by Gary Shockley
Gary’s insights into the state of the church will move you to action in your context.
Imagination is one of the great gifts bestowed on us by our Creator, observe authors Gary and Kim Shockley, and it can be the spark that ignites a fire of change in our lives. Drawing on their more than thirty years of pastoral and church consulting experience, the Shockleys illustrate the power of imagination using personal stories born of their own quest to be faithful in ministry. They also show readers that imagining church is a shared experience among God’s people. When we imagine the church–forming a mental image of what we believe the church is and ought to be–we are co-creators with the Master Designer, Chief Architect, and Greatest Creator, and can help others imagine church. They remind leaders, “If you can’t see it, neither will anyone else.” The Shockleys outline how we in the church are now laborers in a new kind of vineyard–one that requires a new way of thinking and acting in our postmodern world. They invite readers to step into the flow of God’s activity and, using the gifts God has given us, cooperate in the work of ministry and mission. Rather than suggesting one model or process for church effectiveness (“do it this way and grow”), Imagining Church helps congregational leaders to think more imaginatively about how God is at work in our present ministry contexts. This will help to open ourselves anew to the Spirit of God–the Divine Artist–who is ready to fuel our desire to be the co-creators we are meant to be for the sake of the church.