About the Book

Why is this topic important to the church?

Many congregations and pastors are anxious and uncertain because of congregational decline related to culture shifts. This book explains the culture shifts and invites readers to notice where and how God is leading the church to cultivate missional wisdom during this time of unprecedented change.

Can it be used as a small-group study?

Each chapter concludes with a set of reflection questions intended for small groups. While deeply honoring the “tradition behind the tradition,” Elaine Heath calls the church to follow the Holy Spirit into the future boldly, with apostolic vision.  This book is an ideal resource for a 6- to 9-week churchwide small-group experience. It could also be used for a leadership development process over a period of several weeks or months. The style of the book is conversational and accessible to laity, while informed by solid research.

How is this book different from others written on this topic?

The book integrates insights from contemplative spirituality, scripture, and missional theology to offer a richly nuanced discussion about the anxiety that is in the church today because of culture shifts, and how the church can move through the anxiety to courageous, culturally sensitive, Spirit-led missional engagement in our rapidly changing world.

Read these Free Samples from God Unbound

Introduction: An Unexpected Problem with Paul

Chapter 1: Loving the Tradition Behind the Tradition

Chapter Overviews

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Meet Elaine A. Heath

Elaine A. Heath is the dean of Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, she has served as a pastor in local churches as well as in academia. Elaine is the cofounder of the Missional Wisdom Foundation, a nonprofit that administers a national network of regional hubs of missional learning communities including new monastic houses, social enterprise, missionally repurposed church spaces, and training programs in missional theology, spiritual formation, and leadership development for a missional church.
A Conversation with Elaine Heath (Interview by Deborah Arca)
"We are at the front end of a new reformation, which will likely take many decades to unfold. I am excited to be part of this era of the church’s life, to be able to participate in the new thing that God is doing."
Read the full interview here.

Recommended by

for those who hunger for deep spiritual experience . . .
The Academy for Spiritual Formation offers a place for spiritually hungry pilgrims, both clergy and lay, to find rest and renewal. A ministry of The Upper Room, the Academy offers Two-Year or Five-Day experiences. During the Two-Year Academy, pilgrims gather at a retreat center for five days every three months over the course of two years (a total of 40 days) to worship, study, pray, fellowship, and learn. The Five-Day Academy, a modified version of the Two-Year experience, invites pilgrims to gather for five days of spiritual learning and worship.

Trained faculty in the subjects of Christian Spirituality, Spiritual Leadership, and Contemplative Prayer lead each session of The Academy. Author and theologian Elaine A. Heath has served as faculty for The Academy for over fifteen years.

The Academy’s commitment to an authentic spirituality promotes balance, inner and outer peace, holy living and just living— God’s shalom. Theologically, the focus is Trinitarian, celebrating the Creator’s blessing, delighting in the companionship of Christ, and witnessing to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives, churches, and the world.

Do you hunger to learn and grow in Christian covenant community? The Academy is for you. Learn more here:

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