Augsburg Fortress

Turning Ourselves Inside Out: Thriving Christian Communities

Turning Ourselves Inside Out: Thriving Christian Communities

Turning Ourselves Inside Out emerges from the Thriving Christian Communities Project started by the authors in 2015, as well as from a Facebook conversation where someone asked, "We always hear about the problems in our churches. When are we going to talk about the good news stories?" This got the authors thinking: How do we learn about what is exciting and what the Holy Spirit is doing? How do we broaden the conversation beyond how sad, afraid, and grumpy we often are as church people?

These kinds of questions filled the authors' imaginations as they scouted out the long walking route of Camino Nova Scotia, the pilgrimage program offered by Atlantic School of Theology. The long hours walking together gave them space and peace to think more broadly about what they wanted to learn, and how to share it with the wider church.

In interviews with thirty-five faith communities, the authors discovered that amid great upheaval, Christ is giving us a new church, and this book offers readers a firsthand glimpse of it. Turning Ourselves Inside Out isn't an "off the shelf" program or model. It invites readers to listen to others' experiences and then dig deep into their own and get down to the business of dreaming God's dream and making it real, right where they are. Leaders of congregations, and all who care about what God is up to in the world, need to hear these stories. They are a source of hope and courage, as God renews and revives God's people.

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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506470023
  • eBook ISBN 9781506470030
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 158
  • Publication Date September 14, 2021

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 When the Storms and Fires Come to the Forest

Chapter 2 Starting with Yes! The Virtue of Hope

Chapter 3 Learning and Spiritual Growth: The Virtue of Humility

Chapter 4 An Unqualified Embrace of Leadership: The Virtue of Love

Chapter 5 Willingness to Risk: The Virtue of Courage

Chapter 6 A Sense of Identity: The Virtue of Integrity

Chapter 7 Willingness to be Turned Inside-out: The Virtue of Kenosis

Afterword: Supernova or Black Hole?

Appendix 1: Questions asked at interviews with thriving Christian communities

Appendix 2: A Four-Week Study and Discussion Process exploring descent, renewal, and reemergence