When the Members are the Missionaries

Member-Mission-Book-275-407This book (232 pages) extends the popular notion of “mission” to congregation members as they bring love and justice in deed and word to each of their daily arenas – with God’s help.

Move congregations from maintenance to mission with fifteen stories of ordinary Christians doing extraordinary things at home, at work, in their local community, the wider world, their leisure, their spiritual health, as well as their part in their church’s life and its outreach; and ways for congregations to organize around supporting the daily living of their members as their primary purpose.

Help to turn the church right side up! Put the daily lives of the members back on top. Extend your vision of “mission” to the members bringing love and justice in deed and word to each of their daily arenas — their homes, their work, their local communities, the wider world, their leisure, and their church. Fifteen ordinary people tell how mission transforms one of their daily arenas with the power of God’s love and justice working in and through them. Then see how congregations can organize themselves to help their members to live this way.

  • Part One describes stories of fifteen ordinary people living one of their daily missions.
  • Part Two describes ways for congregations to organize and congregational leaders to help their members to bring their daily missions into their lives.
  • Guidance is offered to help congregational leaders incorporate daily missions into their congregation, supporting their members in their daily living as Christians.
  • Congregations adopting this vision understand that they “live into it” step by step, year by year rather than by simply adopting it at a vestry meeting.

Also available on amazon.com and in select bookstores – ISBN 0971755205.

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Editorial Reviews

The Living Church, October 6, 2002 “Real-life case studies and a broad interpretation of mission work elevate this book.”

Daniel T. Benedict, Jr., a National Staff Officer “A seismic book that turns your way of seeing upside down. Start going in the right, not the wrong, direction.”

Mary Ann Brody, a Junior High Teacher “Wayne calls us to heal the world and to nourish each other along the way. Valuable for clergy and laity.”

Mary Martin, Pastor of an Urban Congregation “A clear map for clergy to take the Sunday experience into the rest of the week. No one is forgotten!”

Sheryl Kujawa, Seminary Director of Congregational Studies Congregational Development Member “Challenges our previous misconceptions and offers a way ahead. A change strategy for the mission and ministry of all believers.”

Robert Hofstad, Bishop “Schwab has an evangelizing heart. The book reflects this experience and passion.”

From the Publisher: No one goes as far as Schwab does. All other books about the church and its mission leave the members inside the “walls” in some way. This book starts with them out there in their daily lives and stays there with them. From the Author I had to retire and to leave leadership roles in order to let go of maintenance in order to focus on how church people live their faith. The stories I heard were more exciting than any “programs.” People were changing the world where they were — not in titanic events that soon pass away but in the small ways that last. This book had to be written.

About the Author In 1999, A. Wayne Schwab was funded by Trinity Church Grants to research how congregations can help their members to live as missionaries wherever they are. Participants ranged from New Jersey to Alaska. This book reports the fruits of that project. From 1975 to retirement in 1993, he served as the first Evangelism staff person for the Episcopal Church and built a network of helpers and a curriculum of resources for evangelism. These people and resources reached beyond the USA to Brazil, Spain, Myanmar and the like. He led a growing church in northern New Jersey from 1956 to 1975 while helping to shape the leadership development and education of the Episcopal Church; implementing community change patterns of the European lay academies in his area; and working as a certified pastoral counselor. A native of Washington, D.C., Schwab graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1953; sold Fuller Brushes for a year; and was ordained in 1954. At present, he resides in Vermont where he is active in community work, politics, and the church and enjoys family life with his wife and the families of their two sons and two daughters.