Don't Look Back

Methodist Hope for What Comes Next

Book - Paperback
Don't Look Back
Paperback ISBN: 9781791027896
$18.99 Show Buy

Published September 2022

Hope and help for pastors and congregations who are asking, What now? And What’s next?

Some pastors and congregations have managed remarkable innovation, creation of new ministries, courageous pruning of old programs, and rediscovery of core Wesleyan convictions in recent years. Others have experienced a long, slow-motion, downward cycle of loss.

We might be tempted to ‘sit down’ wherever we are, looking back at all that’s happened, shaking our heads in disbelief. But it’s time to stand up, to move forward. Will Willimon shows what that could look like. He spent a year committed to asking questions and careful listening in conversations with clergy, organizational leaders, and parishioners across the U.S. What’s next for Methodist church folk?

As you read, join in the process of asking and listening. The honesty, wisdom, and inspiration you find here may point you in new directions. What do you think God is up to in the present moment? What should we stop doing and begin doing, responding to God’s call now? What are the biblical texts, stories from our past, and core Wesleyan convictions that might guide us from this point?

And are we at Good Friday or at Easter?

As Willimon writes in his Introduction, “Let’s have a decent burial for yesterday’s good intentions and then partner with the Holy Spirit in creating tomorrow’s church.” This is a book to read and reflect on with colleagues, congregants, and Methodist friends.

About the Author

Bishop William H. Willimon

Will Willimon is a preacher and teacher of preachers. He is a United Methodist bishop (retired) and serves as Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. For twenty years he was Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. A 1996 Baylor University study named him among the Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English speaking world. The Pew Research Center found that Will was one of the most widely read authors among Protestant clergy in 2005. His quarterly Pulpit Resource is used by thousands of pastors throughout North America, Canada, and Australia. In 2021 he gave the prestigious Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching at Yale Divinity School. Those lectures became the book, Preachers Dare: Speaking for God which is the inspiration for his ninetieth book, Listeners Dare: Hearing God in the Sermon.