Most pastors serving congregations today cannot remember a time before the realities of denominational decline. For several decades now in the mainline church, little has changed, and emptying sanctuaries, shrinking budgets, and closing congregations are part of our daily experience. What does Jones bring to the conversation in this book that’s different for those concerned for ecclesial vitality? The Reconstruction of the Church holds more than just another set of tactics, Jones sets out to pour a new foundation and take things in the church “down to the studs,” in order to build something very old, but in this moment, very new. The Reconstruction of the Church is in a league of its own. It’s like nothing you have read before!
– Jeffrey Conklin-Miller, Th.D., Director of the Methodist House of Studies, Assistant Professor and Teaching Fellow, Duke University Divinity School, Durham, NC
I might have wondered what E. Stanley Jones would think about our current struggles in The United Methodist Church, were he alive today. But I know because his chapter, “A Church That Holds Together Difference,” contains insights which are fresh and clear and relevant. The Reconstruction of the Church is a book for those who care about the future of the church. Jones’ charge to us is: In the church of the future the most important test of its power will be its capacity to win the two thirds of its membership who are caught in eddies of the inconsequential and the marginal, and are going round and round, getting nowhere and producing little or nothing – except motion. This group is the greatest mission field of the church. It must be changed from a field for evangelism into a force for evangelism.
– Dr. David McAllister-Wilson, President, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC