Will future generations find a church worth fighting for?
A great reckoning is underway in the church today: a naming and exposing of the exclusivity, abuse, racism, patriarchy, and unchecked power that have marked evangelical Christianity for far too long. What kind of church will emerge on the other side?
Like many families, the Beaches have been wrestling with this question. Together, Nancy and Samantha represent two generations: Nancy, a boomer, was a key player in the megachurch movement that revolutionized global ministry during the '80s and '90s, while Samantha, a millennial, is willing to abandon those massive buildings and celebrity cultures and find out whether the foundation holds. Each chapter offers their individual experiences and perspectives on a challenge facing the church and considers the way forward.
Filled with deep introspection and keen insight, Next Sunday is a vulnerable conversation about what the church has been—and what it can be.
"Lots of people are walking away from church, and years of pain give them good reasons for doing so. But others are processing their pain in ways that help them imagine a better tomorrow for Christian congregations. That's what Nancy Beach and Samantha Beach Kiley do in Next Sunday. Each page rings with honesty, humility, and hard-won hope. The book feels like a generational passing of a baton, and that's something that older and younger readers will benefit from. Thanks to this mother-daughter writing team!"
"I love everything about this book—the honesty, the truth, the stories, the insights, the cross-generational conversation, and even the tension! Especially the tension. Because here's the thing: we can't fix what we refuse to face. This work helps us face the hard stuff about the church while honoring the good stuff, and it does so in a most winsome way that points to a future with hope."
"This is a memoir of two people, a mother and a daughter, who live in two different worlds and the same world at the same time. Reading this book is a jarring experience as each explores basic ideas, like community and Sunday morning church services, on their own from their own world. They're the same but not, at the same time. It disturbs me because I wonder if I can even know Samantha's world. I know Nancy's world, it's mostly mine. But they are siblings in Christ, and some inner-world reality transcends their two worlds. I needed this book."
"In Next Sunday, Nancy and Samantha bring humanity and humility to strategic church leadership. It is refreshing to hear the voices of practitioners in the field of spiritual leadership who have the experiences to back up their content. I am grateful for this new and authentic work for those with a desire to create a new model of what leadership can look like in the church."
"In a season when many have walked away from the church, Nancy and Samantha have written a book for everyone who still wants to believe that church matters. Next Sunday is a profound gift for those wondering if the promises of the church are better than the problems of the church. It is for the person still searching for something real and redemptive within the ancient practice of ecclesia. It is for the person still holding on to hope that an imperfect church, led by imperfect leaders, filled with imperfect people, is still one of the world's most beautiful and transforming communities. Thank you, Nancy and Samantha, for giving us hope."
"This book is timely, necessary reading. I couldn't put it down. Nancy Beach and Samantha Beach Kiley model through their shared writing how to ask hard questions and wrestle with the legacy of our faith communities; they show that doing so is an act of profound love and hospitality. I can't wait to buy a copy for so many people in my life whose faith compels them to acknowledge the messes that Christians have made, and who deeply want to address those wrongs together with their communities. This book offers the rare combination of loving criticism and pragmatic hope."
"We are living in one of the most consequential times of the human story. Divides along economic, racial, cultural, and gender lines continue to widen. Conversations from pulpits to playgrounds, from halls of government to boardrooms and classrooms have been stymied to advance a way forward on these issues and a host of others. One entity that has not been consistent in these discussions is the church; she has yet to live out her full redemptive potential. Nancy and Samantha, as storytellers, speak with honesty, wisdom, and vulnerability as to what the church can be—and indeed must be—in this pivotal moment. Hear their lament. Embrace the hope they offer in the transcendent."
"I don't know for how long, but I'm sure the church is in crisis. I'm a Hispanic pastor doing ministry in the States and even among 'my people' it's quite obvious that our main narrative is still fear, shame, and guilt. So every time I see somebody trying to understand this very moment in church history, I feel that we still have hope. If we don't understand our present, we don't have a future. Do you care about the church? You definitely need to read this book!"
1. Turn-and-Greet Terrors or Does Anyone Actually Care That I'm Here? Creating Genuine Community
2. Train Up a Child in the Way She Should Go, and She Will Never Forget the Hand Motions: Being Kidcentric
3. Monday Through Saturday: Having an External Focus
4. You Had to Be There: Concerning the Hour on Sunday
5. When Harry Works With Sally: Men and Women Leading Well Together
6. The Mess We've Made: The Church's History of Exclusion and Oppression
7. Behind the Curtain: Creating a Healthy Culture