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Concern for Church Renewal

Essays on Community and Discipleship, 1958–1966

Laura Schmidt Roberts

Religion / Christian Theology / Ecclesiology

From its first issue in 1954, CONCERN: A Pamphlet Series for Questions of Christian Renewal ran statements identifying it as an independent publication whose purpose was to stimulate study and discussion through intentional juxtaposition of viewpoints. What constitutes the church? Do existing structures engender or hinder the church's ever-present need for renewal? What approaches or formats might more effectively "structure" its renewal? CONCERN's Mennonite editorial board and the essays gathered here address these themes in reference to a Believers' Church or Anabaptist framework, reflecting differing viewpoints but a shared sense that community and discipleship are essential. Two contemporary responses reflect current iterations of these questions, which are shaped by pronounced concerns for the exercise of power within the community, and the role response to structural, systemic inequalities plays in discipleship.
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