Each week, the Flourish team would like to recommend resources that will help you on your journey of Church Renewal. While we don’t endorse every single idea from every single resource we are attempting to cultivate a useful resource list for you.
Resource: The Apostolic Congregation, by George Hunter. Background: George G. Hunter, III is one of the most helpful guides to becoming oriented towards and reaching post-Christian people. His passion for evangelizing secular people began while seeking to bring the gospel to the weightlifters of Venice Beach, CA in the 60's while a college student. After two pastorates and additional degrees, Dr. Hunter began decades of training pastors and church leaders in evangelism that connects with the unchurched.
Take-aways: Many people have sought the fruitfulness of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (NY). However, they have many times done so without the missionary thinking required. Hunter not only profiles Redeemer in this book but also helps you understand the macro structure of missionary thinking you could use in your context. For example, prior to reading The Apostolic Congregation, I didn't understand the profundity of a church beginning something like a Celebrate Recovery ministry at their church. Now I do. Let me see if I can explain briefly... When God by His providence plows the ground of someone's life by hard circumstances (whether their fault or not), they are more open to a reconsideration of their worldview. And when into that environment the gospel is preached in such a way that it addresses the real life emotions people are feeling, the gospel tends to connect by the working of the Holy Spirit. If your interest is to connect more authentically with unbelievers in your community and see a greater degree of evangelistic fruit in your ministry The Apostolic Congregation is for you. That's why it's the book I've recommended more in the last year than any other.