Fortress Press

The Storied Church: A Strategy for Congregational Renewal

The Storied Church

A Strategy for Congregational Renewal

Matthew Gorkos (Author)

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Matthew Gorkos begins The Storied Church with this compelling statement: "I believe in the church--in the power of faithful people serving a good and gracious God--and I believe in the power of a good story. Moreover, I believe, as this book will argue, that church and story--harnessed together--could be an even more powerful force for goodness in our world." Neuroscientists, anthropologists, archeologists, and psychologists all agree. Story is how our brains and our communities make sense of things. Storytelling helps us cope with change and loss. Storytelling helps us transmit lessons and life-skills to the next generation. As human beings, it seems we can't do without story.

This book--indeed, this whole idea of story-centered church renewal--was born of a suspicion that the restorative, transformative, life-giving function that stories have for us as individuals may serve communities of faithful people as well. If stories help us survive as human creatures, why can't they help churches survive? The problem that story-centered renewal seeks to remedy has only become more prevalent and urgent in the age of Covid-19. Our churches need hope now more than ever. Writing from a pastor's perspective, Gorkos hopes to encourage and empower other pastors and lay leaders with both the hope and the tools they need to effect revitalizing change in their faith communities. Each chapter includes questions for reflection to help readers listen to and tell the stories that will lead to renewal and transformation.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506470092
  • eBook ISBN 9781506470108
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 148
  • Publication Date September 7, 2021

Endorsements

"Gorkos writes about story, in stories, and for the sake of renewing the living stories of congregations. Churches will find inspiration and guidance here as they seek to understand and transform their communities. Thanks to Gorkos for a fine interweaving of theological insights, probing questions, and practical guidance for congregations."

Mary Elizabeth Moore, Boston University School of Theology

"The Storied Church is a rock in the weary US mainline church landscape. Every council, vestry, presbytery, or governing body should read this book. And then dream new dreams, together."

Jason Chesnut, ELCA pastor, itinerant preacher, freelance filmmaker, and biblical storyteller

"In this bold and insightful project, Gorkos diagnoses the problem facing mainline churches as an existential crisis tied to their loss of communal identity. Drawing from Scripture, narrative theology, cinema, and twelve-step programs, Gorkos offers story-based resources for authentic church renewal."

Rebecca L. Copeland, Boston University

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