Gardens in the Desert

How the Adaptive Church Can Lead a Whole New Life

Book - Paperback
Gardens in the Desert
Paperback ISBN: 9781791033804
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E-Book ISBN: 9781791033811
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Published August 2024

A vision for how we become God's church now for God's intended future.

Picture a forest full of strong, old-growth trees with bright new saplings dotting the gaps between. This is one vision for the church we are becoming. Imagine a church ecosystem where established churches nurture new congregations, even congregations that look quite different. Ken Carter writes of this rich ecosystem with Michael Adam Beck, showing how the Methodist Church can be old, new, traditional, and unconventional. More importantly, they demonstrate why this mixed ecology is necessary and biblical.

Gardens in the Desert is practical and immediately useful. The chapters are short and pithy. The authors use frameworks, diagrams, metaphors, and lists throughout the book. This material provides the reader with 'handles' to grab onto so they can digest the ideas and see how they work.

Readers will begin to see their challenges in a new light. They will learn to shift their thinking away from disillusionment (the desert), towards innovation and hope (the gardens). Pastors and others will be equipped to do the work required to become adaptive leaders and to lead the UMC into a new life.

About the Authors

Michael Adam Beck

Michael Adam Beck is senior pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Ocala, FL. He led the process introduced in this book at Wildwood United Methodist Church in Wildwood, Florida. He directs Fresh Expressions Initiatives for Discipleship Ministries, speaks and teaches at seminaries, churches, and conferences, and is the author of several books from Abingdon Press.