Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation
Much has been written about the changing landscape the church finds itself in, and even more about the church’s waning influence in our culture. From her vantage point as an under-40 pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, moves away from the handwringing toward a discovery of what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like. What does the substance of hope look like right now? What does hope look like when it is framed in a new generation? Motivated by these questions, Merritt writes Reframing Hope with the understanding that we are not creating from nothing the vital ministry of the next generation. Instead, we are working through what we have, sorting out the best parts, acknowledging and healing from the worst, and reframing it all.
She explores the spirit of collaboration that has grown up in our culture as the diffusion of authority continues to move toward a network of sharing share resources and information. She shares the spiritual longing she sees in those of her generation and acknowledges that people will no longer settle for one-way preaching and entertaining services—they want their worship to become meaningful; they want their spirituality to lead to action. Merritt believes that if we can manage to navigate many of these important shifts, the years ahead are full of hope, but only if we recognize and welcome the changes that will come and open ourselves to what new adaptations will bring to us.