Published by Herald Press on May 18, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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Every church wants to make a lasting difference. Light the spark in your congregation.
More and more people are moving away from the church—not because they lack faith in God but because the church is no longer relevant to their lives. The church, not God, is the problem. In Reawakened, Glen Guyton explores eight keys to developing the abilities of congregations to bring healing and hope to their communities. These eight keys give voice to the most urgent needs of a community and offer practical suggestions for how churches can spark holistic and lasting differences in their communities. Built on a solid biblical framework, Rewakened positions churches as catalysts for transformative mission and change. Filled with stories from successful ministries that are actively engaging their communities, Reawakened helps Christians ask the big questions about God’s ongoing work in the world.
If there’s one thing the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 taught me, it was that the way we did church was a routine more than it was worship. It wasn’t that we just went through the motions, it was that we did the same things in pretty much the same ways. It had a sense of familiarity to it. We could go through it passively or actively. And then the lockdowns happened and suddenly we had to be actively engaged in how we came together as a congregation. It was no longer convenient. It meant trying new things. It meant figuring out what was tradition, what was worship, what should be adapted, and what should be left alone. The lockdowns gave churches the opportunity to reawaken themselves and rediscover their mission and purpose. Instead, a lot of churches just went back to doing what they’d been previously doing just as soon as they could.
Reawakened by Glen Guyton is a call to go back to that sense of discomfort for a moment, if only to evaluate where we’re at and ensure that the routine we’re in isn’t hindering us in any way. Guyon identifies eight characteristics for churches to latch onto and pour themselves into in an effort to go beyond the same old thing and be reawakened into a new and vibrant reality that sparks lasting change.
Out of the eight characteristics, the one that hit hardest for me was about developing strategic partnerships. This chapter is all about how the church as an organization fits into the community surrounding it. Guyton realizes that the church cannot do it all, but by being a faithful presence in the community it can engage the larger community in its work. Churches do this by opening their facility to community programs and events, sponsoring or funding programs, working with community leaders, and so on. Reawakened is especially passionate about churches using their facilities wisely and in a way that makes the best use of their buildings.
The other chapters are just as solid, ranging from everything toward intentional diversity and inclusion to discipleship formation. From the inward spiritual life to the outward communal life, Reawakened offers readers a general, thoughtful blueprint of how to structure a church’s goals and commitments. Guyton’s book is meant as an exhortative primer. It’ll get you started, but isn’t meant to be an exhaustive or comprehensive guide to structural change. Instead, you’ll get pointed in the general direction and given some ideas on how to move forward. If, as a pastor, you feel like your church is stuck but you don’t know exactly why, Reawakened will help you think through different elements of church ministry and ascertain where reawakening is needed.