When the Slow Church book was first released, we didn't know what to expect. Would the book we had spent years laboring on resonate with readers? What happened next has been humbling and surprising and delightful.
Slow Church has ended up in all kinds of unexpected places: colleges and universities, the required reading lists of major seminaries, in bookstores in the United Kingdom and Australia, and even in a Korean-language translation. (We also hit #1 in all kinds of strange categories on Amazon!) We shared the stage with the leaders of Slow Food and Slow Money. And we’ve been able to talk about Slow Church at conferences and in dozens of churches, classrooms, living rooms, and backyards across North America.
Some of the early articles and reviews speculated about a Slow Church “movement.” While we do see something stirring in the church, our goal has never been to build a Slow Church movement. Rather, our goal has always been to nurture a conversation about how Christians can be more be more faithfully rooted in the pace and place of their neighborhoods.
The Slow Church Study Guide grows out of that same desire. We included several questions at the end of each chapter of the book, but we heard from many folks that they wanted more.
That’s what we were thinking about as we put together this 48-page, eleven-session Study Guide. The Slow Church conversation we had dreamed so much about was not primarily taking place at “official” Slow Church events…but rather in an unknown number of book clubs, Sunday school classes, highs school youth groups, mid-week home groups, and other gatherings.
THE SLOW CHURCH STUDY GUIDE
Lectio divina is a centuries-old Christian practice of reading, praying, and reflecting on Scripture, often in the context of community. Think of it as "Slow Reading."
This is the reading all participants will do prior to your gathering -- usually just one chapter from the Slow Church book.
We have included a final quote as a way of closing your time together. While this can be used to spark one final point of discussion, we envision it as a parting thought for participants to take with them for reflection in the coming week.
2. Facilitator Prep
The Study Guide includes six to eight questions per chapter. These questions are meant to get the conversation going. We've also heard that these questions are useful for individual reflection.
For facilitators who want to do some additional preparation, we have included several types of resources, including videos, audio recordings, and some articles. These should be useful in providing some additional context for the material in the book.
5. Conversation Starters
Start your time together with some centering practices. We've suggested some of our favorite songs and poems, which will help people arrive in both body and spirit.
6. Closing Thought
4. Lectio Divina
SIX COMPONENTS OF
EACH SLOW CHURCH SESSION
By the way, if you order directly from IVP, they will take 20% off the cover price...on both the Slow Church book and the Slow Church Study Guide. These are the best prices we've found online.
20% OFF THE COVER PRICE
"This beautifully crafted book offers perceptive analyses, asks crucial questions and provides gracious wisdom for finding ways to live more fully attentive to God and to our particular time and place."
"This thoughtful, discerning book advocates 'slow' in faith and in life -- a recognition that faith is a practice of relational fidelity that cannot be reduced to contractual or commodity transaction...Readers eager for an evangelically paced life will play close attention to this advocacy."
"A wholesomely sustainable, spiritually alluring and thoroughly kingdom-centric church that is simply fulfilling its purpose of God's grace. I just have to join in!"
"There is a better, freer and more hop-filled way than frenetic ministry and exhausted lives. It sees slow not as lazy or bad but as rich and meaningful. This book challenges us to savor -- not devour -- the blessings of God in the midst of community."
Praise for Slow Church
Copyright © Slow Church 2016