Much has been written, and much has been said, about the decline in mainline North American Protestantism. Sophisticated sociological and theological analyses have posited a number of solutions to the problem. While such analysis is helpful, the author reminds us that much of it fails to see the simple reality behind the problem: a loss of essential spiritual fervor. Stewart's ministry, both within Hope United Methodist Church in Detroit (where he is pastor), and in numerous congregations and conferences across the country where he has preached, lectured, and taught, has been spent in calling Christians back to a vital relationship with Jesus Christ and to an immediate and transformative experience of the Spirit.
In this new book, Carlyle Fielding Stewart brings together the best of his writing and thinking on the problems of the African American church and mainline Protestantism. Readers will find here important guidance on how to establish a congregation that is genuinely lay-led, how to move the gospel from the church building out into the neighborhood and onto the street corners, and how to preach genuine, scriptural holiness to a skeptical and relativistic age. Throughout, the author drives his point home with the force of the simple message that is his hallmark: the church has failed because its leaders have failed to develop and maintain a fervent, personal devotion to the Lord.
To those looking for hope and for new life in a church grown spiritually cold, this book speaks a powerful word.