New faith communities are appearing across the U.S. Many of them bear little resemblance – on the surface – to “church” in its conventional form. But when we look a little deeper we see striking continuity with the most deeply rooted practices of the Christian faith in community.
What are those practices? What do these unconventional, alternative faith communities look like? How are they, perhaps, indicators of a hopeful new future for the church? And what can we learn from them?
Authors Tim Shapiro and Kara Faris spent more than a year researching and exploring these questions, closely examining the life of a dozen alternative faith communities across the country. They include new monastic communities, food-oriented communities, affinity group communities, house churches, hybrid churches, and others. They are creative, ingenious, innovative, clever, dynamic, and transformative. But they represent human expressions of activities that have always been part of human religious congregations: hospitality, learning, storytelling, care, leadership, worship, and honoring place.
This fascinating book goes beyond simply analyzing current trends. It reveals how innovative Christians are engaging in time-honored practices, creating new types of communities, which will shape the church to come. Further, it shows us how we too might innovate while holding true to the essential practices of our gathered faith. This is an instructive picture of Christian community, past, present, and future.