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The summer after my sophomore year of college, I had the opportunity to preach weekly at a twenty-five member church in a small town in northern North Carolina. When I announced this to my campus minister one afternoon in her office, she immediately scanned her bookshelf and handed me a worn copy of Reinhold Niebuhr’s classic diary Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic. The book became a constant companion that summer and still rests within reach in my own office.
This is an excerpt from an essay in Renew 52: 50+ Ideas to Revitalize Your Congregation from Leaders under 50. Download the e-book for free.
The Rev. Christopher A. Henry is pastor/head of staff at Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga.
Brought to you by Luther Seminary's Vibrant Congregations Project, with funding by the Lilly Foundation.