Sunday
Sep022012

Beshore, Love Without Walls

Beshore-Love-Without-Walls Amazon.com

Laurie Beshore, Love Without Walls: Learning to Be a Church in the World for the World (Leadership Network Innovation Series). Zondervan, 2012.

Referenced in:

LifeandLeadership.com Summary

This is a candid and compelling story of the successes and failures of the Mariner’s Church in Irvine, California. After a church split dwindled the membership to around 200, the author and her husband led a team to re-envision and seriously engage their community. They faced social issues such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, inadequate health care, child abuse, and elder abandonment.

Through over 25 years of “compassionate suffering,” they learned much about community-based ministry. For example:

  • Tapping into previously undiscovered volunteer energies through community outreach, and helping such volunteers become leaders.
  • Earning trust with the poor “one relationship at a time.”
  • Discovering the truth as layed out in books like Corbett and Fikkert’s When Helping Hurts that sometimes, spontaneous acts of compassion, doling out free help, hinders substantive community development and redemptive relationships.
  • Establishing partnerships with other churches, especially those that are more indigenous to the environment.

One of the most helpful pieces is the four-step process for developing compassionate volunteers that has helped this church grow to a volunteer force of over 7,000.

Step 1, Expose - Look deeply and honestly at one’s excuses for avoiding outreach.
Step 2, Enfold - Partner with people who are like those being reached.
Step 3, Engage - Learn how to engage and when to disengage those you are helping.
Step 4, Empower - Free those changed through their experiences to act upon their growing inclinations to learn, give, and share.

This is a very helpful, honest look at how to engage one’s community, communicated humbly by a church that has experienced many ups and downs along the way. It is highly recommended.

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

Publisher’s Description

We see it all around us: Poverty. Unemployment. Crime. Hopelessness. Anger. Disenchantment. Injustice. We want to help. We want to do something. But what? Good intentions are good, but often our efforts at helping others can actually make things worse. And in many communities the church is viewed with suspicion, if not downright hostility. So how can churches effectively serve the needs of their communities in ways that communicate the love and grace of God? According to author Laurie Beshore, churches need to step up and take action, but it all begins by learning. You must get to know the people in your community and establish relationships built on mutual trust and respect. This is the compelling twenty-five year story of how Mariner’s Church, a growing mega-church in Irvine, CA, began reaching out to their community and how they made more than their fair share of mistakes along the way. But these hard-earned lessons are now of immense value to a new generation of church leaders trying to serve their own communities that are skeptical, if not understandably suspicious, of the intentions of the 21st century church. Laced with ultra-practical teachings and transferable principles for churches and ministries of all sizes and styles, this is a book filled with potent lessons and powerful stories both heartbreaking and inspiring.

About the Author

Laurie Beshore leads the local and global outreach ministries at Mariners Church, an influential mega-church in Southern California. She is a global thinker and frequently speaks on the topic of mission-driven, externally focused church ministry.


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***For additional information on this resource, including reviews, click the bookstore links. Check the reference at page top or the links below for resource guides on related topics.***

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Related Areas

See Other Resources on Social Ministry Strategies:

See Other Resource Guides on Christian Social Ministry:

Related Ministry Resource Guides on LifeandLeadership.com:

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