Turning Congregations Inside-Out

Professor of contextual theology and ethics Craig L. Nessan, in his article Tear Down Magical Walls, suggests that congregations are summoned to form members who can connect faith and life. This requires adaptive change to turn congregations inside-out. Educational programs for all ages should begin to explore what faith means for daily life. Members should be invited to testify about how their Christian faith makes a difference in the world. 

Nessan explains how worship practices are life practices.  “Passing the peace prepares us for everyday reconciliation and peacemaking. At the Lord’s table, we discover radical mercy and hospitality that become our way of life. When we are sent out into the world, our worship practices will have shaped us for discipleship in daily life.”

Nessan refers to The Scattering: Imagining a Church That Connects Faith and Life by Dwight L. DuBois, saying congregations need to close the gap between what they do when gathered behind church doors and how they live when sent beyond those doors in Christ’s name. They need to create a universal neighborhood of all believers.

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