Santosh K. Marray
The church is anything but perfect. Throughout its history, from the cross to Pentecost to our time, the institution has experienced a messy evolution. Nevertheless, despite its shortcomings, it has inspired new and creative possibilities for rejuvenation, revival, and renewal in our faith.
Author Santosh K. Marray has over forty years of active ministry engagement, particularly in the global Anglican Communion. Inspired by his studies and work in rural and small congregations, he offers practical solutions for revitalizing Christ’s church in his book. Members of the clergy or laypeople will especially find this book handy with its historical data on the early church and possible guidelines on spiritual engagement.
With over thirty-five years of experience, “The Spiritual Order of a Messy Church: An Anglican Perspective on Spirituality and Ministry Formation” is a must-have for any budding faith practitioner. This brief read offers strategies focusing primarily on formation and edification among church members. From discussing the early roots of the church to guidelines on how to reinvigorate church members, Marray offers a concise yet practical guide that can help many church members.
Filled with history, fun facts, and even a study guide, Marray emphasizes that for a church to be revitalized, members must practice mindfulness while recalling the church’s early virtues. Such disciplines include spirituality, discipleship, and evangelism. These three helps transform faith communities from followers to disciples and eventual faith practitioners.
My favorite chapter discusses how to achieve spiritual formation through sharing. While it is true that our relationship with God is personal, our role as Christians is to share Christ’s teachings with fellow believers to achieve eternal life. I especially like how he gave a step-by-step guideline for reflection in this chapter with varying examples.
Overall, “The Spiritual Order of a Messy Church: An Anglican Perspective on Spirituality and Ministry Formation” is a useful, well-researched, and practical guideline for many modern believers and future spiritual leaders. Suppose you need a guideline on how to lead a faith study group and eventually want to be a church member; if that’s the case, this book is a must-have for your bookshelf.
– The Moving Words Review
Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 2, 2023