Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

Slow and Steady Builds the Church
Image: Sara Tyson
Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Book Title
Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus
Author
Publisher
IVP Books
Release Date
May 6, 2014
Pages
247
Price
$11.76
Buy Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus from Amazon

I visited a church down South recently that left me starved and speechless. Immediately after the sermon, the pastor began baptisms. A parade of children, one after another, was immersed and toweled crisply and efficiently. I discovered later that the children were brought in on the church’s bus from some distance away.

At some point, the baptisms stopped, and the service ended with a prayer and a final hymn. People got up to go, but the pastor, inexplicably, returned to the baptismal and kept pumping more children through as if on a factory line. The congregants ignored the proceedings and lit out the door—late for a barbecue, maybe? They were too busy to witness baptisms or greet visitors. I left confused and disturbed by the whole show.

If I remembered the exact church, I would overnight a copy of Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus, by C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison (InterVarsity Press). In fact, I’d like to send one to every church I know. I would highlight the chapters on hospitality, Sabbath, wholeness, and patience. I would do this gently, confessing my own sins of self-absorption and speed, because the book should not be wielded as a weapon or an accusation but rather given as a gift. Or, perhaps more apt, it’s an invitation to sit down for dinner after church (minus the takeout buckets of fried chicken).

Wendell Berry Goes to Church

Slow Church joins a host of movements inspired by the Slow Food revolt begun in the 1980s, a global coalition that resists the industrializing of all aspects of food. Not all churches have been seduced by what Smith and Pattison call “Franchise faith” or “McDonaldization.” Still, the authors say, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhy Do These Pentecostals Keep Growing?
Why Do These Pentecostals Keep Growing?
Many evangelical churches and denominations are in a state of plateau or decline. Why aren’t Pentecostals?
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickMedical Missionaries' Ebola Pullback: No More Kent Brantlys?
Medical Missionaries' Ebola Pullback: No More Kent Brantlys?
As ministries report record interest in serving, Samaritan's Purse shifts strategy on what expat doctors do.
Christianity Today
Slow and Steady Builds the Church
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.