Good News

latest_newsI am happy to announce that my book “Toward the Better Country: Church Closure and Resurrection” will be published, probably in 2014, by Wipf & Stock Publishers.  I’ve added an “About the Book”  page to the blog and I will keep it updated as I learn more about the book’s release.

I’ve been asked if the book is “like the blog”.  The answer is no–in form, but yes–in function.  While the blog is essentially a collection of short essays, the book is a cohesive whole, organized into sections, including:

  • Some history on why churches have always been closing
  • Expressions of grief and how they effect congregations as they come to terms with their decline
  • Various ways lay leaders, clergy and judicatory leaders can assess the vitality and viability of their churches
  • Creative options churches have found for continuing ministry in new forms after a significant decline
  • Two accounts of congregations that proceeded with complete closure, each different and each relatively healthy
  • Legal, financial and ecclesiastical steps churches take to pass on legacies in the process of a closure, merger or property sale
  • Ways that Jesus modeled healthy relinquishment of ministry tasks
  • Stories about how former churches are being used in new ways, and reflection on how Christ’s ministry itself does not “die” but is being regenerated in new forms that we are only beginning to glimpse.

The book includes scripture and discussion questions and a list of resources (developed by people smarter than I am) for churches looking to engage the future in new ways.

I’m thankful that Wipf & Stock has accepted this project, and I’m looking forward to sharing the great stories told to me by church leaders, including some of you.  Thanks, everyone, for reading and sharing!

8 responses to “Good News

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! I am very happy for you and for all of us who will gain further wisdom from your words in this new way. Blessings, Jenny

  2. Nancy Hoxworth

    CONGRATULATIONS! ! Your diligence has produced good fruit! Lila and your mom are smiling down from Heaven.

    Miss being able to visit with you. My fault that I’m so out of touch, but I do keep up with your blog and pray for God’s blessing.

    Hugs, Nancy

  3. Tom Willadsen

    Gail, I love reading your blog, it’s the only blog I read regularly. I will totally buy your book when it comes out!
    Your friend,
    Tom Willadsen

  4. I saw Nancy’s facebook post that linked to your blog about the book! So excited for you!!
    Kelly Brooks

  5. Fabulous news, Gail! Congratulations!!

  6. Could really use some of the ideas to save my church right now. Praying for help!

  7. Cindy, I will hold you in prayer, but it isn’t your job to save the church, only God can do that. Blessings!

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