The genius of Bishop Robert Schnase’s Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations (Abingdon 2007) was to identify foundational habits that, when properly implemented, enable the church to flourish in the essentials of congregational life. His newly released companion volume, Five Practices of Fruitful Living, encourages individual Christians to adopt these practices as a way of life rather than a passing program of the church. The first book is about the church as a body; the second is about the individual spiritual lives of its members. The first book is about what the church is called to do; the second is about the way we are called to be.
Drawing on the fundamentals of Wesleyan theology and the powerful witness of personal stories, Schnase compellingly argues that these five individual practices produce transformation.
The five practices have a new twist in this book as they are applied to the life of the Christ follower:
- Radical hospitality means making space in our hearts for God and finding new life as a result.
- Passionate worship involves surrendering our will while we express our love for God.
- Intentional faith development describes growing in grace as we learn the will of God through the Bible and are nurtured in Christian community of small groups.
- Risk-taking mission and service is a call to move out of our comfort zones to serve at the will of the Holy Spirit to meet the needs of the world.
- Extravagant generosity is learning to align our treasures with God’s purposes rather than our wants.
Drawing on the fundamentals of Wesleyan theology and the powerful witness of personal stories, Schnase compellingly argues that these five individual practices produce transformation. They enable us to experience God’s grace in new ways. Five Practices of Fruitful Living challenges Christians and churches whose lives so often reflect societal values rather than the grace and lordship of Christ, inviting us to engage seriously the ancient ways of faith. The book prompts us to think about the way we live, asking “Are we really experiencing the transforming power of God’s reign?”
Preachers will appreciate the examples and scriptural references in each chapter. Lay persons will find sound advice on how to incorporate into daily living the transformational disciplines of the faith. And small groups will benefit from the challenging discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Indeed, all who long to grow in grace will benefit from the Five Practices of Fruitful Living’s call to embrace the time-proven habits of the heart that have shaped Christians for centuries.