As someone who works in a church, it’s been difficult to watch family and friends step away. I used to be angry with them, wondering, “How could they give up?“; however, after some sobering looks in the mirror it became obvious, CHURCH WAS NO LONGER RELEVANT.
People are leaving, church doors are closing and those who are sticking around become consumers sucking the life out of the church. Even if you aren’t an employee of a local church you might grow frustrated with politics, systems, and culture that prevent your church from doing what Christ has called it to do, “Go and make disciples!”
Like many who love the church; yet, grow frustrated with it you wonder, “Can anything be done?”
My pastor Father Michael J. White and his associate Thomas W. Corcoran released their first book Rebuilt: Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost, Making Church Matter (Ave Maria Press). The book is the story of two guys working in a local Catholic parish (Church of the Nativity), frustrated with the “Business As Usual” approach that was slowly killing their church. Like many of us they were hopeless at first; however, managed to turn it around:
“Despite our original lack of interest, we found ourselves increasingly intrigued by the problems we were discovering and eventually eager to rise to the challenge. How could we stem the decline, revive our parish, and actually start making it grow? In the face of so much failure, how could we succeed?”
Rebuilt explains how Father White and Tom pursued the challenge to revive and rebuild their local church. This is a challenge that they want to share with you. While this is written in the context of a local Roman Catholic Parish in a Baltimore suburb, this book is for anyone who wants to make church matter once again. Rebuilt is filled with the practical lessons and steps taken to make Church of the Nativity a thriving and relevant church. Father White and Tom do this by not only sharing their story but discuss the following components of a healthy church:
- Weekend Liturgy – It’s all about the weekend and how you welcome and engage the lost.
- Kids and Student Ministry – Your church has no future if you aren’t mobilizing the next generation
- Homilies and Sermons - Make your message matter.
- Small Groups – Building your church body from below.
- Tithing, and Giving - Learning how not to rob God.
- Ministry and Mission - Get the parish out of the pews to impact the community.
- A Passion For Your Calling - Learning how to fall in love with the church once again.
As someone who has worked with Tom and Father White the last 8 plus years I’ve been blessed to be a part of the journey. I’m so excited for this book because I know it will help those of you who love your church make it matter once again. Plus, another element that makes this book great is it’s website (Go here) filled with tips and insights from the entire Church of the Nativity staff.
While the book and website might not answer every question or need you have it will connect you to a team of individuals praying for you and encouraging you to rebuild and make your local church matter once again.
Because I not only believe in Tom and Father White, but the impact this book will have on the church, I want to take the opportunity to give away a few free copies. If you are interested in winning a copy of the book you only have to do two things:
- Leave a comment below answering the question, “What do you most love about the local church?”
As Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote in Rebuilt’s foreword:
“If you love your parish, read this book”
Check it out and see exactly what he means.
What do you most love about the local church?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance withe the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the USe of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.