Rebekah Simon-Peter’s Forging a New Path is a
groundbreaking guidebook for the post-pandemic
church. The prophet Ezekiel surveyed a valley of dry
bones and asked, “Can these bones rise again?” His
prophetic vision hinted at the lifelessness of worship
hundreds of years ago.
In the twenty-first century, his question echoes
through time in a new way: Can this church grow
again? For people who care about faith-based communities, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom
of God, this question is critical. When the pandemic
broke out, it badly disrupted church life, already
hindered by declining membership, forcing pastors
and church members alike to ask once more, “Can
this church grow again?”
Rebekah Simon-Peters wrote Forging a New Path
in response to conversations and questions that
people in churches across the country are having.
The author focuses on three persistent questions:
· When do things go back to normal?
· How do we get people (back) to church?
· How do we do more with less?
Simon-Peter leaves no stone unturned, looking at
pandemics past to see how medieval Christians dealt
with these same issues. Their answers were surprising. The author writes this is the perfect time for
Christians to envision and forge a new path forward
with God. In this book, the author shares what we
can learn from our past to help reshape our future.
She writes that our future won’t come from superficial or technical changes but from profound changes
in the way we live out being the church.
Simon-Peter borrows the words of Ezekiel, “Can
these bones rise?” to remind the reader of the Scripture’s answer: “This is what the sovereign LORD
says to these bones, ‘I will make breath enter you,
and you will come to life.’”