Giving Church Another Chance: Finding New Meaning in Spiritual Practices  -     By: Todd D. Hunter
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Giving Church Another Chance: Finding New Meaning in Spiritual Practices

Inter-Varsity Press / 2010 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Everybody wants to be spiritual. But nobody wants to be religious. Everybody is looking for a rich spiritual life. But nobody is looking to church.

As a pastor, Todd Hunter found himself disillusioned, burned out and needing to drop out of traditional forms of church. He experimented with house churches and other options but was still dissatisfied. Eventually he found himself sneaking off to worship services on Sunday mornings with surprising results.

What did the historic spiritual practices of church do for him? How did they lead to a life of centered peace, chart a path to simplicity and cause him to reach out to others while focusing on the glory of God?

Walk with Hunter on this journey to find spiritual riches in a surprising place. You might just give church another chance.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2010
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830837485
ISBN-13: 9780830837489
Availability: Available to ship on or about 08/19/14.
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Publisher's Description

2011 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner! Everybody wants to be spiritual. But nobody wants to be religious. Everybody is looking for a rich spiritual life. But nobody is looking to church. As a pastor, Todd Hunter found himself disillusioned, burned out and needing to drop out of traditional forms of church. He experimented with house churches and other options but was still dissatisfied. Eventually he found himself sneaking off to worship services on Sunday mornings with surprising results. What did the historic spiritual practices of church do for him? How did they lead to a life of centered peace, chart a path to simplicity and cause him to reach out to others while focusing on the glory of God? Walk with Hunter on this journey to find spiritual riches in a surprising place. You might just give church another chance.

Author Bio

Bishop Todd D. Hunter (D.Min., George Fox University) leads Churches for the Sake of Others, a church-planting initiative of the Anglican Mission in the Americas. He is also a teacher, writer and consultant for his ministry, Society for Kingdom Living, which helps pastors and lay leaders reach a generation that has been disenfranchised from the church. Formerly national director at Vineyard Churches USA and then at Alpha USA, Hunter serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Alpha as well as on a number of other ministry boards, including Renovar and Soul Survivor. Scot McKnight (Ph.D., University of Nottingham) is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. He is the author of and commentaries on James, Galatians and 1 Peter, and coeditor of the award-winning . He is also a widely recognized blogger at the Jesus Creed blog. His other interests include golfing, gardening and traveling.

Publisher's Weekly

Hunter (Christianity Beyond Belief) sought God in many churches, from the United Methodist Church of his youth through “contemporary fundamentalism” to Vineyard, then emerging churches, and finally the Anglican Church. He discovered that the “genuine Christian spirituality you’ve been dreaming of is possible by repracticing the spiritual routines of church.” Hunter investigates nine church practices—attendance, prelude, doxology, scripture reading, sermons, liturgy, offering, communion, benediction—as “a launching pad to life.” He avoids lengthy theological dissection of each practice, instead sharing how each can point to “real and lasting life in Jesus.” His words ring true for those tired of church as usual, who want to take Jesus outside the doors but aren’t sure why or how. Hunter advocates church for spiritual nourishment, but he’s also about applying church practices to the heart, then flinging open the church doors to help the world. Hunter describes repracticing communion as changing “Eucharist as a noun to Eucharist as a verb.” That linguistic transformation exactly conveys his exciting premise for all church practices. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"I am thrilled about this book because in it, Todd is bringing hope to the church. It is a theological impossibility to not be part of the church if you are a follower of Jesus. Todd brings that reality into tangible ways of living as the church. It is easy to dismiss the church and think we can be okay on our own, but that is not what the Scriptures teach nor is it healthy for us. We need the church and each other. This is a refreshing perspective on being church together."
"Readers of Richard Foster, Dallas Willard and Eugene Peterson will appreciate Hunter's contribution to how spiritual disciplines fit within the context of communities and bodies of believers. In the midst of our frenzied culture and harried pace of life, Hunter reminds us that speed is not the greatest good. Instead, seep, lasting change and transformation is the goal, with church the springboard to that end."
"Hunter's words ring true for those tired of church as usual, who want to take Jesus outside the doors but aren't sure why or how."
"What you are holding should carry a government health warning: the reading of this book is good for your soul. But beware: it may cause you to fall in love with the church again, and the romance of 'repracticing' your faith may be habit-forming."
"Spiritual journeys are interesting things, and Todd's is one of the more interesting--from leader of the Vineyard churches, to house church pastor, to head of Alpha USA, and now an Anglican bishop. I've known Todd through many of these incarnations and we have not always agreed, but I have always been impressed with his passion for God and heart for others. In this book, you will find both--and my guess is that you will be challenged to think more deeply about your own spiritual walk. Todd reminds us that the church is not a place to go to, simply another meeting, but the way God has chosen to make himself known in our world."
"As both a participant and leader, Todd has been at the heart of the evangelical world over the past thirty years. He has seen its strengths and weaknesses and at times has been profoundly disillusioned. But through it all he has never stopped loving the church. In Giving Church Another Chance, Todd is calling Christians to something better, something profoundly deeper and more exciting--a fresh vision of spiritual formation that is rooted in worship, life together and the kingdom of God. I think he has hit the nail on the head. After reading this book, you will never think about worship and spiritual practices the same way."
"If you have lost your way regarding church, Todd Hunter can show you the way back. His candor, theological nuance, grasp of history and willingness to name names (including his own) make this book unlike most you will read on this topic. Todd is one of the most Jesus-centric leaders speaking to the church today. Read this book to regain an appreciation for church as well as a deeper love for the One for whom the church exists."
"Most of those who criticize the church today have no idea what it is. Todd Hunter can help you find out, as he takes you along on his own pilgrimage of discovery--on the inside. The church is a unique stream of spiritual life--life 'from above'--flowing through a brief period of human history and into an eternal 'beyond.' Jesus Christ is the only one in charge of it, and we are the ones who today need a second chance. If you listen carefully to Hunter, you might begin to find The Church--perhaps without benefit of edifice, but then there too. If you do, your heart will sing with joy."
"With a self-revealing and down-to-earth style, the author asks readers to see all the church stuff--all the aspects of what happens in worship--as team exercises that get Christians ready for the real game in the world.  Giving Church Another Chance is a challenging and refreshing invitation to understand again what Sunday morning is meant to be in the context of the whole week."
"What this book does is something I've longed for: instead of casting all of spiritual disciplines as something we do as individuals, Todd suggests in this book that there are 'ecclesial,' or church-shaped or group-shaped, disciplines that are gifts from God for the church."
"Candid and evangelical, autobiographical and confessional, Giving Church Another Chance positions Christian practices right where they belong: at the life-shaping core of Christian life and Christian community."

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  1. Russell Almon
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    May 31, 2010
    Russell Almon
    'Giving Church Another Chance' by Todd Hunter is at once autobiographical, confessional, and even a little theological. Hunter discusses nine practices that he terms as follows: going to church and being sent, quiet prelude and reflection, singing and living the doxology, Scripture reading and embodying the story, hearing the sermon and obedience, following the liturgy, giving an offering and simplicity, taking communion and thankfulness, and finally receiving the benediction and blessing others. I believe that Hunters book will serve well those for whom it seems intended those who might be open to giving church another chance and those who may have never had any substantial exposure to church practices. I find the following to be the most positive aspects. First, Hunter does not sugarcoat his frustrations with the church but he does not bash the church either. It is clear that Hunter loves the church and his tone is firm yet gentle. Second, Hunter emphasizes throughout that the church practices are to be done in community with others. Hunters thoughts here offer us, I feel, a fresh perspective on being the church together. Third, throughout the book Hunter displays holistic thinking. He sees our beliefs, actions, and spiritual formation as intimately related to each other. Fourth, for Hunter the spiritual practices are not ends in themselves. One does the spiritual practices not merely for oneself, but for others as well. The practices are intended to shape and propel us into the narrative and mission of God. The practices themselves are missional! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Todd Hunter to read and post a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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