Simon Carey Holt highlights what sounds like a fascinating read: The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community (208 pages). Its authors are: By Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight J. Friesen
It was published by IntervarsityPress earlier this month (April 2014) and is surrounded by a significant amount of promotional material.
A few people I respect are saying some very positive things about it. Alan Roxburgh, for example. He writes:
"Paul, Tim and Dwight each live the reality they describe. I know they've paid high prices for taking a journey born out of biblical imagination and profound instincts for the practice of gospel life in North America. The path they describe is not and will not be popular. It sounds sexy and seems full of romance, but, as they well know, this is another kind of journey—without glamor, romance or individualistic heroism—focused on the agency of God and the disorienting, disturbing, disrupting work of the Spirit. We are being invited to refound the church for the sake of the healing of neighborhoods and communities in the name of Jesus. Read this book and ask how you can practice life in the 'parish.'"
—Alan J. Roxburgh, The Missional Network
Part One: Why Do We Need a New Parish?
1. Dislocated: Naming the Crisis We All Create
2. Misplaced: How the Church Lost Its Place
Part Two: What Is The New Parish?
3. Faithful Presence: Ending Techniques for Renewal That Perpetuate Fragmentation
4. Ecclesial Center: How Worship Beyond the Gathering Reconfigures the Church
5. New Commons: Finding the Church in All of Life
Part Three: How Do We Practice the New Parish?
6. Presencing: Adapting to the Spirit’s Movement
7. Rooting: Growing Stability Within Your Place
8. Linking: Connecting the Church Across Places
9. Leading: Living a Life Worth Following
Conclusion: Presence in a Post-Everything Future
Publisher information here. In a related fashion I also want to highlight again an important, soon to be published, book by Canadian friend Len Hjalmarson - No Home Like Place: A Christian Theology of Place. As I said to Len, it's a book I wished I'd written. "Place" (context) is so very important; so incarnational. Keep an eye out for Len's book too. It'll be an important read; one which I imagine will theologically enrich the arguments and practices of The New Parish.