Healing Spiritual Amnesia

Remembering What it Means to be the Church

Book - Paperback
Healing Spiritual Amnesia
Paperback ISBN: 9780687067183
$19.99 Show Buy

Published February 2004

There is no end to clichés and easy assumptions about congregational health and vitality. It's much easier to start a new church than turn around an old one; nondenominational churches are growing, while denominational churches are dying; small-membership churches are concerned only with survival; suburban churches care only about endless programming and "spiritual entertainment"; downtown churches are doomed to decay.

Whatever kernel of truth such analyses might contain, they miss the actual point. Churches stagnate, decline, and die for a number of reasons, but principally because they have forgotten who they are. They have forgotten their mission to reach out to those who do not know God in Christ. They have forgotten that we worship--not to feel comfortable and safe--but to come into the presence of a God who leads us out into the world. They have forgotten the "cloud of witnesses" who have gone before us in the Christian faith, providing models for how we can proclaim the message of the gospel in ways that new generations can hear it.

Paul Nixon calls this failure of memory "spiritual amnesia." Concerned with institutional survival and personal comfort, congregations have forgotten what previous generations of Christians have learned time and again: that the church's great challenge is to make the gospel available in new and compelling ways to those who need most to hear it. In a series of sweeping insights into congregational life and contemporary culture, Nixon maps a course that will help churches remember who they are and for whom they exist.

About the Authors

Paul Nixon

Paul Nixon is author of four books on church leadership, including I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church! (Pilgrim Press, 2007) and Fling Open the Doors (Abingdon, 2002). Paul serves as a New Church Strategist for The United Methodist Church, as a coach for missional leaders across North America, and as part of the lead team for Sunday Night @ Foundry, a new faith community of diverse young adults in Washington DC. Previously he served as Director of Congregational Development for Alabama-West Florida Conference and as the founding pastor of the Soundside Campus of Gulf Breeze UMC in northwest Florida.

Paul Nixon

Paul Nixon is author of four books on church leadership, including I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church! (Pilgrim Press, 2007) and Fling Open the Doors (Abingdon, 2002). Paul serves as a New Church Strategist for The United Methodist Church, as a coach for missional leaders across North America, and as part of the lead team for Sunday Night @ Foundry, a new faith community of diverse young adults in Washington DC. Previously he served as Director of Congregational Development for Alabama-West Florida Conference and as the founding pastor of the Soundside Campus of Gulf Breeze UMC in northwest Florida.