Spiritual Practices for Your Congregation
by Lynne M. Baab
Westminster John Knox Press
Although interest in spiritual practices has grown in recent years, most of the books available address individuals who wish to try Christian disciplines such as fasting or fixed-hour prayer.
This book, by contrast, offers guidance and examples to Christian leaders as they seek ways to involve their congregations or small groups in spiritual practices.
In Joy Together, Lynne M. Baab describes six spiritual practices that congregations can attempt together:
- contemplative prayer
- lectio divina
- hospitality and
- Sabbath keeping.
She goes on to explore how these practices can help with congregational life and discernment and provides practical instructions for communicating with group members. Discussion questions are included at the end of each chapter so groups can delve into the topics more fully.
“In a world where happiness equals personal satisfaction or gratification it is lovely to come upon a book called Joy Together. The spiritual journey is not about hiking solo. It is a pilgrimage with others into prayer, hospitality, gratitude, Sabbath, etc. Lynne Baab's book offers communities of faith ways to engage in spiritual rhythms together. Those looking for ways to grow together with God will enjoy the personal and practical tack of Joy Together.”
--Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, co-pastor Redeemer Community Church and author of The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook and Invitations From God.
“This is terrific! Lynne is a wise and gentle guide to a deeper and more peaceful life. You will be blessed if you don’t just read the book but do it, slowly.”
--John Ortberg, author of Who is This Man? and The Me I Want to Be
“In Joy Together, Lynne Baab introduces six essential spiritual practices that can help congregations to spend time with Jesus, listen to what he is saying, be changed by him, and then speak and act in the world for him. Her insightful book provides practical and promising ways for groups to enter God's presence and be transformed.”
--Henry G. Brinton, pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Virginia and author of The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality
“In her typically wise and inviting manner, Lynne Baab offers a distinctive approach to cultivating deeper spiritual lives in congregations by engaging ancient faith practices in fresh and timely ways. Her writing shimmers on every page. Her insights motivate. Her approach captures the deep joy of active Christian faith lived well with others in community.”
--Allan Hugh Cole Jr., Academic Dean, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and editor of A Spiritual Life
“This is a book I’ve been waiting for because formation is as much ‘caught’ as ‘taught.’ Thankfully then, Baab shows how congregations and small groups can build community and help each other by engaging in practices together.”
--Jan Johnson, author of Spiritual Disciplines Companion and Invitation to the Jesus Life