Countercultural: Subversive Resistance and the Neighborhood Congregation (Paperback)

Countercultural: Subversive Resistance and the Neighborhood Congregation By Gil Rendle Cover Image

Countercultural: Subversive Resistance and the Neighborhood Congregation (Paperback)


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After decades of anti-institutionalism, here is a book that is honest about the importance of congregations and our need for them in our lives. Despite our lack of trust in institutions, we cannot live without them and still hope to live together in communities, let alone a nation. For important reasons our neighborhood institutions of religion (congregations) hold hope not found in other places. Politics and the economy have proven themselves gridlocked and incapable of breaking the narratives of fear and scarcity that now divide us.

However, to step up into public space in order to offer what they hold as so important to these divided times, leaders of congregations need to understand why they are so countercultural and why being countercultural is an important role to play. This is not a time for congregations to try to fit into the culture and to worry about growing their membership and increasing their finances. It is not a time to let organizational anxieties determine next steps. What is required is courage - leaders courageous enough to speak openly with confidence of what they know, congregations courageous enough to seek new forms with which to offer the ancient wisdom that people still search for.

As much as religious institutions are now needed, old forms no longer work in a fast and deeply changing culture. Instead of trying to improve what is already known, this book will provide a way for congregations to thrive and fulfill their purpose by being countercultural.

Gil Rendle most recently served as senior vice president with The Texas Methodist Foundation in Austin Texas and as an internationally respected independent consultant working with issues of change and leadership in Protestant, Catholic and Jewish denominational systems. Prior to this position he served the Alban Institute as an author, seminar leader and senior consultant for twelve years. An ordained United Methodist minister, Rendle also served as senior pastor of two urban congregations in Pennsylvania and as a denominational consultant for The United Methodist Church. He is the author of ten books, a contributor to four books, and the author of numerous articles and monographs. Recent books include Doing the Math of Mission (2014) and Quietly Courageous: Leading the Church in a Changing World (2018) published by Rowman & Littlefield. He was named as a Distinguished Alumni of the Boston University School of Theology in 2021. Gil is a resident of Haverford, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife, Lynne.
Product Details ISBN: 9781538178652
ISBN-10: 1538178656
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publication Date: May 14th, 2023
Pages: 160
Language: English