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As a child, we were taught that the church was the building. While we intellectually understand that the church is the people, a congregation often makes decisions that lead us to believe that perhaps this is not the case. As we evert the church model for the postmodern, post-Christian world, we need to evert-turn inside out-many of our thoughts and beliefs about how we go about "doing" church. This is NOT about changing our beliefs but about changing how we engage in ministry.
There is urgent kingdom work that needs to be done. The postmodern, post-Christian world is suffering. People are more connected digitally than any prior generation but find themselves lonelier than ever before. Our neighbors seek hope, meaning, and a sense of community and belonging. Mental health is in crisis with staggering levels of depression and anxiety. While our neighbors struggle and need help, so many churches are ill-equipped for this work-the kind of work the church should be the very best at providing. After all, we have the Good News. Sadly, though, our methods of sharing this Good News and reaching others outside our congregations are no longer relevant, so it is as though the church is mute and the community culture is deaf or vice versa.
In Inside Out, authors Kay Kotan and Michael Scott unpacks resources for the ever-emerging church in the American culture. If the church is to be relevant, compelling, and faithful in its commission to reach new people, we must embrace these trends and plot a new course to navigate them in our local contexts. The need for this navigation and course correction is critical, and the timing is urgent. We have no time to waste. The church has remained hesitant for too long as culture has charged forward by leaps and bounds. There is no more waiting. The time is now. The mission is too important to delay any longer.
What Readers are saying about Inside Out:
In reading an early manuscript of Inside Out, I found myself thinking with each subsequent page, “Get this book to print now!” Kay and Michael have addressed the core issues plaguing the North American church today. With a healthy blend and depth of historical and current research, and through thought-provoking questions and evaluative tools, this book will significantly equip anyone longing to see their local church become a relevant ministry within their community and cultural context.
Lead Pastor, Cornerstone Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Kay has always been on the cutting edge of the church’s future and this incredible book is no exception. Kay and Michael provide crucial and prophetic truths about the church’s critical paradigm shifts. Anyone who wants to effectively lead a church now or in the years to come has to read this book!
Director of New and Vital Faith Communities, Desert Southwest Conference of the UMC
The pandemic has accelerated almost every trend we have been seeing in the local church. Kay and Michael identify these shifts as well as the frustration many of us are feeling when caught between gears. Keep their lessons in mind as you faithfully move toward a new future.
Senior Pastor, Dunwoody UMC, Atlanta, Georgia