Things may have seemed quiet here on the new Slow Church site — I see that our last blog post was published on May 10 — but behind the scenes Chris and I have been preparing for a busy summer. I’d like to take a few minutes to fill you in on what’s been going on, announce the results of our Book Club contest, talk a bit about what you can expect from this space going forward, and update you on our upcoming speaking tour, which starts next week.
First things first!
We had a lot of folks enter to win one of two Slow Church book club bundles, each of which included five copies of the Slow Church book, five copies of the new study guide, and one copy of the audiobook on CD. And the winners are…
- Martin Thompson
- Garrett Brown
Congratulations, Martin and Garrett!
Probably the most amazing thing about our book club contest was the feedback we got from folks when we asked them which themes they were most interested in exploring further on this site. We received some brilliant responses that will help shape the content here in the months to come. Here are just a few requested topics:
- Slow Church and Justice. For example, what does Slow Church look like when there’s a need for a fast response to injustice?
- Slow Church and church planting.
- How can churches develop new shared rhythms for their lives together, both in the congregation, in the neighborhood, and in our families?
- How can churches and larger systems, such as denominations, transition toward a Slow Church approach to ministry and common life? For example, how can a church live into Slow Church when leaders (at the church or denominational level) expect bigger and faster growth?
As I said, these are just a very few of the requests we received. People also expressed interest in conversations about race, economic justice, economic development, hospitality, Sabbath, entrepreneurialism (churches helping members and neighbors start businesses), and many, many more. After we return from our upcoming tour (more on that just below), Chris and I plan to post new content on this site at least once a week. Not only are we excited about exploring the above topics in more detail ourselves, we’re also looking forward to expanding and diversifying the voices on this blog, by including more guest contributors. Here is some information about how you can contribute.
Chris and I have a whirlwind tour coming up in just a week. Between July 5 and July 14, we are doing 13 (!) events in eight cities, including Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Chattanooga, Greensboro, and Nashville. We’re also going to be presenting at the Wild Goose Festival. This will be my first time at the Goose in North Carolina, and I can hardly wait! More than anything, though, Chris and I are just really hoping to meet up with as many people as possible who are (or want to be) engaged in a Slow Church conversation. Check out our Speaking page for more details of the upcoming tour.
I’ll be keeping a kind of “tour diary” on this site. You can also follow along on social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) with the hashtags #SlowChurch and #WildGooseChase, the name Chris and I have been using with each other for the tour. If time permits, we’ll also try to do some informal meet-ups on top of our scheduled events. If you’re in the area, make sure to check in on Twitter at @SlowChurches to see if we’re setting up shop at a coffee house or pub. It would be incredible to hang out in person.
I know I must sound like a broken record, but I can’t help it: I’m incredibly grateful to all of you who are engaging so passionately and imaginatively with Slow Church. This book, these ideas and these hopes, have gone places we never could have imagined. (We just found out that the Korean-language edition sold more than 6,000 copies in 2015 alone!) I feel like I’ve been able to sneak into the side-door of one of the most interesting conversations I can imagine, and I get to meet inspiring people who are doing slow, small, but beautiful work in their neighborhoods. Thank you for all you do and are; it all matters.