How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church
:In today's highly-charged social and political environment, we often don't know how to talk well with others--especially people whose backgrounds differ from our own C. Christopher Smith, coauthor of the critically acclaimed and influential Slow Church , addresses why conversation...
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:In today's highly-charged social and political environment, we often don't know how to talk well with others--especially people whose backgrounds differ from our own C. Christopher Smith, coauthor of the critically acclaimed and influential Slow Church, addresses why conversation has become such a challenge in the 21st century and argues that it is perhaps the most needed spiritual practice of our individualistic age.
Smith likens practicing conversation to the working of the human body. Bodies are wondrous symphonies of diverse, intricate parts striving for our health, and our health suffers when these parts fail to converse effectively. Likewise, we must learn to converse effectively with those who differ from us in the body of Christ so we can embody Christ together in the world. In community, we learn what it means to belong to others and to a story that is bigger than ourselves.
Smith shows how church communities can be training hubs where we learn to talk and listen to each other with kindness and compassion. The book explores how churches can initiate and sustain conversation, including working through seasons of conflict; suggests the contours of a spirituality that can foster conversation; and features stories from a diverse range of congregations that are learning to practice conversation.
- :<b>contents<br><br></b>introduction: We Are Conversational Bodies<br>1. Orienting Ourselves For The Journey: Theological Roots Of Conversation<i>&nbsp;</i><br><b>part 1: Setting Out On The Journey<br></b>2. Learning The Dynamics Of Conversation<br>3. What Will We Talk About?<br>4. The Healing Potential Of Conversational Methods<br><b>part 2: A Spirituality For The Journey<br></b>5. Conversation As A Prayerful Way Of Being<br>6. Abiding In The Messiness Of Conversation<br>7. Preparing Our Whole Selves For Conversation<br><b>part 3: Sustaining The Journey<br></b>8. Cultivating A Sense Of Mission And Identity<br>9. Sustaining Conversation Through Conflict<br>10. Enmeshing Ourselves In The Dance Of Community<br>conclusion: Conversational Bodies Bearing Witness<br>appendix A: Sample Conversational Ground Rules<br>appendix B: Additional Resources On Conversational Methods