Christianity for the Rest of Us by Dianne Butler Bass, Harper One 2006

This book has described 10 indications of ‘green shoots’ within so called Mainline churches in the US in the mid noughties.  The chapter on Transforming Congregations highlighted some of the green shoot activities of 5 congregations. We visited the websites of each to see how they had fared in the intervening >6 years.  There was the usual mixture of formats, styles and dated material.  All these churches still had a large number of activities though we felt some reflected more inward focus than outward/community focus.  Some activities mentioned in the book were not identified on the sites – but that is the nature of some programmes – there is a right time and place.

Overall we’ve enjoyed considering this book.  The 10 indications of green shoots don’t necessarily fit our time and context but the principle of identifying what can be done well and having a few key people with vision, enthusiasm and drive to make things happen is universal.

Ian Harris