Despite a wealth of literature on the ""missional church"" and ""missional living,"" few resources help Christians and churches think through what it means to be disciples of Jesus Christ and what specific practices help cultivate lives of discipleship. Written from, with, and for the church, Pilgrim Practices: Discipleship for a Missional Church introduces Christian practices from the Letter of James to help guide Christians and churches in their journey of discipleship. This book frames discipleship in a way that has been largely abandoned in modern congregational literature, as fundamentally an issue of identity--an identity that is necessarily formed and practiced in and with the church community. It is a lifestyle that cannot be lived on one's own. Discipleship ultimately means engaging with others on a journey of faith sustained and cultivated through certain practices--pilgrim practices. The practices examined in this book develop and direct the risky pilgrim journey of Christians, transforming pilgrims into disciples--as the Body of Christ--who participate with God in God's mission in the world. In this time of transient identities, individualist impulses, and fleeting commitments, this book offers specific practices to help Christians form their identity as disciples and to help Christian communities live their calling as the pilgrim Body of Christ in the world.
""Kristopher Norris's Pilgrim Practices is a winsome treatment of the Christian life organized around the key themes of pilgrimage and practice. Norris retrieves the ancient understanding of Christianity as not merely a set of doctrines but a people's way of living as an alternative community on missional pilgrimage in the world. The book begins with a helpful exposition of this basic vision, which is followed by a quite rich discussion of key practices of Christian discipleship as these are revealed in the Epistle of James. This book is original, honest, humble, and always engaging. I strongly recommend it.""
-David P. Gushee
Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics
""With writing as vivid and engaging as his vision of the Church, Kris Norris opens up fresh sky over what it means to follow Jesus in the world. I already want to read it again.""
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Decatur, GA
""Pilgrim Practices is a great example of what can happen when a scholar lands in a local congregation and real lives become fertile soil for ideas. The demonstration plot of real community breathes life into Norris' theology. The result is a study of James that will benefit any congregation that's eager to join God's mission right where they are.""
-Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove author of God's Economy and co-compiler, Common Prayer
""It seems like there is a lot of talk these days about the 'missional church.' But Kris Norris puts biblical flesh on those bones and helps those of us who want to be real disciples of Christ take the next steps. It's about receiving and entering into a new identity--about falling in love with Christ, Christ's people, and Christ's work in the world. Norris walks us through the book of James and into a pattern for a bolder and more authentic way of living.""
-Stephen A. Hayner
President, Columbia Theological Seminary
""Pilgrim Practices: Discipleship for a Missional Church, like the Letter of James on which it is based, is full of wisdom and passion. It is a poignant and powerful explanation of Christian discipleship, offering a compelling journey guide for individuals to follow Jesus in the context of missional communities. I especially appreciated the clear call to engage in 'practices' that form identity and define what it means to be fully human.""
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Atlanta, Georgia
""A refreshing and honest look at two critical ingredients for a New Testament church in our twenty-first-century world
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.37(d)|
About the Author
Kristopher Norris is an ordained Baptist minister and PhD candidate in Theology and Ethics at the University of Virginia. He received previous ministry degrees from Duke University Divinity School and Emory University. Originally from North Carolina, he currently lives in Charlottesville, VA.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Community in a Survivor Culture xiii
Part I Pilgrims on the Way
1 The Pilgrim Road, or Why Practices Matter 3
2 "iChurch," or Why Church Matters 13
3 Participating with God, or The Original (Missional) Church 21
Part II Eight Pilgrim Practices
4 Believing: Faith Beyond Limits 35
5 Listening: I Never Forget My Face 44
6 Welcoming: Living Upside Down 52
7 Committing: Gone off the Deep End 62
8 Speaking Wisely: The Myth of Sticks and Stones 71
9 Witnessing: I Pledge Allegiance … 78
10 Caring: If We Are with Them 90
11 Praying: The Problem of Independence 102
Afterword: It Takes a Church … 113
Pilgrim Practices Discussion Guide 117
Index of Names and Subjects 139
Index of Scripture References 141