As we move beyond the “emergent” or “missional” church paradigm, pastors and other church leaders are discovering a new reality: people (especially younger generations) are coming to church not as believers, but to find a place to belong—with or without faith. This book describes the dilemma and the distractions that currently prevent congregations from being the place where that sense of belonging can unfold and guide newcomers in the discovery of faith.
The authors argue that despite elaborate talk of change, spirituality, transformation and conflict resolution, congregations are still mired in old patterns of belonging. Using broad-based career experiences, surveys of religious life, historical precedent and insights from social psychology about what it means to belong today, the book suggests new and effective approaches to help churches make vital connections.
William Sachs directs the Center for Interfaith Reconciliation at St. Stephen’s Church, Richmond, Va., and has taught at Virginia Theological Seminary, Seabury-Western and Yale Divinity School. Previously he was vice president of The Episcopal Church Foundation in New York City. He has served as a parish priest in Virginia, Chicago and Connecticut.