Shuck and Jive

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tribal Church

We have a study group that meets Thursdays from 10:30 to noon. I named it Thursdays with Jesus. We have read and discussed books by Marcus Borg, John Shelby Spong, and many other interesting authors.

We are now reading a book by my Presbyterian colleague, Carol Howard Merritt, Tribal Church.

This book is a new direction for us and a welcome one. Carol's book is about what it means to be a church with and for 20-40 year olds.

With insight, compassion and first-hand knowledge she is helping the church understand the unique situation this generation is facing.

This generation has been dismissed as materialistic which is a far cry from the truth. In her third chapter which we will discuss today, she shows how this generation is facing serious economic struggles. They work harder for less pay with huge educational debt, large mortgages (if they can get one), and few career prospects. Often they feel bad about it, thinking it is their own fault.

I will be blogging more about this book. In the meantime, I suggest you get it and read it with your church board or study group especially in answer to the oft asked question: how can we get more "young people" in the church?

Her answer might surprise and inspire you to be a church that is truly inter-generational and inclusive.


  1. John,

    Let me know if you'd be interested in posting a review of the book for the journal I edit!

  2. Thanks, Bob, I will. I will finish it first with my group and include their insights!

  3. John,

    Thank you so much for writing about the Tribal Church, and for leading a study group on it. I hope it's helpful, and that it will lead to many interesting discussions!