Reclaiming the Great Commission: A Practical Model for Transforming Denominations and Congregations

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9780787952686: Reclaiming the Great Commission: A Practical Model for Transforming Denominations and Congregations

Reclaiming the Great Commission describes a biblically based model that can restore the missionary power of first-century Christianity to twenty-first century denominations and their congregations. Based on shared vision and mission, the model can guide the members of any congregation or denomination into deeper and broader evangelism, an enhanced experience of community, and a renewed hope of personal and spiritual transformation.

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From the Back Cover:

Imagine your congregation transformed. Imagine it as a place of profound community, of spiritual growth, of miraculous expectation, and of personal transformation. Imagine it with other congregations as part of one church living the Great Commission to make disciples and the Great Commandment to love, a place in which faithful pilgrims journey together with a shared vision that leads them to embrace the unchurched and each other and, in the process, to find immense fulfillment and meaning for their lives.

Imagine this congregation, and then bring it into being. Reclaiming the Great Commission describes a biblically based model that can restore the missionary power of first-century Christianity to twenty-first century denominations and their congregations. Based on shared vision and mission, the model can guide the members of any congregation or denomination into deeper and broader evangelism, an enhanced experience of community, and a renewed hope of personal and spiritual transformation.

Developed and implemented in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, the model has significantly increased attendance, baptisms, and stewardship in the five years since its implementation. It has led to greater lay participation, stronger support for outreach programs, and an increased awareness of the miraculous. It has made the Church more relevant to the unchurched and more meaningful to its members. It has changed the lives of the faithful, fortifying their commitment to discipleship, deepening their faith, and strengthening their experience of the Gospel even as it has brought in new disciples and touched the spiritually hungry.

Reclaiming the Great Commission describes a model that capitalizes on the strengths of the denominations and offers hope for their renewal and growth. It provides a vision of denominational transformation and a case study that describes how that vision came to be lived by the members of the Diocese of Texas. It is for judicatory and denominational leaders, clergy and congregational lay leaders, and others who wish to reclaim the power of first-century Christianity for the contemporary Church and its members. Imagine your congregation transformed. And then discover how to do it in this inspiring book.

A Powerful Way to Transform Denominations and Congregations into Communities of Miraculous Expectation and Spiritual Transformation

"A model for all Christian churches...an uncomplicated and doable plan of evangelization that can revitalize listless and moribund congregations." —The Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza, Bishop of Galveston-Houston, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops

"Reclaiming the Great Commission offers a message of hope and a plan of action for those who are concerned about the future of the Church. It chronicles the success of a biblically based vision of mission and community that has the potential to bring about the much-needed transformation of all churches at all levels. An inspiring and important read for clergy and laity alike." —The Most Reverend and Right Honorable George L. Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury

"This is a truly important book. Those who want to transform their mainline congregations and denominations from maintenance to mission will find a game plan concrete enough to implement. Passionately argued, solidly grounded, battle-tested in real life-here's real cause for hope!" —Bob Buford, founding chairman, Leadership Network

"Comprehensive and compelling.... I highly recommend this as a resource for those striving to build up the Body of Christ." —Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church

"Which is the higher priority-taking care of today's members or reaching the unchurched? If you choose the second, this book explains how your denominational regional judicatory can be transformed to make that happen." —Lyle E. Schaller, parish consultant

"The Episcopal Diocese of Texas has done a 180! Attendance, membership, giving, and mission are all on the upswing. What is proposed in this book is not a new paint job but a major renovation that is remarkably aligned with the first-century church. —The Rev. Dr. David G. McKechnie, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston

"An inspiring gift.... The exciting expectations described in this book have given me a new sense of hope." —Bishop John Wesley Hardt, Bishop-in-Residence, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

About the Author:

BISHOP CLAUDE E. PAYNE, D.D., has been the Episcopal Bishop of Texas since 1995, after having served as long-term rector of two Texas congregations. He lives in Houston, Texas. HAMILTON BEAZLEY, Ph.D., is associate professor of administrative sciences at The George Washington University. His areas of expertise are servant-leadership, emotional intelligence, and spirituality in organizations. He lives in Arlington, Virginia.

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