What’s on your summer reading list? Along with sunscreen and shades, what do you have packed in your beach bag? While the summer allows us to take a break, it can also provide the necessary time and space to strengthen areas of our faith, namely the practice of Christian community.
An outgrowth of hospitality, Christian community- building is a natural progression. Sunday morning was never meant to be the end of our fellowship. Family in Christ, we should expect to spend more time together. The New Testament church models this time and time again. Books can call us back to community and away from the temptation to “go solo” or “go at it alone.” Besides, our faith was meant to be practiced together.
So, use these books begin a book club that builds community. Like the early church, go from house to house, share a meal or light refreshments, pick a topic and then discuss it. Add community service projects and it allows the words to literally leap off the page, both practicing what you are reading and strengthening your fellowship.
This summer, I am all about community- building. Here are a few books that I hope encourage you to join me.
The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus by David Janzen, Paraclete Press, 2013, 333 pages.
The Post- Racial Church: A Biblical Framework for Multiethnic Reconciliation by Kenneth A. Mathews & M. Sydney Park, Kregel Academic & Professional, 2011, 280 pages.
Why We Live in Community by Eberhard Arnold, Plough Publishing House, 1995, 62 pages.
Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces That Keep Us Apart by Christena Cleveland, IVP Books, 2013, 220 pages.
Table Talk: Rethinking Communion and Community by Mike Graves, Cascade Books, 2017, 163 pages.
Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People edited by Charles E. Moore, Plough Publishing House, 2016, 359 pages.
The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society by Jonathan Sacks, Bloomsbury, 2007, 273 pages.