Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diana Butler Bass

This is the beginning of my notes from the recent conference I attended at Louisville Seminary on New Ways of Being Church. These are from the lecture and discussion given by Diana Butler Bass, and really consists mostly of sound bites that jumped out at me. For a fuller idea of what she thinks, read her books, especially Christianity for the Rest of Us.

Church needs to shift from defining what we’re not to defining what we are.
A new definition of church for the 21st century:
Christian communities who practice a generative, birthing faith that seeks primarily to create new opportunities for the transformation and healing of individuals and society.

Diana’s study of successful congregations revealed that by intentionally engaging Christian practice congregations:
  1. Grow in spiritual vitality
  2. Grow in numbers if demographics warrant, experiencing evangelistic success because those living the gospel cannot keep silent
  3. Are vital congregations that challenge their participants to deeper spiritual life and practice
  4. Are profound
  5. Motivate participants to action
  6. Give participants meaning to life
  7. Practice hospitality to each other, children and strangers
Rick Warren: “We are in the midst of a new reformation – a reformation about deeds, not creeds.”

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