G. Travis Norvell challenges church leaders and members—persistently asking them and their respective churches what they are doing to make a real difference in others’ lives. The author proposes that the people of the “living church” start moving in, around, and with their communities to truly move toward renewal and social justice, drawing on his own experiences as a church pastor who walked, rode his bike, and took the bus as he went about his work. The book provides concrete, practical ways for the church body and individuals to begin implementing this movement, including study questions, suggested resources, and “experiments” between chapters that can help them find the ways that work best in their respective contexts.
“Some might not call this a church growth book, but I think it is the best kind of church growth book. It is focused on the doable ways a church can organically grow in its mission, and even in numbers, by connecting in real ways to the surrounding community. It is practical, accessible, and uplifting, and it stirs the imagination.” -Rev. Dr. Shawn Zambrows, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Redlands, CA
“In an age of deepening isolation and loneliness, Travis Norvell offers us an exciting vision of ministry that is not only located within a community, but knows, loves, and honors that community’s people and their potential. His joyful risk of “greener” ministry through cycling is an inspiration! This local, close, justice-oriented, and personal way of ministry and congregational life is a promising antidote to today’s overly complex, relationally inaccessible, and ultra-polluting urban contexts.”—Rob Fennell, Academic Dean, Atlantic School of Theology
“Church on the Move is a tour de faith that will get your wheels turning for good in the neighborhood. Through practical examples at a human pace, G. Travis Norvell appeals to the church through the body; our feet, hearts, grounds, and taste buds. Like the author's approach to ministry, this book is manageable, worthwhile, and delightful.” — Rev. Jamie Washam, Pastor, First Baptist Church in American, Providence, RI
“G. Travis Norvell’s invitational writing style brought me right onto a public bus and on a neighborhood walk alongside him. I was experiencing the blessings of his Church’s “parish” as I read Church on the Move: A Guide for Ministry in the Community. Though he speaks of his “small city-neighborhood” ministry context, I could not help but imagine applying his creative yet simple practical tips and advice within my local suburban congregation. His encouragement toward risk-taking discipleship is not only biblical but also manageable for any congregation that understands a call to connect more deeply with its neighborhood. Read and engage with Church on the Move and others in your faith community—then go out and make some moves!” — Marie Onwubuariri, Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development at American Baptist Churches USA
“Church on the Move by Travis Norvell is a unique find among books that give practical and authentic ways to do ministry outside (and inside the church). The church building is not a place for emptiness and God’s community to remain idle. I often do not trust most how-to books on church renewal. But I not only trust Travis Norvell’s Church on the Move—I want to join up and actively participate in Norvell’s guidance for building relationships and active community ministry. Books that face our various crises honestly are rarely this hopeful, joy-filled, or practical. Get a copy of Norvell’s Church on the Move and read, and don’t just be converted—climb on board that cycle too.” — Jason Byassee teaches preaching at the Vancouver School of Theology and is co-author with Andria Irwin of Following: Embodied Discipleship in a Digital Age (Baker Academic)
“Although transportation is often overlooked as a dimension of the spiritual life, Norvell convincingly argues that how we move affects our souls and our neighborhoods in profoundly. In his generous, rambunctious, and loving approach, Church on the Move uses infectious joy, genuine possibility, and convicting exhortation to move and inspire readers to move towards justice and love, as church communities and as human beings.”— Dr. Laura M. Hartman, Roanoke College
Rev. G. Travis Norvell is the pastor of Judson Memorial Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN and an adjunct faculty member at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He has served as an American Baptist pastor for 22 years in both small towns and urban churches. He is passionate about the social gospel in the local church as the link for both social justice and church renewal.
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