A review of: From Isolation to Community by Myles Werntz
From the Book:
It is no secret that isolation is one of the key ailments of our age. But less explored is the way the church as it is frequently practiced contributes to this isolation instead of offering an alternative. With the help of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this book argues for a renewed vision of the church community as a theological therapy to cultural, moral, and sociological isolation. It offers an account of how familiar church practices, such as Scripture reading, worship, prayer, and eating, contribute to community formation in the body of Christ.
This was on my wish list of books to read because the topic seemed interesting. I was intrigued that there was a connection to Bonhoeffer's writing. This book did not disappoint. I knew from the first chapter that this book was going to be thought-provoking and probably challenge ideas about church gatherings (and non-gatherings). I am still thinking about this book and trying to connect the ideas to practical life in my own context. I think this book will continue to shape and challenge me far beyond reading and reviewing.
Who is this book for:
This book is for everyone. However, I think this book is especially needed for church leadership. If you are a large church or small church, this will help you think through why you meet and how you can refocus the time. I think this book is especially needed for people starting new ministries (think church plants or new youth programs). I also think this book is needed for online ministries. Churches panicked during the pandemic, and they began meeting online and have continued. Many still need to understand how to meet online in a way that brings community rather than isolation.
Critique, Questions, Comments:
While the author does mention online ministry, I think they did so elegantly. They don’t seem to be the biggest fan, but they also didn't bash it like other books on the topic. The book isn't about online communities only, so I think they did a decent job in their brief mentioning of it.
Purchase: From Isolation to Community