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New Day in the City : Urban Church Revival (Paperback) (Donna Claycomb Sokol & L. Roger Owens)
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Frederich Buechner once wrote, “Dreams of fame and fortune die hard, if they ever die at all.” Many mainline urban congregations remember the days of fame and fortune—days when their prominence downtown mattered. Population shifts, the decline of mainline congregations, and demographic changes have robbed many downtown churches of these dreams – but not all churches. Many congregations struggle to survive while others are positioned to thrive. These churches have learned to let go of nostalgic dreams and tired habits, to walk with God into a new day of vibrancy, mission, and ministry.
Authors Donna Claycomb Sokol and Roger Owens have pastored urban congregations that have managed to grow again, reversing decades of decline. In A New Day in the City they share the stories of the churches they’ve served, and the lessons they’ve learned from other successful urban churches and pastors. Their aim is to help others join God in the deep and wide mission of embodying the Kingdom. Along the way, they challenge some clichés about church leadership, offering a fresh perspective on what congregational renewal can look like and how it can become a reality.
The book does not offer easy answers, because churches can’t simply replicate what someone else has done. Rather, the book offers the framework for crucial conversations urban churches need to have in order to find their own way to renewal.
The end of each chapter features a set of practical guidelines for leading a congregation to address the questions that matter most.