How to Be a Christian without Going to Church: The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community - eBook  -     By: Kelly Bean
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How to Be a Christian without Going to Church: The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community - eBook

Baker Books / 2014 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781441246530
ISBN-13: 9781441246530

Publisher's Description

As many--young people especially--leave the traditional church in droves, they often still long for a genuine Christian community in which to practice their faith and share their spiritual journeys with others. They want to be faithful but struggle to find a place where they flourish.

Whether they've already left the church behind or are merely considering it, readers will find here both heartfelt encouragement and practical steps for finding or creating a community of faith that honors God and offers rest, love, and communion with other believers. Author Kelly Bean broadens our definition of church to include many alternative forms of Christian community. With true stories of those who have given up on church and what they're doing now, this book is also helpful for pastors and churchgoers to help them understand why people leave the church--and what might be done to help them stay.

Author Bio

Kelly Bean served as pastor/cultivator of Third Saturday Organic Community, which gathered in her living room for twenty-four years. She is coplanter of Urban Abbey, an egalitarian intergenerational intentional community in north Portland, Oregon. A pastor, speaker, writer, mentor, activist, and artist, Kelly has been creating and leading strategic networks for women in ministry for the past ten years with both National Emerging Women Leaders Initiative and Convergence. She is contributor to a Fuller Seminary publication on the church in contemporary culture and has written for E-Florescence, Mutuality, and Idea-Lab magazines. Kelly is pursuing a masters degree in ministry leadership from George Fox Seminary and working to complete a certification in mediation and conflict resolution from Marylhurst University. She is a mother of three children, grandmother of three, and wife of Ken.

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  1. Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Faith expression outside of traditional church
    July 22, 2014
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    There seems to be a growing unease with the organized church. Studies show that Christians are leaving the church. The encouraging news is that they are not leaving their faith.

    The author is one of them. She served in church for more than two decades and knows the importance of the visible church. "Now, as a non-goer and cultivator in an ever-evolving Christian community," she writes, "I also believe there are healthy, visible, doable alternatives to the traditional church." Becoming a non-goer can lead to life-giving, world-changing, growth-inducing, community building life.

    She shares her own experience, explores what "church" means, and why people are leaving the church. She shares many stories of people who have created meaningful post-church experiences. She looks at possibilities of forming community and passing on the faith without the structure of the church. She gives practical suggestions for mentoring and connecting with others. Most have had to venture out of their comfort zones.

    She suggests that non-goers may be part of something new happening in Christianity. It is an expression of Christianity that is integrating belief into life, evidencing real spiritual formation from real life experiences, and forming authentic relationships through community building. It is an exploration of the meaning of belief apart from church activity.

    Bean's book is a good look at how Christians are committing themselves to be the church in new (and sometimes old) ways. It is an encouragement for those frustrated with their organized church experience. It is also a wake-up call to pastors and denominational officials. It reminds them people are leaving their churches, not because they are leaving the faith, but because they are leaving what they consider to be an irrelevant organization.

    Bean's book includes numerous examples of Christians committed to exercising their faith outside of church activities. I found it very encouraging. The statistics of church attendance in decline can be depressing but this book gives one hope that Christianity is alive and well and being exercised on the street corners and in the living rooms of our communities.

    This is a good book for non-goers. Bean has given many practical ideas for creating intentional communities and instigating action to share the good news of the gospel. It is also a good book for those thinking of leaving the organized church as it encourages movement toward alternative faith expression.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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