What's the point of the church anyway?
The emerging generation is opting out of the church in large numbers. They're embarrassed at how the church is portrayed in the media and dismayed at what appears to be their options for participation. Is church really necessary anymore in our day? Is it even possible?
Tim Soerens sees this unsettled state of affairs as an extraordinary opportunity: the church, he says, is on the edge of a new possibility at the very moment so much of it feels like it's falling apart. In his extensive travels in all kinds of neighborhoods, Soerens has seen the beginnings of this movement firsthand. In Everywhere You Look, he lays out practical, actionable steps for building collaborative communities in any neighborhood.
Here is a vision of the church grounded in a grassroots movement of ordinary people living out what it means to be the church in their everyday lives. Read this book—and join the movement.
"Everyone knows it is a hard time for the church in our culture. . . . In the face of that hard time, Soerens has written a book that teems with hope and possibility for the future, a hope that the church need not reiterate our mistaken past, and a possibility that real people in real time and real circumstance can live out the why of God. . . . I finished reading the book with exhilaration for what lies ahead for the church. Now is no time for regret or anxiety. Now is a time for recovery of the newness of what is old and best in our tradition."
"Tim Soerens believes that when flourishing networks of churches care about their neighborhoods, seeking the shalom of everyone and everything there, they form the connective tissue that brings hope and healing to our divided society. And when you read how he describes this wonderful task, you'll believe it too. This book is tender and rousing in equal measure."
"By reminding us of God's big dream, Tim sheds new light on evangelism, discipleship, and the missional purpose of the people of God. I'm excited about getting this resource into the hands of our ministry influencers."
"As I read, I felt my heart racing with two possibilities: 'I'm not alone!' and 'What seems like church meltdown could be the stirring of new movement!'
"Many conversations about the church talk about it in third person, as if it's an institution to fix. Tim Soerens invites us to name the often unspoken emotional and cultural realities at work in our own human hearts that prompt us to be part of the problem. With pastoral patience he speaks to the discouraged, grieving, anxious, frustrated church, calling us to become Christ's humble, peaceful, prayerful, attentive, curious, hopeful church, one reader at a time."
"Tim Soerens looks at the world not through rose-colored glasses but through God's eyes. He invites us to see the color and wonder and life that is bursting out all around us, often in unexpected places."
"Everywhere You Look is a refreshing reminder of the need to refocus our energy on the heart of God. Using theological and practical insight that challenges us all, this book pushes us to see the current polarized climate of the church as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Tim Soerens gives us a glimpse into what is possible if we open our eyes to what God is already doing, beginning right where we are."
"If you have left the church, if you are thinking about leaving your fellowship, or if you are thinking about becoming a part of Christ's body, STOP! You should read Everywhere You Look by Tim Soerens as the next step of your journey. This book, written by someone who has been in your shoes, is not another formula or fad but has a way of answering all the questions you forgot to ask. Soerens presents a uniquely uncomplicated way forward for the body of Christ, and in our present dilemma, that is an extraordinary gift!"
"With this book, Tim Soerens sets us on a journey to reexamine 'Why church?' A manifest plea to all who are ready to give up on church, Everywhere You Look invites us to find new practices, pray with new fervor, and embrace a new church emerging all around us. Reading it will force you to think, imagine, and do new things."
"Everywhere You Look is the manifesto on church and community I have been waiting for. Revolutionary in its simplicity and pulsing with possibility, this book got its hooks in me and won't let go. "God is up to something," Soerens writes. May our dusty ideas and duct-taped plans crumble as we wake up, link arms, and head out to the streets to see it for ourselves."
"Tim expresses the radical notion that church should be not just a place but a way of living out loud while paying attention to those around you. This book is a meditation on inspiring neighbors to see God's love in action through our actions."
"Tim Soerens delightfully invites us to experience and engage the love of God in our neighborhoods, helping us discover what it means to be the church in our everyday lives and places. We need these stories and guiding practices, perhaps more than ever! This book illuminates a true revival for the future of the chruch."
"We can so easily become prisoners to the bad news circulating about the church. Don't believe what you hear! After you read Everywhere You Look, you will be busted free with new eyes to see and new ears to hear. Your senses will be liberated to behold the movement springing forth from the margins. Tim Soerens asks big questions about what God is doing on our streets. With careful reflection and honest assessment, soaked in time spent in neighborhoods across the globe, Tim offers practical steps for participating in the dynamic flow of God's local activity. I'm handing this book out to everyone who thinks the church is on life support."
Foreword by Walter Brueggemann
1. The Movement or the Meltdown
2. The Big Why
3. The Magic of Paying Attention
4. The Megachurch Next Door
5. The Parish Is the Unit of Change
6. The Same Team
7. Learning from Local Heroes
8. Already Here
Postscript: Without Ceasing