valuable resource  Dec 26, 2003
The dynamic Disciples duo of Clark Williamson and Ronald Allen (both on the faculty of my seminary) have produced another winning text in 'The Vital Church: Teaching, Worship, Community, Service.' Practical and useful, this is a guide for pastors and pastors-to-be, and is also useful for lay leaders and congregation members, to understand the varying roles of the church and the ministers in the church, to make it a more vibrant and living place.

To a certain extent, a lot of this information is not new. However, in the crush of information that comes forth, and in the manifold cries for attention that come at us every day, we often lose the ability to remember the important aspects of ministry. Laying it out in four broad categories: teaching (didache), worship (kerygma), community (koinonia), and service (diakonia), Williamson and Allen highlight some of the essential points for those of us who live in a post-established-church, primarily post-Christendom world.

What is the vocation of the church? This is something that needs to be asked, for often we take it for granted that 'we all know'. Even as congregations shrink in mainline churches, there is a sort of historical hubris that keeps the churches assuming they know what they're doing. All churches need to take stock now and again, and the authors here present some ideas for this process. Is the church remaining, as an institution and in its practice, appropriate to the gospel message it carries? Does it make this message intelligible? Does it proclaim the message with moral plausibility?

Williamson and Allen argue for various reforms in the way church is 'done' -- educationally, the church must be more serious. Becoming a neighbourhood seminary/religious school is an idea they embrace. Understanding the different cultures in each congregation and how to communicate with them (and get them to communicate with each other) goes a long way toward building fulfilling worship and effective community.

In conclusion, the authors look at various congregations and how these communities have incorporated different ideas into their practices to suit their needs. These are fictional communities whose composition derives from real life scenarios (the authors do make a mistake in assuming there was no real St. Humphrey -- indeed there was...) -- they demonstrate the struggles of inner-city parishes, suburban parishes, rural parishes, parishes of plenty and parishes of need.

The reader will gain much insight from this relatively short book. There is a spiritual strength to the text, deriving in large part from the authors' own force of spirit that carries through -- the vitality of the writing reflects the vitality they seek to instill in the larger church community.


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