Synopses & Reviews
Together: Community as a Means of Grace addresses the concept of community as an avenue to a deeper relationship with God. Using an ecumenical Wesleyan approach, Duggins explores the concept of ""God as community"" to conclude that bringing people together in almost any setting allows them to grow in God's image. He frames this idea using the historical concept of the ""means of grace"": the ordinary ways in which people encounter God. Drawing heavily on the work of the Missional Wisdom Foundation, Duggins begins with a reflection on the community-building aspects of traditional church. He then uses storytelling to introduce four common forms of community: community through work, community through food, community through children's schools and activities, and community through shared recreational activities. Together is intended to help Christian people embrace the freedom to experiment with alternative forms of Christian community. Duggins nudges the missional imagination of people who long for spiritual connection and growth, but for whom traditional church is not the answer. Using a ""yes, and"" approach, he shows that traditional church can empower and stand alongside new forms of community, each of which can act as a means of grace. ""We have a deep desire for community and a correspondingly deep thirst for grace. As Larry Duggins develops a practical theology grounded in scripture and Wesleyan tradition, he encourages us to become more faithful disciples of Jesus and to join God's transformative work in the world."" --Ken Carter, Resident Bishop, Florida Area, The United Methodist Church ""One of the most pressing needs for congregations today is to learn how to foster genuine community within the church for the sake of neighbors beyond the church. Together offers an accessible and compelling theological rationale and practical wisdom for the formation of community, within and beyond the traditional church. Ideal for a small group study, this book opens missional imagination in ways that are sure to help both established congregations and newly forming missional communities."" --Elaine A. Heath, Dean, Professor of Missional and Pastoral Theology, Duke Divinity School Larry Duggins is a Leader and Executive Director of the Missional Wisdom Foundation, which experiments with and teaches about alternative Christian community. Duggins is an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church.