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Small Group Discussion Guide
New in the "Living Church" series, this volume by pastor and popular speaker Douglas Avilesbernal acknowledges the dramatic changes in culture and congregational life in the twenty-first century, particularly as it relates to church growth in an increasingly multicultural world where communities are often in transition. Using the biblical story of Jesus' journey through Samaria, which led to a transformational encounter between Jesus, a Jewish rabbi, and a Samaritan woman, the author offers a model for learning to welcome the community in which a congregation finds itself by becoming a welcoming community of faith in itself. A creative and constructive approach to fostering true congregational diversity in a way that honors all members of the community and celebrates the unique gifts each brings to life and ministry together.
• A guide for leading and managing the changes congregations face in building stronger ties with the community• Examines the entire process of building a welcoming communityfrom cultivating congregational self-awareness and identity, to extending invitation and acceptance of one's neighbors, to ultimately thriving together as one community• An essential book on a relevant and important topic
Douglas Avilesbernal, MDiv, has been called by God to be a bridge between two different worlds with many different cultures and two different languages. He is the son of a missionary pastor, having been born in Guatemala, Central America, and his faith spans three decades, several continents, and many nations. Previously staff at an American Baptist camp in New Jersey and leader with the American Baptist International Ministries Xtreme Team, Pastor Doug now serves as Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church of Norristown, Pennsylvania, and as Treasurer of the American Baptist Churches Hispanic Caucus.
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