Tom Bandy reveals the cultural wedges and apathiesthat separate denominations, congregations, and neighbors from eachother and from collective social agency. Bandy describes the church inAmerica as “sidelined”—observing cultural change but not participatingin the game. He suggests proven provocative ways the church canre-engage and empathize with the people within their reach.
Bymining the lifestyle data revealed by the nation’s economic engines andsocial trends, this frank and ground-breaking sociological analysis is amust read for every church leader who embraces hope for a fragmented,diverse, and polarized world.
“For years Tom Bandy has beenattempting to get the once-mainline-oldline-now-sideline church back inthe game. In this fast-paced, energetic book, Tom shows us how churchescan be in missions to the diverse cultures that seem to respond to ourstolid mainline moderation with a yawn.”
—William Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC
"SidelineChurch represents fresh perspectives in an often tired conversation. Ifthe church hopes to speak compellingly to people today, it must learnfirst to listen again. Brandy’s insights will likely provoke thecomplacent, but it may also inspire church leaders to hear culture withnew ears. This book is a worthy successor to Tex Samples’ work on USLifestyles and Mainline Christians.”
—Michael Jinkins, President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and author of The Church Faces Death and The Church Transforming.
"Bandy’slanguage of chasm aptly describes the current relationship of churchand culture. Bridging that gap involves empathetic immersion with andlove for the multiple cultures among us. For those willing to enter thischallenging engagement, Bandy offers essential knowledge about howdiverse cultural cohorts think about God and meaning in differing ways."
--Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC