Summary: Here is a resource for Mennonites who wish to reach "beyond the Mennonite comfort zone." The Mennonite church is undergoing historic transitions: New denominational structures, a new vision, a new focus, and a new spirit of mission-mindednessor as Mennonites now put it, being missional. These exciting changes require rethinking of relationships with each other and with people beyond Mennonite congregations, as Mennonites seek to fulfill the great commission of linking the message of the gospel with needs of surrounding communities.
Comment: "In ten
short, easy-to-read chapters, Will Schirmer holds a
mirror up to Mennonite congregations. With a loving
spirit, he helps us see how some of our cherished
traditions and unexamined assumptions create barriers for
persons who wish to become part of us. Good grist for
"Will Schirmer holds a mirror
before Mennonites and the results are not too flattering.
As an 'outsider' he probes things we too often take for
granted or choose to ignore. Graciously he suggests ways
we can improve our 'image' and become more hospitable to
those who have no history with Mennonites. To those
intent on being missional and are not afraid to look in
the mirror, Schirmer provides helpful perspective and
"This book is about
bridge-building from Mennonite quietness to the turbulent
world. Will Schirmer qualifies as a bridge builder, since
he has experienced life in both worlds."
Some readers of this book who
grew up in a Mennonite family may find this book somewhat
controversial at points, but we trust that God will use
it to work toward greater health and growth and openness.
For MRN Ministry Resources, the purpose of this book is
to start necessary discussion, to set the table for
conversation that can lead to honest communication,
removal of walls, new growthin a word: health. And
the reality is, healthy churches grow.
In times past Ive wondered:
What would I do if anything were to happen to my husband
Craig? Would I return to New York where I was raised?
Would I still feel like I could be part of the Mennonite
church? Is it really my home too? But it is very clear
that the Mennonite church is my home and that my welcome
is not based on my marriage to "one of your
own." Thanks to all who helped make the room for me
that Will Schirmer is inviting us to keep making for
others. Lets keep making room.
Market: Church leaders, pastors, congregational study groups; anyone interested in exploring how visitors are received in a Mennonite church, how new members are (or arent) assimilated, and how both long-term and recent Mennonites approach the many aspects of church life.
Shelving: Mennonitesand outreach, evangelism, missions. BISAC: Religion. RTM: 690 Religion/Ethics.
Publishing House (the new name of Pandora Press U.S.)
Reaching Beyond the Mennonite Comfort Zone orders:
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