The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship and Community

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5.5 X 8.1 X 0.6 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Tim Soerens is the founding adviser launching the Hub-Seattle, an innovative co-working space for change makers in both non-profit and business sectors.Paul Sparks is a frequent speaker and consultant for groups seeking to understand the transition toward more local forms of everyday ecclesial life. He curates a growing faith community in Tacoma, Washington.Dwight Friesen is associate professor of practical theology at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. He is the author of Thy Kingdom Connected.


"The authors explore how the limitations of staying rooted in a particular place actually provide opportunities for transformation and mission. This is a counterintuitive notion for churches that have bought into the mobile and transient values of our culture."

--David Swanson, Christianity Today 2015 Book Awards, January/February 2015

"Faithfulness needs to encompass more than worship to include the mundane activities of everyday life, according to The New Parish. In prophetic tones the authors suggest that if the church cannot be present and involved in its neighborhood, it has lost its way. These theologically trained authors all propose a new parish. Follow Jesus into your neighbourhood with other followers of Jesus. This means 'taking your bodies, your locations and your community very seriously, as seriously as God in Christ took them.' If a church is in, and for, the parish, everything changes, and might result in what they call 'slow church.' . . . This book would be an excellent resource for small group study."

--Henry Neufeld, Canadian Mennonite Magazine, September 10, 2014

"Paul Sparks, Tim Soerens and Dwight J. Friesen have seen . . . how powerful the gospel can be when it takes root in the context of a place, at the intersection of geography, economy and culture. This is not a new idea, the concept of a parish is as old as Paul's letters to the various communities of the ancient church. But in an age of dislocation and disengagement, the notion of a church that knows its place and gives itself to where it finds itself is like a breath of fresh air, like a sign of new life."

--Light Magazine Canada, June/July 2014

"As someone who is doing church as parish, I have found this book a very helpful guide in practically answering what a church could look like as it is lived in community. What I also appreciate is the authors do not gloss over the challenges presented and the hard work involved in developing a new parish. They acknowledge the journey is complex, the transition difficult, and experienced guides are few. This is a resource that will definitely be a textbook for those wanting to embrace a localized view of church in years to come."

--Dave Harder, Mennonite Brethren Herald, May 2014

"The authors offer fresh insights into the fragmentation of Western Christianity and explain why moving from megachurches to neighborhood churches is impacting the spread of the gospel."

--CBA Retailers + Resources, April 2014

"This book introduces a way of understanding the local church grounded in appreciation for where and when God has placed it. . . . Church leaders who get that they need to learn to see and listen first of all--to God and to their parish context--will cultivate practices of discernment for themselves and the communities they lead. In this way they will 'spark the communal imagination toward Spirit-led action in the parish' and--as the stories in the book demonstrate--plant seeds for ministry that will bear much fruit."

--Aileen Van Ginkel, Faith Today, November/December 2015

"We are accustomed, as the authors here argue, to 'living above place': leading individualized lives within a fragmented, globalized economy. Real gospel transformation has to start in our neighborhoods, as people root themselves--their spirits, emotions, and bodies--in a particular place. The New Parish shows how believers can come together, both within the church and beyond, for the good of their communities. If you aren't jazzed about what God is doing in your neighborhood after reading this book, it might be time to move."

--D. L. Mayfield, Christianity Today, September 2015