Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Holy Currencies: Six Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Holy Currencies: Six Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries

Article excerpt

Holy Currencies: Six Blessings for Sustainable Missional Ministries. By Eric H. F. Law. St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, 2013. 171 pp. $18.99 (paper).

Missional: it is the word of the moment for churches wondering, flailing, struggling with, and especially engaging this time in the twenty-first century. Along with relevant and emerging, it can be as off-putting as it is inspiring. As of this writing, there are 1,488 books with "missional" in the tide on Amazon, com.

Opening a book with the words "sustainable missional ministries" in the subtitle, then, could be a bore or an intriguing trip into possibility. I am glad to say that Eric Law's latest book is an experience of the latter for me. Holy Currencies is a book that is both a theoretical exploration of what makes churches and other organizations engaging and sustainable in their varied purposes, as well as a highly practical guide in how those purposes guide the work of community and parish groups.

Law starts from his work as founder and leader of the Kaleidoscope Institute, an organization that serves churches and civic groups with resources to become more engaged with the communities around them. As he offered this training over the years, the recurring concern he heard was for sustainability. Sure, we can develop something that serves the needs of the moment, or that starts off well, but how do we make this ministry work in the long run? How do we find the money?

Studying ministries that he considered to be both missional and sustainable, he developed the idea of interwoven currencies, flowing between and through one another. He names six: Time and Place, Gracious Leadership, Relationship, Truth, Wellness, and Money. These currencies are envisioned as a Cycle of Blessings, and a graphic circle reminds the reader that they are not a linear, static list of limited resources to use up, but rather a flow that can be explored and developed from and to any point in the cycle. He points out that these are not the only currencies at play in many sustainable and missional ministries, but that he finds these six to be essential.

The concept of these currencies and how they can be seen and encouraged in churches and ministries is developed through the rest of the book. Each one is first explored in theory and story, and then as it flows with and into the other currencies. All through the book there are very practical exercises for individuals and groups to tease out how these currencies are present and flowing-or not-in their own lives and ministries. …

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