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October 01, 2006

Comments

Paul Fromont

Andy, you raise an interesting question - do you give a book like "A Churchless Faith" to "someone who is struggling with church"?

I came to "ACF" prior to leaving a congregation and found it incredibly helpful - it gave me a language to talk about what I was experiencing, what I was longing and hoping for with regards to church and the needs I had at a particular stage in my faith journey.

"ACF" didn't give me the motivation to 'leave' church; it wasn't a trigger (which I think is what a lot of church leaders etc fear about the implications of a book like "ACF").

As I've said, it gave me a language, it encouraged me with regards the legitimacy of my experiences,it enlarged my vision of church and gave me some resources to seriously grapple with questions of ecclesiology and missiology from the perspective of the experiences of church leavers; experiences which I considered against an understanding of faith-development, sociology, and Scripture.

Given my experience I would encourage "ACF" to be read, but to be read in the company of others, e.g. for example in a reading group, or to be read by this person in conjuction with church leaders. It has the potential to generate and resource some really rich conversation. Conversation which holds out some really useful possibilities for both individuals and congregations willing to grapple with the ecclesiological and pastoral issues that the "churchless faith" research throws up.

Thanks for your post.

Benedictine Baptist

I read ACF during a recent sabbatical and consider it essential reading for all church pastors. Moreover, I think Paul Fromont's suggestion that it could be read as part of a reading group is a really great idea.

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