BOOKS

When the Church was a Family: Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community
by Jospeh H. Hellerman

Spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community. But as the modern cultural norm of what social scientists call “radical American individualism” extends itself, many Christians grow lax in their relational accountability to the church. Faith threatens to become an “I” not “us,” a “my God” not “our God” concern.

The Relational Soul: Moving from False Self to Deep Connection
by Richard Pass and James Cofield

What does loneliness tell us? "Be it chronic or acute, slight or significant, loneliness is proof of our relational design. At the core of our being is this truth―we are designed for and defined by our relationships," former pastors Plass and Cofield write. "We were born with a relentless longing to participate in the lives of others. Fundamentally, we are relational souls." Our ability to make deep and emotionally satisfying connections rests on the capacity to trust, and we all know trust can be difficult. Early-life relational "programming" and patterns of attachment can serve as blueprints for relationships later in life, whether good or bad. But no matter our conditioning, God is out to reclaim and restructure the deepest terrain of the human soul by helping us shed our reactive "False Self" and put on our receptive "True Self." Through spiritual disciplines and a conscious participation in the love of the Father, Son and Spirit, we transform our self-awareness and our connection with other people. Authored by counselor Dr. Richard Plass and spiritual director James Cofield, The Relational Soul brings together concepts from psychology and spiritual formation. Each chapter includes introductory stories and practical "If this is true, what about you?" questions to help readers engage in relationships in more life-giving ways. When the presence of Christ and community connects with a soul that is open, we witness the miracle of transformation.

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, renowned Christian minister, professor, and author of The Cost of Discipleship recounts his unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years in Germany. Giving practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups, Life Together is bread for all who are hungry for the real life of Christian fellowship.

 

AUDIO: PODCASTS & SERMONS

“Community” a Teaching Series of Bridgetown Church

As we practice the way of Jesus, we need partners for the journey, a community to help us along the way. Jesus invites all who follow him to be a part of a new family. This family of God is not a social club or a group of friends who look, think, and talk similarly, but a community of apprentices following Jesus’ way of life. And despite the work it takes, the fights we will endure, and the learning we will do along the way, together we’re figuring out how to be with Jesus, become like him, and do what he did.

“This Cultural Moment” A Podcast About Following Jesus in the Post-Christian World

This Cultural Moment is a collaboration of John Mark Comer of Bridgetown Church in Portland, USA and Mark Sayers of Red Church in Melbourne, Australia.

“The Epidemic of Loneliness” Panel Session at The Aspen Institute
Naples, FL

The crisis of loneliness poses as grave a threat to public health as obesity or substance abuse. It cuts across generations and reaches around the world. Katie Hafner calls it “a quiet devastation” and the poet Emily Dickenson writes that it is “the horror not to be surveyed.” Millions of people live with sparse human contact and research tells us that lonely people are more likely to become ill, experience cognitive decline, and die early.

Being socially connected, on the other hand — as reflected by the size of our social networks, the extent to which we are involved with others, the quality of our relationships, and our perception that support is available when we need it — are all associated with longevity. A geriatrician, a psychiatrist, a neuroscientist, and a journalist look at the social and biological consequences of loneliness and consider what we can do.