I wanted to add to the comments on books.

I recently finished Tribal Church by Carol Howard Merritt. I really enjoyed her explanations for why young adults have different needs in these years than in previous years. She urges inter-generational relationships and caring for one another as family.  One can adopt a young adult as easily as one can adopt an elder. She shared a great vision for small churches as those who train the new pastors, and thus help the quality of pastors for all churches, big and small. She has a radical idea for the Brethren, that all salaries should come from one source. This enables the in-debt new pastor to be at a small church without filing bankruptcy.

I can’t say enough good about Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne. He reminded me why I am Anabaptist, pacifist, and what the Kingdom of God is truly about.  I love it when people who are discovering the teachings of the Kingdom of God and are not Anabaptist come to new understandings. They are often better at explaining than we birthright Brethren are. The book is unusual, more like peeking into a journal than reading a book.

I also recommend The Search to Belong by Joseph R. Myers.  (Rethinking Intimacy, community and small groups).This is a book on how people connect and come into community.  It offers insight on the type of connecting spaces people need..from the intimate space, to the wide open community space to just a sharing lightly space.  It really helped me see why some small group ministries fail, and why some worship services fail, as well.  The back page says “What kinds of community do people want?  What does it take for churhes to cultivate environments where all levels of community spontaneously emerge and thrive?  What kind of language should you use and avoid when discussing community in your church?  How can you evaluate community health in your church or organization and in yourself?  I was surprised to learn that what I “knew” wasn’t really accurate or even helpful.