Congregational leaders are charged with caring for those inside and outside of faith communities. The care required is not only personal but involves dealing with deeply rooted fractures within the community. Fractures like racism, education inequality and poverty, to name a few, plague those inside and outside of the church.
Given our fractured landscape and the diversity of contexts where congregations exist, “How can congregational leaders be both healers and agitators at the same time?” The danger of simply being a healer ignores the underlying causes of the fracture(s) in a community. The danger of simply being an agitator is others ignore you because your voice is monotone. Being a leader who lives in this tension inside a faith community and the public square requires nimbleness. A nimbleness that allows for being an ointment and an irritant when needed.
Each chapter of Healing Fractured Communities is written by a pastoral leader engaged in the work of renewal, resilience, and resistance in congregations, on college campuses, and in communities. Each chapter paints a picture of the work of healing, includes takeaways, and questions for reflection.
“Healing Fractured Communities offers rich and powerful real-life stories and perspectives from influential transformational leaders that reveal crucial and transferable values and principles that drive congregational and community renewal in today’s mission field. This book is an excellent resource for pastors and congregational leaders who desire to spark their imagination and expand missional possibilities that will help turn their ministries outward into the community to make the healing love of Christ visible in the world.”
— Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez, Resident Bishop of the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church
“If you can see it, you can be it! If your spiritual eyes need adjustment, this is the book for you. These winsome leaders drew me into a new world of possibility and promise for the gospel’s impact through today’s churches. Undaunted by thorny challenges, they show the rest of us how to be creative, courageous, and compassionate change leaders. This hope-filled book is chock-full of practical application and a motivating mantra for transformation: resilience, renewal, resistance!”
— Dawn Darwin Weeks, Pastor, Connection Christian Church
“Healing Fractured Communities provides a collection of insightful theological and contextual reflections that outline transformative interventions to change our communities toward the common good. For pastors, congregations, and leaders looking to stimulate creative conversations and actions around closing the distance between communities and congregations this volume is a truly powerful text. I highly recommend this work for the future of the local church and for our troubled communities.”
— Asa Lee, President of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
“Six pastors tell captivating and engaging stories of discovery and change in Healing Fractured Communities. Pastoral leadership requires complex skills, acute spiritual discernment, and risk. No neat formulas work. However, these six diverse pastors find ways for developing innovative skills and practices to engage the new challenges they face at the intersection of church and community. I learned from each of them.”
— Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership Emeritus and Senior Consultant, Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary