About the book
From the introduction by David J. Lose:
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of people complaining about the decline of the church.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as aware of the dismal statistics as you are. But I’m tired of hearing them for two reasons. First, precisely because we already know them, I’m just not sure how helpful it is to repeat them to ourselves endlessly. Second, because it’s not the whole story. There is a lot of growth, a lot of potential, and a lot of hope in our congregations as well as decline. Moreover, the Spirit is moving in exciting ways and I am firmly convinced that we are on the cusp of exciting, if unpredictable, renewal.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. You, for starters, may feel the same way -- aware of the challenges but far more excited about the opportunities in front of us. Recognizing that we’re not alone is important, as together we are a lot more likely to participate in the Spirit’s renewal than you or I could possibly do alone.
Moreover, the movement we are a part of is growing, and this book is evidence of that. Renew 52 represents the faithful and creative efforts of more than fifty Christian leaders from 15 different faith traditions writing from a variety of contexts and ethnic backgrounds, and all of whom share an incredibly important conviction:
Congregations are a primary place where the Spirit is at work for the renewal of the Church and spread of the Gospel.
This conviction is important because there are a lot of folks who have all but given up on congregations and, along with it, their leaders. Most tragically, some of the people who have given up on congregations and their leaders are, in fact, the very people appointed to positions of leadership in the first place.
But not the folks writing this book!
Each of them has had her or his share of challenges and setbacks, but each has also learned from those and continues to dream, work, plan, write, learn, hope, and lead. And this book pulls together more than fifty of their best ideas for congregational renewal.