“Giving Church Another Chance” by Todd Hunter

“There is a counterintuitive aspect of engaging with the spiritual practices of church. Though spiritual formation is chiefly an inward reality, we often work on our heart, mind and soul through bodily or external practices. This is true of all the spiritual practices of church. But we need to keep in mind that it is the inward part of our life from which outward action flow.”

All too often followers of Jesus get caught up in what is new, different, and/or exciting. We want to be on the forefront of what God is doing so we forget the practices of the past.

Sadly enough this ‘new’ equal ‘better’ mentality has cast believers into the sea without an anchor or a compass.  In order to know where one is going, one has to understand and know where you have been. In his book “Giving Church Another Chance: Finding New Meaning in Spiritual Practices,” Todd Hunter seeks to bring back an understanding of nine practices of the church:

  1. Going to Church: Being Sent as Ambassadors of the Kingdom
  2. Quiet Prelude: A life of Centered Peace
  3. Singing the Doxology: Radiating the Glory of God
  4. Scripture Reading: Embodying the Story
  5. Hearing Sermons: An Easy-Yoke Life of Obedience
  6. Following Liturgy: A Lifestyle of the Work of the People
  7. Giving an Offering: Simplicity of Life
  8. Taking Communion: A Life of Thankfulness
  9. Receiving the Benediction: Blessing Others

The awesome thing about this book is that Todd walks the reader through each of these nine practices while using his own life as a backdrop. Starting with his choice to follow Jesus as a nineteen year old college student amidst the 1970’s Southern California Jesus Movement through his time in the Vineyard to his current adventure with the Anglican Church, Todd beautifully and masterfully brings a new passion to these ancient practices.

“This book is written for everyone who has tried church and found it wanting, but somewhere deep within they still desire a spiritual life in the way of Jesus. I understand; it happened to me.”

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