"I eventually realized that leaders are not made by books or workshops," says Lisa Yebuah of Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. "Leaders are people who marry their knowledge to action."
ministry in the 21st century
"I've been given an opportunity to color outside the lines," says Nanette Sawyer of Grace Commons and St James Presbyterian Church in Chicago, "the permission and charge to be creative and experimental."
"Progressive Christians do a good job with issues like LGBT rights," says Dennis Sanders of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Minneapolis. "But we're less good at helping people become disciples of Jesus."
"Jesus calls us to make disciples, not just converts," says Todd Friesen of Lombard Mennonite Church in Illinois. "I believe that discipleship begins in communal worship."
"More than ever, people are building interfaith marriages," says Joyce Shin of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. "Too often, religion is seen as an impediment to this instead of as a resource."
“I like to think I’m a grassroots organizer," says Isaac S. Villegas of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship. "I rearrange pews; I find people to make sloppy joes for hungry people.”
"Religious commitments are no longer taken for granted as part of North American people's lives," says Scott Kershner of Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington State. "So space opens up to ask very basic and interesting questions."
"What would happen," asks Carol Howard Merritt of Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., "if we coupled baby boomers' prophetic focus with the pragmatism of my generation? What if the church unleashed us to plant churches?"
"It doesn't happen every day," says Kevin J. Long of Orchard Park Presbyterian Church in suburban Indianapolis. "But it is thrilling to see someone begin to grasp the good news of Jesus Christ."
"People need to hear the good news," says Katherine Willis Pershey of First Congregational Church in Western Springs, Illinois. "If the church doesn't take on this mission, I'm afraid—well, that's where that sentence can end. I'm afraid."
"We have rejected much of our immediate [evangelical] past," says Josh Carney of his church, University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. Looking to older traditions, "we found that some of our objections had already been addressed."