An Honest Dialogue About the Future of the Church
by Nancy Beach; Samantha Beach Kiley
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Pub Date 14 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 14 Jul 2022
"In Next Sunday, Nancy and Samantha bring humanity and humility to strategic church leadership. It is refreshing to hear the voices of practitioners in the field of spiritual leadership who have the experiences to back up their content. I am grateful for this new and authentic work for those with a desire to create a new model of what leadership can look like in the church."
-Nikki Lerner, culture coach and multicultural practitioner
"We are living in one of the most consequential times of the human story. Divides along economic, racial, cultural, and gender lines continue to widen. Conversations from pulpits to playgrounds, from halls of government to boardrooms and classrooms have been stymied to advance a way forward on these issues and a host of others. One entity that has not been consistent in these discussions is the church; she has yet to live out her full redemptive potential. Nancy and Samantha, as storytellers, speak with honesty, wisdom, and vulnerability as to what the church can—and indeed must be—in this pivotal moment. Hear their lament. Embrace the hope they offer in the transcendent."
-Marcus "Goodie" Goodloe, Martin Luther King Jr. scholar and leadership development consultant
"Lots of people are walking away from church, and years of pain give them good reasons for doing so. But others are processing their pain in ways that help them imagine a better tomorrow for Christian congregations. That's what Nancy Beach and Samantha Beach Kiley do in Next Sunday. Each page rings with honesty, humility, and hard-won hope. The book feels like a generational passing of a baton, and that's something that older and younger readers will benefit from. Thanks to this mother-daughter writing team!"
-Brian D. McLaren, author of Faith After Doubt
"This is a memoir of two people, a mother and a daughter, who live in two different worlds and the same world at the same time. Reading this book is a jarring experience as each explores basic ideas, like community and Sunday morning church services, on their own from their own world. They're the same but not, at the same time. It disturbs me because I wonder if I can even know Samantha's world. I know Nancy's world, it's mostly mine. But they are siblings in Christ, and some inner-world reality transcends their two worlds. I needed this book."
-Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary
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Average rating from 9 members
This book is written for all those who love the Church and care too much about her to turn a blind eye to the obvious flaws and faults. Boomer, Nancy Beech and her Millenial daughter Samantha walk the reader through their experiences of the beauties and failures of the churches they have attended and ministered in. Nancy Beech speaks from the position of being a key leader of Willow Creek, South Barrington through its rise and the fall under the leadership of Bill Hybels. Together, the authors walk through core church issues such as community, children's ministry, justice, gender, sexuality, corporate gatherings, (un)healthy leadership and church culture. While the book is US-centric, the issues discussed by the authors apply widely to the western, evangelical church. I particularly appreciated Nancy Beech's discussion of the Willow Creek/Bill Hybels tragedy and her part in this - I felt it was genuine and honest. I also appreciated the discussion of Missional vs Attractional Churches and how there is an unnecessary tension between these approaches - both/and is completely possible and beneficial.
This is a book that looks to the future opportunities of the western church with a hard look at past successes and failures. The two-generational points of view provide a genuine innovation and surprisingly interesting overview. Whilst I do not agree with everything the authors state or hope for, I do find their thoughts both challenging and inspiring. The book admirably lives up to its subtitle "An Honest Dialogue About the Future of the Church". The tone is honest, open and positive without being "rose-tinted".
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